Brands transforming the image of Sweden

During summertime we tend to meet people that encounter Sweden for the first time and are curious on “typical Swedish things”. First that comes to mind may be Swedish corporations like IKEA, Volvo and H&M that undeniably made a significant international splash together with superstars like Zlatan and ABBA. But below the surface there is much more to be said about Sweden’s creative landscape. We decided to shine a light on Swedish brands that might not be the most the typical respond. Let’s take a look at some really exciting brands influencing the image of Sweden.


The oat drink Oatly is changing consumption patterns in urban cities. It was founded back in the 1990s and is based on Swedish research from Lund University. The company’s patented enzyme technology copies nature’s own process and turns fiber rich oats into nutritional liquid food that is perfectly designed for humans. Today, the Swedish company remains independent and dedicated to upgrading the lives of individuals and the general well being of the planet through a lineup of original oat drinks. Oatly has positioned themselves as an independent, funny, provocative and sympathetic alternative for diary products which has been a true success.


Fjällräven – Kånken

Kånken is growing its position as the urban backpack. With the Swedish mantra in mind, “Straight backs are happy backs,” Fjällräven created the first Kånken in 1978 to spare the backs of school children, as back problems had begun to appear in increasingly younger age groups. Simple, stylish and functional, the Kånken backpack soon became a common sight in schools around the country, quickly spreading to cities around the world as an iconic Swedish export. Take a look at the most recent competition and hashtag #kankenart for some beautiful personalised Kånken made by its bearers.



Spotify has totally redefined the music industry and transformed music listening forever when it launched in Sweden in 2008. Today Spotify is the most popular global audio streaming subscription service with 232m users, including 108m subscribers, across 79 markets. Spotify is the largest driver of revenue to the music business. They have sure managed to provide a legal online music streaming services as an alternative to pirated music file-sharing sites.



Hövding is the world’s first airbag for urban cyclists and it breaks new ground in cities around the world. It all started with the insight: “Why force people to wear something they don’t like? There must be another way”. The resulting innovation was the collarworn; Hövding (meaning ’Chief’ in Swedish). Through the advanced sensors and unique algorithm Hövding detects the cyclist’s movement patterns and reacts and inflates in 0,1 second in case of an accident. The specialized airbag inflates to cover your head and fixates the neck to provide you with the best protection on the market, up to 8 times better than a traditional helmet. The headoffice is actually not far from ours, in Malmö, Sweden.

Sweden sure is creative and filled with passionate thinkers and exciting brands that stretch beyond its most famous brands, and the list can definitely be made longer.What brands are typically Swedish for you?