swedish fish
Candy Fun Facts

The Sweet History of Swedish Fish

Swedish Fish are an iconic candy. The gooey fish are a staple in every candy jar, they perform celebratory swims across Candy Crush Saga screens, and they’ve even made an appearance as the red-hued filling of limited-edition Oreos! But what are Swedish Fish? And are they really from Sweden? Are Swedish Fish vegan? And more importantly, who makes Swedish Fish, anyways?

There is a reason why Mondolez—the makers of the Oreo cookie—chose those red swimmers as an Oreo filling. The company owns both brands! But the ‘reel’ story behind Swedish Fish (and those gorgeous multi-colored Swedish Fish colors) is quite the catch. And, in case you’re wondering, those fish really were hatched in Sweden.

Who Makes Swedish Fish?

According to an article on Mental Floss, Swedish Fish were created by Malaco—a confectionary based in Sweden. Swedish Fish were considered a wine gum. Before you make bad “drink like a fish” jokes, rest assured that wine gums don’t really include any wine or alcohol. It’s just a candy term.

So why fish? The fishing industry is quite lucrative in Sweden, so Malaco’s choice of animal may be a tasty tribute to the local industry. Eventually, these fin-tastic gummies swam their way across the Atlantic; Malaco introduced Swedish fish to American consumers in the 1950s, and the Swedish Fish assorted flavors eventually became a cult favorite throughout the 60s and 70s.

The Swedish Fish brand eventually became the property of Cadbury Adams and was later acquired by Mondelez. Malaco still sells wine gum Swedish Fish in Sweden, where the candies are called “pastellfiskar” (translation: pale-colored fish). In Sweden, the gummy fish also are available in a black licorice flavor, while in the US, one can purchase Swedish Fish assorted flavors and colors!

A box of Swedish Fish candy

Do you love hooking a Swedish Fish? Check out these fun Fishy Facts!

  • What do Swedish Fish taste like? According to the Candy Blog, the original flavor of Swedish Fish is lingonberry—a European berry. In the United States, the red Swedish Fish is often considered a berry flavor (although some think it’s cherry!).
  • Are Swedish Fish vegan? Unlike real fish, Swedish Fish are vegan!
  • Swedish Fish are available in mini and original sizes.
  • They are ranked as the 10th most popular movie theater candies.
  • Swedish Fish are the 19th most popular Halloween candy in America…and really beloved in Louisiana!
  • Justin Bieber loves Swedish Fish!
  • Forget Red Velvet, bake a Swedish Fish cupcake!
  • If you search around, you can find Swedish Fish Aqua Life variety. This includes not just those cute fish, but also starfish, seahorses, whales, puffer fish and dolphins! Swedish Fish Aqua Life features an assortment of flavors.
  • Remember those Swedish Fish Oreos? They weren’t sold everywhere, which is why some Oreo fans didn’t get to dunk them and enjoy red hued Swedish sweet milk! Swedish Fish Oreos were only available at Kroger’s supermarkets. But you can still snag a bag on Amazon…for a steep price!

Whether you prefer to catch the classic red Swedish Fish or their colorful sea friends in the Swedish Fish assorted flavors bag, there’s no denying their adorable shape and tasty flavor. Enjoy them at the movies, give them out for Halloween or gobble them up as a snack at work. No matter how you reel them in, Swedish Fish remains a cult classic candy confection!