Freeze N Dried

The Sweet History of Swedish Fish Candy

Table of Contents

The Swedish Fish Candy, a beloved chewy candy cherished by many across the world, has a fascinating history rooted in the late 1950s.

Origin of Swedish Fish Candy

The Malaco Era

The original owner of the Swedish Fish Candy was a Swedish company named Malaco. The company sought to expand its reach to North America, partnering with Cadbury to create a product that embodied the essence of Sweden. Thus, the fish-shaped gummy candy, a reflection of the country's rich fishing culture, was born.

Cadbury's Influence

While Cadbury played a significant role in the candy's initial development, the gummies are still distributed by Malaco in Sweden. However, Mondelez, a multinational confectionery company, handles the distribution in the United States.

The Ingredients of Swedish Fish Candy

Understanding Invert Sugar

One of the key ingredients in Swedish Fish Candy is invert sugar, a mixture of glucose and fructose. This ingredient is crucial for its moisture-retaining properties, which contribute to the candy's characteristic chewiness.

The Role of Modified Cornstarch

Another significant ingredient is modified cornstarch, used primarily to form the candy's unique fish shape. The cornstarch is utilized as a medium in trays, where the candy is molded, with white mineral oil supplementing the starch to prevent the candy from crumbling and give it a shiny coating.

The Use of White Mineral Oil

White mineral oil, along with carnauba wax, contributes to the candy's glossy finish and waxy texture. Citric acid also plays a role, enhancing the product's shelf life.

Production and Distribution

Production Sites

Today, the Swedish Fish Candy enjoyed in North America is produced in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and Turkey by Mondelēz International.

Distribution Channels

The candy has gained enough popularity to require minimal advertising from Malaco and later Cadbury, until the past decade. Its recent resurgence has led to greater accessibility in supermarkets and convenience stores where they are often sold prepackaged in plastic bags.

Popularization and Recent Trends

The "Giant Fish" Advertisements

To capitalize on the candy's growing popularity, the company launched "Giant Fish" television advertisements. This marketing strategy introduced a larger version of the beloved candy to the public, further boosting its recognition.

The "Treadin' Water" YouTube Mini-series

Additionally, a "Treadin' Water" YouTube mini-series was created, depicting the amusing adventures of four friends and a Giant Swedish Fish sharing an apartment. This innovative marketing strategy effectively engaged the younger demographic and further solidified the brand's presence in the candy market.

The Variety of Swedish Fish Candy

The Original Flavor and Other Flavors

The original flavor of Swedish Fish Candy is lingonberry, a European berry. However, in the United States, the red Swedish Fish is often considered a berry flavor, sometimes even thought to be cherry.

Different Sizes and Colors

Initially available only in red, Swedish Fish Candy now comes in a variety of colors and flavors, including Orange & Lemon-Lime. Interestingly, the green Swedish Fish is not lime, but pineapple flavor, while yellow is a lemon-lime flavor. Despite the introduction of new colors and flavors, the candy has always maintained its iconic fish shape, available in two sizes.

Swedish Fish Candy in Popular Culture

Rita's Italian Ice and Swedish Fish Flavor

In 2009, Rita's Italian Ice, a U.S. chain serving Italian ice and frozen custard, introduced a red Swedish Fish flavored Italian ice as a co-branded product. This collaboration further cemented the candy's status in popular culture and introduced it to new audiences in a creative way.


From its humble beginnings in Sweden to becoming a beloved candy worldwide, the history of Swedish Fish Candy is a testament to successful branding, innovative marketing, and the universal appeal of a well-made sweet treat. Its distinctive fish shape, chewy texture, and variety of flavors continue to enchant candy lovers of all ages.


  1. What is the original flavor of Swedish Fish Candy?

    • The original flavor of Swedish Fish Candy is lingonberry, a European berry.
  2. Where is Swedish Fish Candy produced today?

    • The Swedish Fish Candy consumed in North America is produced in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and Turkey by Mondelēz International.
  3. What makes Swedish Fish Candy chewy?

    • Invert sugar, a key ingredient in Swedish Fish Candy, contributes to its chewiness by retaining moisture.
  4. Are there different sizes of Swedish Fish Candy?

    • Yes, Swedish Fish Candy comes in two different sizes.
  5. What are the other flavors of Swedish Fish Candy?

    • Swedish Fish Candy comes in several flavors, including Orange & Lemon-Lime. The green fish is pineapple flavor, while yellow is a lemon-lime flavor.

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