Swedish confectioner buys competitor to become country’s third largest

By Kristine Sherred

- Last updated on GMT

Aroma has been producing uniquely shaped gummy candies in Sweden since 1921.
Aroma has been producing uniquely shaped gummy candies in Sweden since 1921.

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Aroma AB, a nearly 100-year-old company based in Stockholm, acquired Dals Konfektyr, which makes chocolate, toffees and jellies, for an undisclosed amount.

The move makes Aroma the third largest confectioner in Sweden.

"With the acquisition of Dals Konfektyr, our ambition is to become an even more efficient and better supplier of qualitative sweets for the various weight-weight concepts, both in Sweden and abroad,”​ said Olle Björkenström, Aroma’s CEO.

“At the same time, we continue to develop organic, vegan and more natural products with lower sugar content in our various product areas."

The confectioner is known for its jelly candies – both fruit-flavored and the popular Nordic lakrits​ (licorice) – offered in a slew of fun shapes. In its early years, Aroma churned out jellies in the shape of cars, airplanes and even celebrities; by the 1930s, the confectioner added animals like frogs and crocodiles, and tools like hammers, saws and scissors. (The company’s website extols the long history of its unique mold technology.)

In 2004, Aroma added chocolate to its production capabilities. A heart-shaped combination of the two has become a go-to Valentine’s Day treat in Sweden, according to the company.

Aroma recently added a Fair Trade certified line of some of favorite candies, called RättåGott, all made with natural colors and flavors. Its Moffa range explores the dual-texture sensibility coursing through confectionery in recent months – pairing its chewy licorice with a salted white chocolate coating, for instance, or licorice and almonds.

Salmiak: salty Swedish licorice

salty black licorice - aroma sweden

As a Swedish licorice maker, of course Aroma offers salmiak​: the salty black licorice beloved in Nordic cultures but disliked (or unknown) in the US, where sweet, fruity, sour rules.

In Finnish, it’s called salmiakki​. The Germans know it as salzlakritz​, and the Dutch as zoute drops​.

The salt traditionally comes not from sodium chloride but ammonium chloride.

The love-it-or-hate-it flavor also adds zing to spirits, ice cream, soda and even snus, the Nordic style of chewing tobacco.

Growing Swedish confections

Dals will become the eighth brand under Aroma AB, which also owns lines of toffee and lollipops.

The confectioner says it has perfected the production of a chocolate covered toffee, as well as a foam banana (both with and without chocolate) and chocolate covered gummy bear.

Dals started making sweets in 1946 in western Sweden, near the Norwegian border about 170km (105mi) from Oslo. Today its facility produces about 4500 tons each year.

"We are three owners who have been running Dals Konfektyr for 25 years and it is really with safe hands that we now hand over the baton to Aroma as the new owner,”​ said CEO Jörgen Johansson. “With Aroma's focus on quality products and solid sales organisation, they are the right buyers to take over and develop the factory in Bengtsfors."

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