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About King Oscar

The story of King Oscar

We are pretty proud of our Norwegian heritage, our seafood company, and our delicious products. And we are happy to share our story with you – a story that goes back almost 145 years. Though times have changed, our old-fashioned commitment to superior quality is stronger than ever. And our promise to inspire your cooking with new and fresh recipes is alive and well!

The adventure begins!


The foundation of the Stavanger Canning Company is the very beginning of King Oscar. Little did the four gentlemen who established the company in Norway’s “Canning Town” know that they were launching a worldwide canned seafood phenomenon!


Norway exports its first canned sardines.


Norwegian smoked sardines are introduced to the United States at the World’s Fair in Chicago. Additionally, other world markets are explored. Tiny sardines from Norway are ready for the big world!

The King says yes!


King Oscar II of Norway and Sweden loves our sardines so much, he gives us special royal permission to use his name and portrait on our packaging.

The Christian Bjelland Company, one of the world’s largest canned food manufacturers at the time, begins exporting King Oscar Sardines to the United States.

International celebrity!

After several packaging design revisions to the King Oscar portrait, His Majesty acquires his present appearance. The brand is becoming well established in U.S. and British markets. Our King is famous!

Another stamp of approval!

King Oscar sardines receive kosher certification, an extra assurance of quality, since only the purest products receive this distinction.

Big in Japan!


King Oscar is launched in Japan, where we are now quite proudly the most popular imported sardine brand.

We are growing!


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

New initiatives in Norway, Europe, and Russia!

Norway Foods is purchased by Rieber & Søn ASA, one of Norway’s leading food companies with global distribution. Now we are even bigger!


King Oscar is relaunched in the Norwegian market and introduced in Poland.

King Oscar is introduced to the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Romania. Time to let our friends in the East get the taste of our world-famous seafood!

King Oscar is launched in Slovakia. And King Oscar is relaunched in Russia, where the brand had been originally registered in the early 1900s.

100 years and counting!


King Oscar celebrates our centennial. Long live the king! Time flies when you are having fun…


While King Oscar still catches our brisling sardines in the fjords and coastal waters of Norway, we move sardine production to our first-class facility on the coast of Poland, where we recreate the traditional Norwegian production line, including wood smoking ovens and hand-packing lines.

King Oscar is purchased by Thai Union Group, a global leader in the canned seafood industry committed to King Oscar’s continued growth and success.

So, what now?

After all these years, King Oscar’s mission is still to bring the best quality, best tasting, most innovative products to seafood lovers around the world.

We look forward to the next century and are happy that you will be with us on the journey!