How Swedish Are Swedish Fish?

Fika with Swedish FishWhen I tell my family and friends about Sweden and how awesome it is, the first thing that comes to their mind is not ABBA or IKEA.

They actually say to me, “Oh, like Swedish Fish?”

Now, if you are from Sweden, you may have no idea what they are talking about. And actually, Swedish Fish started on the East Coast of the United States, and only in the last decade did it become popular on the West Coast.

Edit: According to many California’s after I posted this, this fact is NOT true. It was only I who was deprived as a child from Swedish Fish growing up in California. Doh!

And while these fish are Swedish in name (and it is even branded on the fish), that is where it ends. Out of all the godis I got to eat while in Sweden, I never saw Swedish fish.

However, I think that is where the name must have come from. Some guy, either from Sweden, or visiting Sweden, saw how awesome the godis selection was, and decided to make some “Swedish” godis fish for the Americans. And he was successful!

Edit: While it is true I never saw Swedish Fish in Sweden, nor did I taste anything like it, my Swedish Freaks kindly showed me how wrong I was. Yep, Swedish Fish are Swedish. They come from Malaco, a Swedish company which exports them to North America.

However, I’m curious how much they taste the same. I’ve had Czech beer in the U.S., and it does NOT taste even close. So I may need to do some experimentation and update you!

That is about where the Swedish in the fish ends. Looking at the back of the bag, I’m shocked that the product is made… in Canada!

Swedish fish in Canada

However, these yummy, chewy treats are “Swedish” enough for me. I mean, it is printed on the fish. And it makes for a great fika/godis snack break!

Swedish Fish Godis

Contest Time!

Win some Swedish Fish!

So I think it is time to give away some of these yummy treats! Win your own bag of Swedish Fish!


How to play? You’ve heard it before!

You can enter the following ways. Every way gives you an entry.

  1. Comment on this post on why you want to win.
  2. Tweet on Twitter to @SwedishFreak on why you want to win.
  3. Like our Facebook page and share the Swedish Fish post with your friends!

The contest ends midnight PST on Monday July 16th. The winner will be announced Tuesday.

Lycka till!


  1. July 10, 2012 at 16:48 — Reply

    My mom used to stop at this tiny little shop between Helena and Missoula when I was little and we’d get ‘penny candy.’ Swedish fish was always my top pick along with itty bitty sour sugared watermelon treats. That started probably 22 years ago. Still my favorite. <3

    • July 11, 2012 at 00:00 — Reply

      I don’t consider Montana the West Coast, but ok 😀 Sorry, I had to jab you Ashley!

  2. Malini
    July 10, 2012 at 19:54 — Reply

    I dunno, as a Californian I’ve been enjoying the deliciousness that is Swedish Fish since the 80’s. I remember buying them at the store and putting them on my Penguins frozen yogurt. Ok, now I want to win a bag of Swedish Fish so I can reminisce about the 80’s properly.

    • July 10, 2012 at 23:59 — Reply

      Haha! Sounds good Malini, you are entered!

  3. Ulrika
    July 11, 2012 at 22:15 — Reply

    They are of Swedish origin, we find them here too, but they are branded “Malaco” instead of “Swedish”. Malaco is the name of the candy producer.

    • July 12, 2012 at 00:52 — Reply

      Hej Ulrika,

      Yep! I got this update on FB. I’m going to update the post now! Thanks for your input! 🙂

    • Fredrik Andersson
      July 15, 2012 at 04:17 — Reply

      But they don’t taste the same!

  4. Angela
    July 17, 2012 at 05:01 — Reply

    As someone living in the Midwest, not many people know (or care to know) the origin of these delectable treats. Every birthday that I’ve had so far, though, someone always surprises me with a box of my favorite candy 🙂 And hopefully I’ll eat enough Swedish Fish to go to Sweden someday 😀 (More like Canada, but you get the point haha)

  5. July 17, 2012 at 15:41 — Reply

    And the winner is…. Angela! Congrats Angela, you will be getting some more Swedish Fish coming your way! 🙂

  6. Miri
    July 25, 2012 at 17:44 — Reply

    Interesting topic 😀 While living in California I was also puzzled when hearing about, and seeing these so called “Swedish” fish. In Sweden – as was pointed out earlier – there is a similar candy produced by malaco but they do not look exactly the same in color and shape, nor do they taste the same. Usually you can get them in bulk and they are yellow, orange, green or light red. The best ones are the liquorice ones which are (obviously) black (no, red candy is NOT liquorice ;)) but they are nowhere to be found in the US, not even in the “Scandinavian stores”.

    • July 26, 2012 at 02:27 — Reply

      I think we were deprived growing up in California 😀

  7. Senchaholic
    August 7, 2012 at 13:17 — Reply

    Hmm…you lacked quite a bit in the research department here 😉

    • August 7, 2012 at 16:41 — Reply

      Is there more missing? I updated the post as information came in. Yep, I didn’t do one ounce of research when first posting. And it shows. Forgot the Internet knows everything 😀

  8. Old recipe preferred over new Look
    February 20, 2017 at 22:21 — Reply

    if you can find the old recipe, buy them. The bag that says: “New Look – Same Great Taste” are not. They have obviously changed the recipe and consistency, and they suck. I will never purchase these again. I hope they change the recipe back, these are bad. I had both the old ones and the new ones in the same weekend. Taste nothing like before. Luckily, I recently tried Swedish Dala Horses, and they taste similar to the old swedish fish.

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The Author



Hilary lived two years in Norrland, Sweden (Northern Sweden) and fell in love with the country. She lives in Prague, Czechia and hopes to one day soon return to Sweden.