In the opening paragraphs, to quickly answer the title question: Yes, Mondelez International is the parent company that owns Swedish Fish candy. Mondelez is a multinational confectionery, food, and beverage company based in the United States. Some of its other popular brands include Oreo, Toblerone, Cadbury, and Sour Patch Kids.
Swedish Fish History
Swedish Fish were first created in the late 1950s by Malaco, a Swedish company, and were brought to North America in the 1960s. The fish-shaped, chewy candy quickly became popular and is still one of the most well-known Swedish candy brands in the U.S. today.
Here is a brief timeline of Swedish Fish’s ownership history:
- 1950s: Created by Malaco in Sweden
- 1960s: Malaco began exporting Swedish Fish to North America through distributors
- 1969: Malaco licensed Swedish Fish to Cadbury, allowing them to produce the candy outside of Scandinavia
- 1982: Cadbury acquired Malaco
- 1988: Cadbury merged with Peter Paul, taking over Swedish Fish production in the U.S.
- 2010: Kraft Foods acquired Cadbury and all its brands, including Swedish Fish
- 2012: Kraft Foods spun off its snack food division, including Swedish Fish, into a new company called Mondelez International
So while Swedish Fish originated in Sweden, the brand has gone through multiple mergers and acquisitions over the decades. Mondelez International has been the parent company of Swedish Fish since 2012, when the brand was portioned off from Kraft Foods.
Mondelez International Company Overview
Mondelez International is an American multinational confectionery, food, and beverage conglomerate. It employs around 79,000 people worldwide and has net revenues of over $25 billion as of 2021. Some fast facts about Mondelez:
- Headquarters: Chicago, IL, United States
- Founded: 2012 (spin-off of Kraft Foods)
- CEO: Dirk Van de Put
- Number of employees: 79,000 (2021)
- Annual revenue: $28.72 billion (2021)
- Number of brands: Over 60 worldwide
Mondelez owns dozens of popular snack food and candy brands such as Oreo, belVita, Ritz crackers, Trident gum, and Cadbury chocolate. A few of its major international brands include Milka chocolate, LU biscuits, Toblerone, and Tang powdered drinks.
In addition to Swedish Fish, some other Mondelez candy brands include:
- Sour Patch Kids
- Bazooka bubble gum
- Halls cough drops
Swedish Fish Production
Although Swedish Fish originated in Sweden, the fruity, chewy candies have been produced in the United States for decades. Cadbury first began manufacturing Swedish Fish at its U.S. factories after licensing the product from Malaco in 1969.
Today, Swedish Fish are still made in the United States. Mondelez produces the candy at multiple factory locations around the country. The main ingredients in Swedish Fish are:
- Glucose syrup
- Corn syrup
- Artificial flavors
- Artificial colors (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1)
- Carnauba wax
The signature red fish Swedish Fish flavor is meant to taste like lingonberries, a tart red berry commonly grown in Scandinavia. The other color fish (green, yellow, orange) have unique fruit flavors as well.
Swedish Fish are fat free and gluten free. The candies are also made in a dedicated facility free from peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, and soy due to allergy concerns.
Fun Facts About Swedish Fish Production
- Over 1 billion Swedish Fish are made each year in the U.S.
- The fish are stamped out of a ribbon of starchy candy mixture before being coated and packaged.
- The original molds used for shaping Swedish Fish were reportedly based on the silhouette of an actual fish species called the rose fish.
- Swedish Fish have a shiny, smooth exterior from being tumbled in rotating drums while coated with beeswax or carnauba wax.
Swedish Fish Varieties
Swedish Fish come in a wide array of sizes, textures, and flavors:
Classic Swedish Fish
- The original red fish flavored with lingonberry
- Available in single serving packs up to 16 oz bulk bags
- Also comes in giant fish size for novelty fun
Giant Swedish Fish
- Extra large 5 inch long fish
- Sold individually or in packs of 5 giant fish
- Come in red lingonberry flavor
- Also available in other fruit flavors like orange and pineapple
Sour Swedish Fish
- Introduced in the 1990s
- Same shape and flavors but covered in sour sugar crystals
- Puckeringly tart!
Swedish Fish Mini
- Bite-sized versions about an inch long
- Sold in reclosable pouches for snacking on the go
Gummy Swedish Fish
- Launched in the 2000s
- Jelly bean shaped gummy candy in Swedish Fish flavors
- Softer, chewier texture than regular Swedish Fish
Swedish Fish In Various Flavors & Colors
- Orange (orange flavor)
- Lemon (lemon flavor)
- Grape (concord grape flavor)
- Pineapple (pineapple flavor)
- Raspberry (raspberry flavor)
- Blue raspberry (blue raspberry flavor)
- Pomegranate (pomegranate flavor)
- Mango (mango flavor)
The different color and flavored Swedish Fish are often sold in an assorted mix bag so you can enjoy a range of flavors in one package.
