Kvikk Lunsj, (Norwegian for “Quick Lunch”), is one of Norway’s most popular and iconic chocolate bars from Freia, one of Norway’s oldest chocolate companies. Some people might think it’s just a Norwegian Kit Kat® bar. Well there is more to Kvikk Lunsj than meets the eye (and the taste buds) and Ingebretsen’s is proud to carry it in the store (and also online).
To Norwegians, Kvikk Lunsj has another meaning: Hiking. Trekking. Skiing. Being active outdoors. The Kvikk Lunsj slogan is “Tursjokoladen”—the hiking or trekking chocolate. For over 70 years, Kvikk Lunsj has kept its bold tri-colored identity as the Norwegian companion to the great outdoors, and its popularity continues to grow.
Freia was founded in 1889, but real success was seen only in 1892, when Johan Throne Holst took over management. Holst built up Freia to be Norway’s leading chocolate manufacturer. By the turn of the century, Freia was the leading Norwegian brand in sweets. Since its inception the factory has been in the Rodeløkka neighborhood in the borough of Grünerløkka in Oslo.
Freia was purchased in 1993 by Kraft Foods Nordic (today known as Mondelēz International). The brand has constantly been marketed in a national romantic spirit – as the essence of everything that is Norwegian. Their slogan is “Et lite stykke Norge” (A small piece of Norway).
According to Kraft every Norwegian eats nine Kvikk Lunsj bars a year. Twenty-five percent of the bar’s are eaten during Easter week, prime vacation time for Norwegians. During Easter a Påskekrim novel is a traditional part of any trip to the country, along with an orange, and a Kvikk Lunsj. The tradition of a KvikkLunsj bar is so strongly associated with Påskekrim that a crime novel was written that had a cover so similar to the candy bar’s wrapping that the publisher was sued. Read more about Påskekrim here.
High sales of Kvikk Lunsj are attributed to the good weather because good weather means more outdoor activities, and more outdoor activities means, naturally, eating more Kvikk Lunsj. Why? Visit Freia’s official website and you won’t find pictures of chocolate, but rather you’ll see photos of Kvikk Lunsj customers on hiking trips.
The back and inside of the wrapper features a profile of a notable trekker such as this one that features Are Løset. It reads, “Are has worked hard for many years to get youth to the mountains through Trondheim Tourist Association,” with more information (including a map of one of Are’s favorite routes) on the inside wrapper. The red T-symbol is the logo for the Norwegian Trekking Association. “Takk for turen,” means, “Thank you for the trip,” a common way to thank your trekking buddies for their company after completing a trip. It can be used for anything though, not just trekking.
A commercial made for Kvikk Lunsj’s 70th anniversary celebrates the glory of the outdoors. Build a bridge. Drink fresh water out of a stream. Take a hike in the woods. And do it all while eating Kvikk Lunsj.
Heck even dogs know the power of Kvikk Lunsj.
Kvikk Lunsj ads through the years have featured their bar as part of the outdoor life. Here are some examples:
Kvikk Lunsj is part of the Norwegian lifestyle. Gerd Aarnes, a Norwegian in America said “You are so much more than a chocolate bar to me. You are everything I like about Norway: hiking with my family, reaching the goal and take a break, simplicity and purity.”
In case you still think this is just a Norwegian Kit Kat bar, The Guardian did a taste/texture test and the verdict was Kvikk Lunsj 24, KitKat 17. “It’s official. Not only is it not a unique, trademarkable product, KitKat isn’t even the best four-fingered chocolate bar in Europe.”
And finally let’s remember Kvikk Lunsj is Norwegian for “quick lunch,” a role fulfilled by 250 calories of chocolate-covered wafers. The name Kit Kat goes back to the 18th century when mutton pies (yes mutton pies) were known as Kit-Kat. [Note: if you “Google” Kit Kat you can come across some “adult clubs” so be careful where you click.] So what do you want to eat? Delicious chocolate from Norway or mutton pies? Stop into our store (or order online) and enjoy a piece or four of Norway’s lifestyle.
Written by Mary Hirsch