Norway is not really known for its ability to stimulate innovation and startup businesses, and tend to be in Sweden’s shadow when it comes to this with their IKEA, Spotify, H&M, or Volvo. Despite that, there are some internationally known brands that are Norwegian.
Let’s take a closer look at the best and most well-known Norwegian brands. You might recognize some of them, but most are a bit niche, and will be well-known within a certain hobby niche. We will be looking closer at the top 13 Norwegian brands in this article.
1) Helly Hansen
Helly Hansen is a manufacturer and retailer of clothing, focusing on sporting and outdoor clothing. The brand is mostly known for their waterproof clothing, so this is a good choice of clothing for tourists who are visiting Norway and need something waterproof for the rainy days.
The brand itself can be bough in most sporting and outdoor goods stores in Norway, but they have also garnered international fans all over the world. Helly Hansen has rapidly grown to become one of the most well-known Norwegian brands, and it’s quite popular with the outdoor and sporting community in the US.
The price is pretty decent, and their products hold a high quality standard, so you are guaranteed to get good clothing if you buy a product from Helly Hansen. Their product line for children is especially popular here in Norway, but their adult collection is also pretty popular.
Bergans is also a clothing manufacturer and retailer, but they also produce and sell outdoor gear in addition to the clothes. Their main focus is on good outdoor gear that can be used by Norwegian hikers, but they have also become very popular in many other countries due to their nice design and good durability.
If you need to buy hiking gear when visiting Norway or another place where it’s pretty rainy and wet, Bergans is a good choice. The downside is that it’s pretty costly, so prepare to shell out a few thousand NOK (a few hundred USD) for a jacket.
Bergans has had a big focus on selling products outside of Norway in the last decade, and they are growing in both numbers and brand-awareness as the years go.
Telenor is a communication company that sells internet access, phone subscription and TV-channels in Norway, but has also been expanding to several other countries in the last few decades.
The brand is a household name in Norway and a few other countries, including several countries in Asia. It’s still not really well-known to the US audience at this point, so don’t feel bad if you don’t recognize it.
It’s kind of weird to put Telenor on the list since it’s completely unknown in many countries. However, it’s known by millions of people in countries where it operates, so it’s one of the biggest brands in terms of sheer number of customers around the world.
Voss water has a cult following in many countries all over the world, and it’s considered a luxury water brand. Most Norwegians don’t really think that it’s any better than the Norwegian tap water (because, well, it is just tap water), but it has hundreds of thousands of fans all over the world.
I consider Voss to be a very strong brand because it is often seen in photos of celebrities and other public figures, so many people have seen the classic Voss bottle shape plenty of times already.
Ironically, Voss is not really from the city called Voss, but rather from a small place called Iveland in the southern part of Norway. It tastes good, just like most Norwegian tap water, so buy a bottle if you want a taste of what to expect from the faucets in Norway.
5) Stokke (The Tripp Trapp chair)
You have probably never heard of the company called Stokke, but most people with children have either had or heard of the Tripp Trapp chair. This is a very popular chair for children, and the design is owned and patented by the Norwegian company Stokke.
As you can expect, many companies have tried to create knock-off versions of the Tripp Trapp chair, but it’s only Stokke and their subcontractors who can legally make real Tripp Trapp chairs.
The company started producing these back in 1972, and they have been popular in both Norway and the rest of the world ever since.
Equinor is Norway’s biggest oil and gas company, and the government owns about 2/3 of the company. This company is extremely profitable, and operates in several different countries all over the world.
While most Norwegians think of Equinor like a nice company, the brand is actually not very well-regarded in many places around the world. They have been criticized for exploiting nature, imposing on the rights of native people, and for polluting heavily.
Despite a bad reputation, Equinor is one of Norway’s most well-known brands, and they export Norwegian oil and gas to many places around the world.
Jotun is a brand that exports a lot of goods to many countries in the world, but that you might not have heard of before. This company produces decorative paint, and produces and operates in over 100 different countries around the world. They have over 10,000 employees, and there is a good chance that you will find bucks of Jotun paint if you head to a paint supplier.
So yet again there’s a pretty successful brand that is probably not a household name, but that you can easily find if you look for it.
Jøtul is a company that produces firewood stoves for heating houses, and are known to be one of the best suppliers of this in the world. Their stoves are exported to many different countries, but you have probably only seen them if you live in a cold place.
9) Norwegian (the air shuttle company)
Norwegian is the name of an air shuttle (airplane) company, and it is pretty popular in many countries in Europe. Their main focus is to sell low-priced flights between the biggest European airports, including many airports in Norway.
You have probably never heard of the air shuttle company Norwegian if you live in the United States, but you might have heard of it or even flown with it if you live in a European city.
The company has recently had a lot of financial issues following the pandemic, but it seem to bounce back slowly, so hopefully it will still be around for a good while.
Yara might not be a household name outside of Norway, but most farmers are aware of this Norwegian brand. The main product line from Yara is industrial farm fertilizer, and it is in fact one of the biggest producers of chemical fertilizer in the whole world.
If you talk to a few farmers, chances are that they all know about or even use fertilizer from Yara. While the company is from Norway, a lot of the fertilizer is produced in other countries, and they have over 17,000 employees worldwide.
11) Dale of Norway
Dale of Norway is another clothing company, most known for their wool knitwear. They produce and sell very cool-looking wool sweaters, but at a pretty steep price. Prepare to pay 2,000 – 3,000 NOK for one.
The brand is pretty well-known in both Norway and plenty of other countries all over the world, and you can often see their products on skiers and people who are into winter sports.
Jarsberg is a brand of cheese that was made in Norway already in the 1830s. It’s one of the most popular white cheese brands in all of Norway, but it is commonly also found in supermarkets and grocery stores all over the world.
Much like many of the other brands on this list, Jarlsberg is not a household name, but again a typical product that you will come across if you go looking for it. You will find it at any grocery store that has a decent selection of cheese to choose from.
Jarlsberg seem to become more and more popular in the US, and it’s one of the most sold foreign cheeses in all of the country.
13) Moods (of Norway)
Moods of Norway used to be a well-known designer clothes brand that was very popular in both Norway and many other countries around the world. Their popularity peaked in the early 2000s, but they have fallen from grace since then, and are not really that common or popular anymore.
In fact, the company even went bankrupt a few years ago, but managed to start up again shortly after. It rebranded itself to Moods (dropping the “of Norway” suffix), but kept most of its design profile the same.
You might come across clothing from Moods in certain stores still, but most people who know the brand will probably remember it from a few decades ago when it was at its peak.