Swedish Fish Nutrition Facts
Here is the nutrition information for standard size red Swedish Fish candies:
|Per 1 fish (2g)
|Per 10 fish (20g)
As you can see, Swedish Fish are nearly pure sugar. Since they are fat free and contain no protein or fiber, they offer little nutritional value other than calories and carbohydrates.
However, Swedish Fish can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Just be mindful of portion sizes, as the calories and sugar can add up quickly in these bite-sized candies.
Where To Buy Swedish Fish Candy
Swedish Fish are ubiquitous candy in the United States and Canada. Here are some of the many places you can buy Swedish Fish:
- Grocery stores – Found in the candy aisle
- Convenience stores
- Gas stations
- Movie theaters
- Online retailers like Amazon
- Candy or specialty food stores
- Outlet malls
- Vending machines
Popular grocery store chains like Walmart, Target, Kroger, Safeway, and Whole Foods all carry Swedish Fish candy near their checkout lanes. You can find Swedish Fish in single packs, larger bags, bulk bins, or novelty giant fish.
One unique place to find limited edition flavors is the official Swedish Fish online store. It offers packages and combinations you won’t find in mainstream stores.
Swedish Fish are often in checkout aisles due to being an impulse buy. Their bright packaging catches shoppers’ eyes and their low cost makes them easy to throw in the cart on the way to the register.
Swedish Fish Commercials & Advertising
While not as widely advertised as brands like M&Ms or Snickers, Swedish Fish have appeared in their fair share of commercials over the decades.
In the 1990s, Swedish Fish launched a series of humorous TV commercials featuring fish out of water encountering the world of humans:
- A fish going through a carwash
- A fish riding a city bus
- A fish working in an office
The tagline emphasized how Swedish Fish candy is “so good, it’s almost worth jumping out of the bowl.”
More recently, Swedish Fish have relied on online campaigns and word of mouth through social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. They focus marketing on Swedish Fish’s status as a nostalgic American candy classic.
Some of their recent social media campaigns include:
- #TBT posts highlighting Swedish Fish packages and ads throughout history
- National Candy Day promotions offering free samples and care packages
- Sweepstakes to win a year’s supply of Swedish Fish
- User-generated content contests encouraging fans to post candy crafts and recipes
You may also spot Swedish Fish in casual product placement in movies and TV shows. Their bright red bags are easy to spot in the background on convenience store shelves.
Swedish Fish In Pop Culture
As a ubiquitous candy, Swedish Fish have naturally made their way into American pop culture over the decades:
- Swedish Fish were mentioned frequently on the TV show Glee as a favorite snack of character Emma Pillsbury
- On the TV show New Girl, character Jess Day admits her love for Swedish Fish with sour sugar
- Rapper Eminem references Swedish Fish in some of his lyrics, like “brain dead like Jim Brady” I’m an M80, you little like that Swedish Fish candy”
- In the movie Dumb and Dumber, Lloyd offers Harry Swedish Fish candies when making a champagne toast
- Comedian Lewis Black has a standup bit about his obsession with Swedish Fish
- A Swedish Fish costume is an unlockable option in the video game Costume Quest
- A gummy version of Swedish Fish appears in the mobile game Candy Crush Saga
Swedish Fish are especially popular within the ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) community on YouTube. ASMRtists create videos chewing, crunching, and slurping Swedish Fish to trigger pleasant tingling sensations for viewers.
Swedish Fish Controversies
For the most part, Swedish Fish have maintained a positive, family-friendly image since being introduced to the American market. However, there have been a couple controversies surrounding the brand over the years:
In the late 2000s, advocacy groups called for Swedish Fish to change their recipe and eliminate artificial food dyes like Red 40 and Yellow 5. These dyes have come under scrutiny for potential health risks. However, so far Swedish Fish have made no moves to alter their classic formula, which relies on artificial colors to achieve the bright red fish shape.
Swedish Fish contain gelatin, which traditionally is made from collagen extracted from animal bones and tissues. This means Swedish Fish are not considered suitable for vegetarian, kosher, or halal diets. The brand faced some criticism for not disclosing the source of their gelatin or offering a pectin-based alternative.
High Sugar Content
With 10g of sugar in just 10 pieces, Swedish Fish contain more sugar than the American Heart Association’s recommended daily limit for children. Some health advocates believe Swedish Fish single packs should be moved away from checkout aisles to help discourage parents from purchasing on impulse.
Swedish Fish are a nostalgic candy with a cult following across North America. Originally from Sweden, these chewy, fish-shaped treats have been produced in the U.S. by various confectioners since the 1960s.
Today, Swedish Fish are made by Mondelez International, which owns brands like Cadbury and Oreo. The candy is manufactured at factories around the country using a proprietary blend of sugar, corn syrup, and artificial colors and flavors.
Fans can find Swedish Fish at any grocery or convenience store in single packs and larger bags. The brand occasionally appears in pop culture and commercials celebrating its status as a retro American icon. While not the healthiest candy option, Swedish Fish remain popular with fans for their unique gummy texture and tart, fruity sugar rush.