King Oscar sardines

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King Oscar (Sardines and Other Canned Seafood)
King Oscar Logo Big.png
Product type Sardines, tuna, salmon, herring, mackerel, cod, and other fine canned seafood.
Country Norway

Norway, United States, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Belgium, Germany,

Japan, Singapore, Australia, South Africa.

The King Oscar brand was founded in 1902, when King Oscar II, ruler of Norway and Sweden, gave the Chr. Bjelland & Co. (one of Norway's leading canning companies at the time) special royal permission to use his name and likeness on a line of sardine products.

King Oscar II ruled the United Kingdoms of Norway and Sweden from 1872 until 1905, when he granted Norway its independence. He remained king of Sweden until his death in 1907 at the age of 78. To this day, King Oscar remains the only brand in Norway with a “Royal Permission.”

Over the years, the King Oscar brand expanded into new markets, introduced new product lines, and was eventually acquired by several different parent companies as the sardine canning industry evolved in Norway. Today, King Oscar AS is owned by Thai Union Group, one of the largest seafood producers in the world.


While sardines have always been King Oscar’s flagship product, the company produces a variety of award-winning seafood products including brisling and Baltic sardines, herring, mackerel, salmon, tuna, cod, and specialty items, as well as fish salads and fish pâtés. The company determines product selection market by market based on regional consumer tastes.


Headquartered in Bergen, Norway, King Oscar maintains production facilities in Svolvær, Norway and Gniewino, Poland. The facility in Poland is world-class and one of the most modern production plants in that country. In fact, the facility received ISO 22000 certification for food safety management in February 2012. However, for quality assurance the company still wood-smokes its brisling sardines and packs all of its products by hand, following Norwegian traditions the same way it has done for more than a century. The fastest packer has been known to fill as many as 600 cans of fish in an hour.


King Oscar maintains marketing offices in Norway, Poland, and the United States. The fish for its products are caught in the Norwegian fjords, the North Sea, and various waters around the world using ocean-friendly and dolphin-safe methods. The global brand is distributed in countries including Norway, the United States, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Belgium, Germany, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Australia, and South Africa.


1880 Norwegian fish canneries begin exporting sardines.

1893 Norwegian smoked sardines are introduced to the United States at the World Exhibition in Chicago. Additionally, other world markets are explored.

1902 King Oscar II of Norway and Sweden grants the Chr. Bjelland & Co. special royal permission to use his name and portrait on a brand of Norwegian sardines.

1903 The Chr. Bjelland & Co. begins exporting the King Oscar brand of sardines to the United States.

1920 The brand becomes well established in U.S. and British markets.

1950 Various King Oscar brisling sardine products are accorded kosher certification, assuring an extra guarantee of quality, as only the purest products can be awarded this distinction.

1965 King Oscar is introduced to Japan, where it is now the #1 imported sardine brand.

1981 Eleven Norwegian canneries merge to form a single company, Norway Foods, which acquires the King Oscar brand.

1996 Norway Foods is acquired by Rieber & Søn ASA, a Norwegian-based, specialized food company with global brand distribution.

1998 The King Oscar brand is reintroduced to the Norwegian market and is introduced to Poland.

1999 The King Oscar brand is introduced to the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Romania.

2001 The King Oscar brand is introduced to Slovakia. Also, King Oscar is officially relaunched in Russia, where the brand was initially registered at the turn of the 20th century.

2002 The King Oscar brand celebrates its centennial.

2008 While King Oscar fish catches are still made in various waters throughout the world, King Oscar’s central production efforts are moved to a first-class facility in Gniewino, Poland. Additionally, the company continues to maintain a production facility in Svolvær, Norway.

2009 King Oscar AS becomes the new owner of the 110-year old brand.

2010 King Oscar AS purchased by Procuritas Capital Investments.

2014 King Oscar AS purchased by Thai Union Group, reaffirms its mission to bring the best quality, most innovative canned seafood products to markets around the world.

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