The top 10 Norwegian brands

In today’s day and age, having a widely recognized brand is key for companies worldwide.

Despite not being a great tech or fashion hub, some Norwegian companies have been able to establish a brand in their reputable industries.

In this article, we take a look at 10 of the best-known Norwegian brands.

Helly Hansen

Helly Hansen is a Norwegian manufacturer and retailer of clothing. The company is mainly known for its outdoor wear and workwear, particularly waterproof clothing. 

The company was founded by Helly Juell Hansen in 1877. Hansen, who had been working at sea since the age of 14, and his wife came up with the idea to make waterproof clothing made from coarse linen soaked in linseed oil.

Over the years, the company’s core market has been waterproof clothing and waterproof workwear for fishermen. After the discovery of oil in the north sea, the company also started developing workwear and survival suits for offshore oil workers in the North Sea.

Helly Hansen clothing developed a following among urban youth in the late 1990s, particularly in North England and with the hip-hop culture in the US. This has led the company to become one of the most well-known Norwegian clothing brands.

Yara

While not a familiar brand for the average consumer, Yara is a well-known brand for farmers worldwide. The company is one of the largest chemical fertilizer companies in the world that specialize in nitrogen-based fertilizers and premium blend fertilizers.

The company only became its separate brand in 2004 when it was divested from the Norwegian industrial conglomerate Norsk hydro. However, the company has roots dating back to 1905.

In 2020, the company had more than 17 000 employees worldwide. It delivered more than 29 000 tons of chemical fertilizer to farmers across the globe, generating revenues above 11 billion USD in the process.

Norwegian air shuttle

Awarded as one of the best low-cost airlines in Europe, Norwegian air shuttle is a familiar brand to many European travelers.

What brought the company to the attention of global consumers was when the company launched its ambitious low-cost, long-haul operations.

Unfortunately, the company was severely impacted by the 2020 corona crisis. A combination of low demand and tons of debt caused the company to scrap its long-haul operations and scale back across the board.

Regardless, the company remains one of the most prominent European continental airlines with its red-nosed planes.

Telenor

Telenor began as a state-owned telecommunications company in Norway in 1855. This continued well into the 1990s when the deregulation of the telecommunications market led to the company expanding its operations to Europe and emerging markets.

The company was partly privatized and listed on the Oslo stock exchange in 2000. While the company has sold many of its European operations over the years, it remains one of the 30 largest telecommunications companies in the world and a well-known Norwegian brand.

Bergans

Bergans is another well-known Norwegian outdoor clothing brand that also manufactures a broad line of backpacks and hiking equipment such as tents and canoes.

The company was founded in 1909 when the founder Ole Ferdinand Bergans developed a backpack with an external frame.

While the company has branched into many other products and is well known for its technical clothing line today.

Still,  their backpacks remain at the core of their business. In fact, the Norwegian military has used backpacks from Bergans since 1913.

Jotun

Jotun is a Norwegian multinational chemicals company dealing mainly in decorative paints and performance protective coatings.

The company was founded in the early 1920s as a paint and marine provisions merchant in Sandefjord, Norway. 

At that time Sandefjord was a major Whaling hub, and founder Odd Gleditsch saw the opportunity to provide shipowners with ready-made paint for the many whaling ships that were laid to port there every summer.

The company later grew into the largest paint manufacturer in Norway and has since expanded internationally. Currently, the company has a presence in more than 100 countries around the world, with more than 10,000 employees, and is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of paints and coating products.

Jotun’s product has been and is being used on several landmarks including the Eiffel tower in Paris, the Petronas towers in Kuala Lumpur, and the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

Dale of Norway

Dale of Norway is a company known for its manufacturing of high-quality pure wool knitwear. The company was founded and is still headquartered in the village of Dale about 50 kilometers (31 mi) east of the city of Bergen.

The company has designed and produced official Olympic and World Championship sweaters for the Norwegian National Alpine Ski Team since 1956. Later It was also chosen to design the official sweaters for the Winter Olympic Games.

In 2018, the company was acquired by the Rossignol Group, a French multinational company known for manufacturing alpine skis, snowboards as well as associated gear and outdoor clothing.

Holzweiler

Holzweiler is one of the more modern Norwegian brands to gain some brand recognition. The company was founded in 2012 by the trio Susanne and Andreas Holzweiler and Maria Skappel Holzweiler.

The company launched with a bold collection of scarves and later moved into designing coats, jackets, and knitwear.

The company gained popularity when the famous supermodel, Gigi Hadid, used an orange hoodie from Holzweiler’s collection in 2017.

Swims

Norway is known for receiving its fair share of tough weather. Because of this, it is not uncommon to wear galoshes, a type of rubber boot that is slipped over shoes to keep them from getting muddy or wet.

This is where swims got their beginnings. Wearing his grandpa’s old galoshes on a rainy day in Manhattan in 2006 a Norwegian student came up with the idea of transforming the near-forgotten galosh into something more fashionable.

The company has since expanded to produce a full line of waterproof sneakers and loafers, as well as jackets and coats.

Jarlsberg

Jarlsberg cheese is one of the most popular cheese brands sold in Norway. The cheese was based on and shares similarities with Emmental, introduced to Norway by Swiss cheesemakers during the 1830s. 

Its history can be traced back to the middle of the 1850s when Anders Larsen Bakke, a farmer, and pioneer in Norway’s dairy industry, produced cheese in the village of Våle in what was then the county of Jarlsberg in today’s Vestfold county.

Modern Jarlsberg cheese was developed in 1956 and the exact nature and formula for the process of making Jarlsberg cheese is a trade secret belonging to Tine SA, the largest Norwegian dairy product cooperative.

Jarlsberg cheese has since been exported to several European countries and was introduced in the United States in 1964. In fact, Jarlsberg cheese is, by the pound, one of the largest-selling imported cheeses in the United States today.

Photo of author

Erik

Erik is the creator and editor of Planet Norway. Born in Trondheim and currently living in Oslo, Erik knows the ins and outs of Norwegian History, society, and culture. His idea for starting planet Norway came about when helping his foreign fiance to settle in Norway.