Freia Chocolate Boycott Grows in Norway

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In Norway, a maker of many popular chocolate bars is facing a growing boycott due to its owners connections with Russia. Here's what you need to know about the issue.

Although the historic chocolate brand Freia has long been a significant part of Norway's culture and economy, its connection with Mondelez is causing controversy.

Freia-owned Kvikk Lunsj chocolate wafer.
Fans of Kvikk Lunsj may soon find it harder to get their chocolate fix if the boycott of Freia spreads further.

Freia produces some of the most famous Norwegian chocolate products. This includes the Melkesjokolade bar, Regia Kakao hot chocolate, the Mars-like Japp bar, and the iconic Kvikk Lunsj chocolate wafer.

Mondelez, a large American food company that is blacklisted by Ukraine, owns Freia. Mondelez, however, is under criticism because of its continued operations in Russia. It is believed that these operations help fund Russia's war efforts against Ukraine.

That's why Ukraine blacklisted Mondelez, something which has led to a boycott of Freia products in Norway.

Boycott began with airlines

The boycott against Freia started when SAS, a major airline, stopped offering the chocolate on its flights. Following SAS, other airlines like Norwegian and Widerøe also joined the boycott. The boycott then spread to other areas.

Norway's national football association stopped selling Freia products at its stadiums. DNT, the national trekking organization, also cut its ties with Freia.

SAS airplane flying in Norway
At the time of writing, it's not possible to buy Freia products during SAS flights.

More companies, like the hotel chain Strawberry (formerly Nordic Choice) and ferry company Hurtigruten, are refusing to serve Freia products.

Prime minister stays neutral

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre hasn't made a clear stand on the boycott.

He stated that consumers should make their own decisions about which products to buy. Støre emphasized that the Norwegian government is focused on ensuring that sanctions against Russia are followed.

Mondolez: Freia “made in Norway”

Freia responded to the boycott by stating that its products sold in Norway aren't produced in Russia. Freia's products are made locally in the Norway's capital city, Oslo. The factory is located in the Rodeløkka district.

In a statement, the CEO of Mondolez Norway, Chris Callanan, said they have a “limited operation in Russia” and have stopped advertising and capital investments in the country.

“We have constantly condemned the brutal war, while at the same time, we have helped to maintain the food supply through our products, which are long-lasting foods for ordinary people,” the statement continued.

However, the boycott has raised questions. Some wonder why only Freia and Mondelez are targeted when other international companies also operate in Russia. Such companies, for now, have not been boycotted in Norway.

As this situation unfolds, more companies are considering joining the boycott. Norway's parliament and several supermarket chains are contemplating whether to ban Freia products. Coop has asked the government for clarification.

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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7 thoughts on “Freia Chocolate Boycott Grows in Norway”

  1. We should open up trade with Russia. The boycott is ridiculous. Open up trade and negotiate. Stop the war. Why is the US so brave about fighting to the last Ukrainian? Shameful.

    • No, it is not ridiculous, we should not do business with aggressors and fascists, like ever. You obviously do not know anything about Russians, their systematic oppression of Ukraine and their monstrous tactics. Ukrainians are brave and they do not negotiate with fascists or terrorists, and the least the world can do is support the Ukraine by reducing resources Russia has to continue this brutal war. Stop just thinking about your own pocket! Evil like Russian empire should be stopped, and if we create a substantial economical pressure, it will help.

      • Freia is a 100% Norwegian company since 1889. Even if, in the early 90s, the owners decided to sell their shares to foreign stakeholders, it is still a “culturally” Norwegian brand, to the core.
        Kvikk-Lunsj is still produced here in Oslo.
        Norway is the biggest shareholder in companies like Apple (via our large pension fund.) That does not make Apple a Norwegian company. Apple is an American company.
        BTW, Freia was a Viking goddess…

        • So? I have stopped buying Freia Products. If someone else is owning they most likely try to make money, there are several other Brand I have stopped buying, I do not give my money to a company that makes life easier for Russians. Det er bare sånn det er.

    • Haven’t you watched the News the last 16 months? It’s a shame that UK and US did not keep their promise to Guaranty of the Ukraine Border they gave in 1994. Ukraine gave all it’s Nukes for that Guaranty. That is Shameful.

    • Btw Russia can exit Ukraine any day and the war would stop. It’s not the US that has invaded Ukraine. You should know that.


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