Kvikk Lunsj and Freia Factory Tour for All Ages

Easter Kvikk Lunsj and orange have been a special package for Norwegian families in Easter. Nobody knows the reason why these two things are combined and how this started, even not those who made Kvikk Lunsj-Freia. But they do know a lot about chocolate and they showed the history and charm of chocolate in Norway through a guided tour in the factory Freialand.

We interviewed Marit Dybsjord Ekholt, supervisor of Freialand and Trine Kjoerven, manager Freia Direct.

What is the story about Kvikk Lunsj? Do you have other special products for this season?

In 1937, Kvikk Lunsj was introduced to the market, and it was because the founder of Freia, Johan Throne Holst really enjoyed hiking. Norwegians like to do cross-country skiing and hiking as Easter activity. Kvikk Lunsj with biscuits inside is good as a snack when you do sports like cross-country skiing.

We have been marketing that product as an Eastern chocolate ever since it was introduced to the market in 1937. And today each Norwegian eats 9 Kvikk Lunsj a year and 3 of them are eaten during Easter time. Easter eggs are also popular.

What made people build the Freialand? How did the idea of making tours in the factory come up?

It is a gift from Kraft Foods to celebrate 100 year anniversary of Freia Chocolate. Freia factory has always welcome visitors. The experience Freialand was built to give all guests an even better experiece. There are some similar centers in other countries. In Belgium is one called Temple du Chocolat Côte d’Or. 

Some like the taste of Nidar and some like the taste of Freia. Freia has about 55% of the market. We have many competitors. Nidar is the largest. It is healthy to have competitors.

Who is Freialand built for? What is the age group who are most interested? How do you interact with visitors?

It was the school children we were targeting at the beginning and also now. But we are open to all the people who love chocolate. People from 10 to 20 are most interested, and they make up 80%. And the rest are from 20 to 90. In Freialand, we have a guide for the tour and the guide knows a lot about chocolate. It’s a dialogue all the way. You can ask questions to the guide.

What are the new experiences visitors can have at Freialand now? Do you have plans for Freialand to develop in the future?

Freialand has started a new course which is “Chocolate tasting.” This together with “Art and chocolate” is aimed more adult visitors. We don’t market Friealand at all. People just know about us. We have s birthday parties for children from 10 years and up every night. This is very popular.

There are health risks of chocolate, is there any information about this introduced to people in Freialand?

When you go through the whole visitor center you will follow the history of cocoa. The last minute you will come to an old store copying the first Freia store in 1899. There we talk about when you eat a lot of sweets, you have to do something which is exercise. So we made an exercise room here with climbing wall and small rocks you can jump on. You should never replace a meal with chocolate. You should enjoy your chocolate and eat it occasionally.

 

The chocolate work shop where people can make chocolate on their own. The process is imitating the production in the factory in a simpler way. 

What do you think about the role chocolate plays in Norwegian culture?

It is like tea in England. It’s not chocolate, it is Freia chocolate. Every Norwegian loves Freia chocolate, if anything happens to Freia, they will feel sad. They feel they own a little piece of Freia and they really love it. It is part of our culture.

Johan Throne Holst used it actively in the marketing that it was Norwegian milk and Norwegian milk chocolate. And then he used Norwegian culture in the wrappings and it has become part of the Norwegian culture. “Piece of Norway” slogan still stands on the chocolate pacakages.

Freia used to market in a romantic nationalism stressing everything is Norwegian. There is a slogan “Et lite stykke Norge” (A small piece of Norway). How do you understand it after Freia purchased by American company Kraft (now called Mondelēz International)? And how do you deal with the thought that “Freia is not Norwegian anymore”?

It’s made here in Norway and it’s Norwegian taste. Mondelēz has all the chocolates that have a completely different taste, and have nothing to do with Freia milk chocolate. The brand Freia is the valuable part. Mondelēz wants to keep this value. They want us to continue with the same chocolate with the same taste. But of course we have new products as well, because we are a modern industry. But we always have our main products as milk chocolate and Kvikk Lunsj.

There is another chocolate Nidar, which also has a long history. How do you compare yourself with them?

Some like the taste of Nidar and some like the taste of Freia. Freia has about 55% of the market. We have many competitors. Nidar is the largest. It is healthy to have competitors. 

 

 

 

 

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