Switzerland has Lindt, Croatia has Kras, Greece has Lacta, Sweden has Marabou, while in Norway, we have Freia! Freia chocolate has done so much for Norway that it was turned into Norway's sweetheart.
Freia is the leading chocolate maker in Norway and probably the most loved producer of goods and services as well. Makes sense since most people like chocolate while not everyone is so fond of businesses like insurance companies and the tax man. You'll have an easier time to gain love in life by making chocolate like Vianne Rocher in Chocolat (2000).
The name comes from the wife of Fred Christensen who is one of the creators of Freia chocolate (The other creator is Olaf Larsen). The meaning of the name Freia is the same as that of Frøya who is a love and fertility goddess in Norse mythology which is the predecessor of Norwegian culture. More about Norse mythology in Where to find the Vikings in Norway!
Good to know is that if you're experiencing Oslo in the winter, they have hot chocolate with their own trademark chocolate mixed in it. In 1950, the Norwegian state stopped the chocolate rationing after the occupying powers had implemented them during the war. That means they stopped to try to redistribute the chocolate fairly and they let the market decide over their products. As a result, there was a massive line of people outside the store of Freia in the centre of Oslo wanting to grab their favourite chocolate. This took place in the winter of 1950.
They do Kvikk Lunsj in 2 kg boxes... What's not to love?
The 2 kg Kvikk Lunsj chocolate, the Firkløver (Four-leaf clover), and the Tivoli version of the original chocolate is exclusively found in this shop. The banana twist chocolate in the Freia store makes 20% of the bulk weight candy sales.
The Norwegian answer for Willy Wonka's chocolate factory can be found on Rodeløkka in Oslo! The place is called Freialand which is presented in a magical way (magical is an important key-word for Freialand). A delicious history of Norwegian chocolate is hiding inside the factory with some original Edvard Munch paintings that is nice to know if you're a fan. Edvard Munch's Oslo is worthy to check out to understand the reasoning behind some decisions made by Freia. It's said to have a really artistic chocolate production. That's the reason why you'll see depictions of well-known Norwegian and European artists around you.
The guides who will take you through the factory are very carefully picked and you're guaranteed that they have a love for the factory. There's no resentment towards ''the man'' because they are paid well. It will be hard to forget about your visit. Especially if you try to forget. That's like attempting to NOT imagine a monkey on a pogo stick lecturing MBA students.
A park at Rodeløkka that was made under the psychological idea that the environment in the workplace is essential to the wellbeing in the workplace. In an office work environment, a park with greens and a fountain and sculptures helps to keep you sane. Johan Throne Holst had this idea and was the same guy who made Freia into a corporation when he took it over in 1898.
A good marketing move they do is to write ''Et lite stykke Norge'' or ''A little piece of Norway'' on their chocolate plates. This is their slogan. It works very well on Norwegians since we have learned to be grateful about our forefathers and our country's decisions that led us to this point.
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