Swedish Fish

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Swedish Fish
Swedish Fish wrapper
Alternative namesSwedish Fish
Place of originSweden
Created byMalaco
Main ingredientsSugar, invert sugar, corn syrup, corn starch, citric acid
Three Swedish Fish: yellow, green, and red. Each has "Swedish" embossed on its side.
Salmiak-flavored black Swedish Fish or "salted herring", with the manufacturer's name "Malaco" embossed.

Swedish Fish is a fish-shaped, chewy candy originally developed by Swedish candy producer Malaco in the late 1950s for the U.S. market.[1] They come in a variety of colors and flavors.


Swedish Fish contains:[2]

Previous wrappers advertised the product as being "a fat-free food". They are gluten-free.

Chemical properties[edit]

One of the ingredients in Swedish Fish is invert sugar, a combination of glucose and fructose. Invert sugar is important in Swedish Fish due to its ability to retain moisture.

Swedish Fish contain modified cornstarch which is used primarily to form its shape. It is utilized as a medium in trays when the product is put in them to be molded.[3] In addition, white mineral oil is added to these trays to supplement the starch, prevent the candy from crumbling, and give it a shiny coating.

Carnauba wax is used in Swedish Fish as a coating and gives the candy a waxy texture.[4]

Citric acid also adds to the product's shelf life.

In Sweden[edit]

A shelf of pick and mix candies similar to those used in Sweden

In Sweden, a large share of confectionery sales are sold as pick and mix. Wine gums are sold in many different shapes, of which fish is just one.[5][6] The Swedish Fish candy is marketed under the name "pastellfiskar",[7] literally "pastel fish", and under the Malaco brand among others. The fish-shaped candies are also part of a Malaco bag of mixed candy called Gott&blandat. This popular candy bag was introduced in 1979 and over the years many variations of it has been made.[8]

In North America[edit]

Today the Swedish Fish consumed in North America are made in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and Turkey by Mondelēz International. In Canada, Swedish Fish are distributed under Mondelez International's Maynards Bassetts brand.

The fish are distributed in the U.S. by Mondelēz International. The fish-shaped candy gained enough popularity on its own to where the Malaco, and later Cadbury, company had to do little advertising for the product, until this past decade. A recent resurgence in popularity has resulted in greater accessibility in supermarkets and convenience stores where they are often sold prepackaged in plastic bags. Building upon this resurgence, the company recently created "Giant Fish" television advertisements and a "Treadin' Water" YouTube mini-series, which follows the miscellaneous adventures of four friends and a Giant Swedish Fish sharing an apartment. The first few episodes of the mini-series were published onto YouTube on May 9, 2016.[9]

Originally colored red with a flavor unique to the candy (often guessed to be lingonberry, but never verified), they are now also available in several different colors, such as Orange & Lemon-Lime. Purple Swedish Fish in grape flavor were discontinued in 2006. The fish come in two different sizes. Initially, the smaller fish came only in red; now fish of both sizes are available in all flavors. According to a visit to the factory on the Food Network's show Unwrapped[citation needed], green is not lime, but pineapple flavor, while yellow is a lemon-lime flavor.


Although well known in the U.S., Swedish Fish were only launched on the U.S. market in the late 1950s. The original owner of these candies was the Swedish company Malaco, which wanted to expand its sales to North America and entered partnership with Cadbury. Wanting to create a product that reflected the culture of Sweden in some way, a fish-shaped gummy candy was created. Fishing was and is still a large part of Sweden's culture, and fish is a considerable part of the Swedish diet. Mondelez distributes the candy in the U.S. today, but the fish gummies are still distributed by Malaco in Sweden.[10]


In 2009, Rita's Italian Ice, a U.S. chain which serves Italian ice and frozen custard, introduced a red Swedish Fish flavored Italian ice as a cobranded product.[11]

Trident, a gum company owned by Mondelez Global, produced a Swedish Fish flavored product, which is advertised as "Berry + Lemon" flavor.

In 2016, Nabisco created a test-market product Swedish Fish Oreos, available at Kroger grocery stores in the US.[12]


  1. ^ "A Brief History of Swedish Fish". mentalfloss.com.
  2. ^ "SWEDISH FISH ASSORTED SOFT CANDY ASSORTED FAT FREE12X3.500 OZ". smartlabel.mondelezinternational.com. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  3. ^ "Candy Creations with Starch and Its Derivatives". www.naturalproductsinsider.com. 1997-09-01. Retrieved 2017-04-02.
  4. ^ "What's Carnauba Wax?". ThoughtCo. Retrieved 2017-04-02.
  5. ^ "Malaco Pick & Mix – Pastellfisk". Archived from the original on 2008-10-26.
  6. ^ Godis Direkt AB Pastellfiskar picture together with other mixed candy Archived 2009-05-27 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Candyking". candyking.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-08.
  8. ^ "Malaco Gott&blandat". cloetta.se. Archived from the original on 2015-10-06.
  9. ^ "Swedish Fish". YouTube. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  10. ^ "A Brief History of Swedish Fish". 2009-10-28. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  11. ^ "Rita's Introduces Highly-Anticipated Swedish Fish® Italian Ice Flavor | Rita's Italian Ice". www.ritasice.com. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  12. ^ Bulow, Alessandra. "This is what happened when we tried Swedish Fish Oreos". today.com.

External links[edit]