k stands for kalles kaviar

A-Z 2013

Day 12; K stands for Kalles Kaviar – a very Swedish taste 

“Everybody are childishly fond of Kalle”
Kalles Kaviar, 1955

kalles kaviar - smoda.elpais com

“Kalles Kaviar” is a Swedish sandwich spreads made of sugar, salt cod and saithe roe. The caviar available as tube, launched by Abba Seafood in 1954. Something I can always remember been around from that I was a kid. And I still crave for it. Today I eat it for breakfast mostly .. and I squeeze the kaviar into my 9 min boiled egg. We also use the spread in sauce for fish dishes and we putting it between 2 herring fillets before we pan fry them.

There is a story about our Kings grandpa –  King Gustaf VI Adof, that was having an offical lunch somewhere in Sweden and he was served pan fried herring with Kalles and dill in between, he enjoyed it very much and he asked the waiter about the dish. The waiter tried to explain that you take one herring and put on the top of  another. Then the King said: Please, don’t let me disturb them. *smile

“Abba bought the caviar recipe from a peddler in 1954 and initially had the tube no decor, but was still favourite among children and adolescents. Advertising man Claes Mörner believed in 1955 that the tube should have a picture of a blond and blue-eyed guy, and have a common boy’s name. CEO Christian Ameln was proposed to use a picture of their son, Carl and in the family photo album found a suitable photograph that his mom made. It was a success: it sold over a million tubes in the first year.” (text; sv.wikepedia.org)

By the way “Abba” is NOT the famous Swedish 4 – is a food company focused on food from the sea.

Abba have done some funny TV commercial for Kalles Kaviar – where they are visiting Tokyo, Budapest and Switzerland – and they have let local people sample the product and I can’t say that anyone liked it, because it’s a very special Swedish taste … you just have to watch this from Tokyo, so funny.

When I grow up there was only one kind – the original – and that’s what I still prefer today, even if they have launched so many more variations.
Kalles caviar, Original. Blue tube with original recipe.
Kalles caviar, Gold. Black and Gold colored tube, extra well smoked caviar with more roe.
Kalles Caviar, Dill. Green tube with caviar and dill.
Kalles caviar, Light. Silver-like tube with a lower fat content.
Kalles caviar, Mild. Red tube with less pungent taste of caviar.
Kalles Striped, caviar and cream cheese. Light blue / dark blue striped tube with caviar and cream cheese.
Kalles Striped Eggs. Light yellow / dark yellow striped tube with caviar and cream cheese flavored with egg.
Kalles Striped, Banana. Blue / yellow striped tube with caviar and cream cheese, the latter flavored with banana puree, launched in autumn 2007.
Kalle Cream Cheese, Natural without caviar. Light blue tub with only cream cheese.
Kalle Cream Cheese, Light Pink tube with cream cheese, flavored with seafood.
Kalle Polka, Cream cheese with a little caviar. White / blue speckled tube.

The of course there is many other companies that have launched copies of it – and even Danish and Norwegian companies – there is market for it – they seems to sell too, but none of them are close to Kalles.

Kalles has an app for our smart phones – that is an egg timer – brilliant idea.

Kalles Kaviar Cup, is a football tournament for boys and girls, between 12-14, from Denmark, Sweden and Norway, in June every year.

Some “Kalle” history
1850 – In Salted cod roe with strong flavour becomes popular. A kind of coarse model Kalles Kaviar.
1910 – Accidentally somebody mix some oil in the salted cod roe and the new age kaviar arise.
1985 – During a month sold 144 tubes of Kalles in a store at Sunwing Resort Rhodes. During the same time selling a medium sized food store in Sweden about 80 tubes.
2005 – Swedish people eat about 2.6 million kg Kalles. That will be approximately 173 million sandwiches.

And of course you can buy Kalles Kaviar all over the world at IKEA. No you can’t anymore – this is a statement from Kalles on Facebook: “Unfortunatly, IKEA has decided to go for 100% private label, all around the world. We are of course very sad about this, IKEA has been a huge and important client, but even more – we dislike seeing all our loyal Kalles-consumers without their favorite Kalles spread! We’ll be back about more news on where you might find Kalles instead”.

Very bad move, IKEA!

kalles - pitchblink nl

Kalles has also been under attack in the EU parliament in Brussels, because we weren’t suppose to call it Kaviar (Caviar) – because it’s not – and rightly so, but the product has been around in 60 years soon under that product name. Don’t they have anything else to worry about??? It have been very quiet about it for a long while now, but I suppose they are too busy with lending money to each other. Maybe it has to be named spread outside Sweden, don’t have a clue but for us Swedes will it always be Kalles Kaviar.

