Herring + street food = match

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Image credit: Synøve Dreyer/Norges sjømatråd.

Background and objectives

Herring is one of Norway’s most traditional foods. But its status in the Norwegian modern kitchen is not particularly high, even though the fish has great potential with endless possibilities of variation. Many associate herring with Christmas and as a fish primarily eaten by elders. The youth are no exception, they see the fish as old-fashioned. Our objective was to change the status quo and increase the interest around herring, especially in the younger generations. Together we were going to make herring trendy!


To change people’s opinions about traditional food like herring, it is important to put the product in a new context. We wanted to revitalize herring in a modern and unexpected way. A key to success was getting the target audience to enjoy a meal with herring as the main ingredient and to present it as a tasteful and modern summer meal. With this as a starting point, we started cooperating with the newly established food and culture centre Vippa, located at Vippetangen in Oslo. At Vippa, eight different restaurants agreed to use herring in their street food specialties: Herring in pizza, in Syrian waffles, in poke-bowls, or in dumplings to mention some. The meals were served on an afternoon in December and were accompanied by a DJ and after-work vibes. The arrangement was open to everyone, but food bloggers, journalists, and influencers received invites. To reach the target audience in a new and more inspiring way, the media agency Mindshare developed a digital magazine and shared recipes used in the arrangement as part of the content. The magazine`s image was similar to Vippa and helped create a cohesive event.

To finish off the campaign, we entered a partnership with the Øya festival where we served modern herring recipes to the festival attendees at the end of the summer. Kulinarisk Akademi were partners throughout the whole campaign and helped coach the restaurants, as well as functioning as suppliers of herring meals to the Øya festival.

Image credit: Steffen Rikenberg/Norges sjømatråd.


The combination of traditional fish served in a newly established and fashionable food concept proved to be a tactical decision for increasing the attention around herring. In total, we served close to 3500 tasting samples of herring during the campaign period. At Vippa, the audience changed their opinions on herring from an old-fashioned commodity to a likeable fish that is usable in any meal. Almost all the respondents stated they had a positive experience (98 percent), and 54 percent said they got a better impression of herring as an ingredient. Many of the respondents also stated that the arrangement helped them discover new food combinations including herring, which was one of our initial goals. The magazine generated about 40 000-page visits with two minutes reading time on average.

The arrangement at Vippa also received mention in social media and lifestyle magazines. Through a collaboration with “foodie” Anders Husa, we ensured that younger generations received the news about herring. Aftenposten`s food magazine “Food from Norway”, wrote a piece on herring, as an upcoming food trend. Furthermore, the arrangement was mentioned in Aftenposten’s “what’s up?”-column, as well as shared in own and collaborators channels.

Until now the campaign has received deserved attention with a reach of over one million.