You can trace King Oscar’s history back to the foundation of the Stavanger Preserving Company in 1873. Little did the four gentlemen who established the company in Norway’s “Canning Town” know that they were launching a global canned seafood phenomenon!
Norway exports its first canned sardines. The two decades from 1880 to 1900 were the pioneering years of the sardine industry in Norway. Production was done simply and in relatively small quantities, but Stavanger was on the map.
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!
Stavanger’s very own Christian Bjelland Company, one of the world’s largest canned food manufacturers at the time, receives special royal permission from King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway to use His Majesty's name and likeness on a sardine label. And the King Oscar brand is born.
The Christian Bjelland Company begins exporting King Oscar Sardines to the United States. For his service to the industry, Bjelland was in 1907 appointed Knight, 1st Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav.
After several design revisions to the King Oscar portrait, His Majesty generally acquires his present appearance on product packaging. The brand is established in American and British markets – and suddenly King Oscar is famous!
King Oscar sardines receive kosher certification, an extra assurance of quality, since only the purest products receive this distinction.
King Oscar is launched in Japan. Today, we are proud to say that we are the country’s most popular imported sardine.
Eleven Norwegian canneries merge to form a single company, Norway Foods, which includes the King Oscar brand.
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 launched in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Romania. Time to let our friends in the East get a taste of our world-famous seafood!
King Oscar launches in Slovakia. In addition, King Oscar is relaunched in Russia, where the brand had been originally registered in the early 1900s.
King Oscar celebrates its centennial. Long live the king! Time flies when you are having fun…
King Oscar moves sardine production from Davanger, Norway, 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, one of the world’s leading seafood companies. Norwegian heritage and world-class innovation unite!
Yes, yes and oui, oui! King Oscar is welcomed to Canada by popular demand, ensuring premium seafood for the entire North American continent.
Crack open a can and join the celebration of 120 years of royal seafood excellence!