Here ABBA is a MUST as music cloud – the ABBA that the world can’t get enough today – no sampling tests needed for this ABBA product. “One of Us” from 1981 was the first single from their final studio album “The Visitors”. When they they came up with the name of the band – they have to ask ABBA Seafood, the company, for permission to use the name, it was okay – but what I understood did they had to turn one B around. Something I heard, I don’t know if it’s true.Abba - one of us - wikimedia org

Photos provided by and thanks to:
Gallery 1; hittarecept.se & hd.se
Gallery 2; varsomhelst.nu/abba.se/svb.wikipedia.org/hemkop.se
Gallery 3; swedishop.eu/feber.se/mobilizera.se/cumap2.se
Gallery 4; kalles.se
Other: smoda.elpais.com & wikimedia.org
ABBA; 45cat.com & Featured photo; resume.se


32 thoughts on “k stands for kalles kaviar

  1. I don’t know if I could do caviar for breakfast – of course we grew up with Bacon/Pork sausage with eggs rather than fish so even eating Lox seemed weird to me and now I do that occasionally so tastes do change.

  2. I can’t beleive they have come up with all these different flavours, I left Sweden in 1995 and realize that I have totally missed the Kaviar evolution. Great update, and I love that they made an eggtimer app!

    • If you ever come and visit Sweden, you have to try it with your breakfast egg. Our old King was a darling. Our Kings dad was killed during the war.

  3. I love caviar ever since being introduced to it by my Swedish bf. It’s so yummy! I’m not picky and will happily have Kalle in my fridge. My bf however LOVES Isbjornen which he knows is supposed to be the cheapest one on the market but he always stocks up when we are in Sweden or gets people to bring it for us from Sweden.

    • Kalles is great … and I always have a tub in my fridge – it’s a pity that IKEA don’t sell it anymore, but I understand they have their own brand. I can really eat any brand, Kalles original can be a bit salty – but it’s still my favorite of them all. Nice of you to stop by and commenting – at least two of my visitors that knows what I’m talking about. Welcome back to Sweden at any time.

      • I know *sob*. At least Ikea used to have Kalles. I’m a bit reluctant to buy the home brand. I’m sure I’ll like it just fine.

  4. Very interesting condiment, probably one I would skip but definitely give it at least a try, I always at least give it a taste test. Oh,and I am a sucker for marketing, the tube would have gotten me too 🙂

    • Lucy, with you breakfast egg … perfect. I hope you give it a try … what I understand can you buy IKEA’s own brand.
      Nearly the same thing.

  5. I’d love to try that. I think I wouldn’t like it as I’m not fan of cod, but I’d love to try it.
    I gotta plan a trip to your land and try all the things you show, pastries specially and now this.
    Have a great weekend Viveka.

    • Have a great weekend yourself!
      As they said in Tokyo – it’s a very Special Swedish taste.
      Of course if you come to Sweden, you will find on all hotels breakfast buffets. And I think every Swedish home has on tube in the fridge or more ..

  6. I don’t know about Kalle’s – I don’t think it’s something I would have in my fridge, but you’re right, every country has its own taste.
    What I read about ABBA: when the four musicians named themselves ABBA, the ABBA company sued them and wanted tons of money. But ABBA won the case, because they said their group name was made of their 4 first names Annifrid Bjorn Benny and Agnetha. – I still sing along when I hear ABBA songs 😀 xo

  7. Kalles is a great part of my childhood – and I still love it. Eat it every day…! My grandmother used to make different patterns with it every morning on my sandwich. A new face or a new animal – or any name!

  8. Trying to get used to Kalles. The private label IKEA one is nothing like it and tastes horrible. There’s still a tube of it sitting in my fathers fridge months later…

    IKEA do sell Kalles again now, unfortunately, we don’t have IKEA in NZ yet… So I stock up on my Swedish food while I’m over in Melbourne, or pay massive prices at the European food shop in Auckland. It’s $17.00NZD (96SEK, 10EUR) but only about $5 AUD at IKEA.

    • Hi, there … I have heard a lot of complains about IKEA’s own band of Kalles – go great news that they have listen to their customers and brought the original back. Good on IKEA!
      Wow, that is some price for a tube of Kalles … we pay about 28SEK for big size up here in Sweden.
      Great report from you – thank you so much. Welcome back. *smile

  9. Pingback: Is The Classic Purchase Funnel Flawed? | Ideas, Riffs And (Some) Noise On All Things Marketing. Branded

    • Thank you so much, I must agree with NYTimes – it’s a very clever commercial idea .. and it’s really only aiming for the Swedish market. But I don’t know any Swede that doesn’t love Kalles.

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