The Maarud Farm was producing eggs and cheese prior to the 1930s, but it was not until 1936 that Potato Chips were first produced, under the name Potetgull. Owner Thomas Stang had discovered the possibilities for the product while on a trip to the United States.
However, this early foray into the wonderful world of Chips and Crisps foundered, as the lack of vegetable oil during the Second World War hindered progress.
In 1950, Maarud purchased a large scale Potato Chips production line and the company never looked back. At first, the Chips were sold to restaurants, but commercial production soon followed. The company credit the advent of television and the casual snacking that followed, while watching TV shows, for the ten-fold increase in sales during a short period of just six years.
The modern ‘closed’ packaging maintained the highest quality, and additional air was included to protect the contents from shock. New products were introduced alongside the traditional and easy salted Potetchipsen, as were flavoured Chips, including Cheese & Onion and Paprika. In the late 1960s Popcorn was introduced, in 1973, peanuts were taken to market, and in 1975 extruded potato products were introduced.
By the 1970s, Maarud was the largest snack food producer in Scandinavia.
The company was sold to Freia in 1983, and to Kraft Foods in 1992. After operating as a subsidiary to Kraft for several years, the company merged with Kraft and Freia in 2002, to become Kraft Foods Norge. It was during this period that the company’s market share reduced and Kraft sold the company to the Norwegian private equity firm Herkules Capital.
The most recognised product is the "Maarud Potetgull", but the company still produces other snack foods such as tortilla chips, peanuts, and popcorn.
The company also has subsidiaries in Sweden, Finland and the Baltic states under the names "Estrella" and "Taffel" in Lithuania.
Address: Maarudvegen 130, 2114 Disenå, Norway