Scan Magazine, Issue 144, July 2022

Page 36

Scan Magazine

| Special Theme


Made in Sweden

The world’s first frozen sandwich Polarbröd has been baking traditional breads of northern Sweden since 1879 and is the creator of the world’s first frozen sandwich, a massive hit in Sweden and beyond. By Malin Norman |

Photos: Polarbröd

Greta Nilsson, grandmother of the current owner of Polarbröd, managed a café at the ski slope Kanis in Älvsbyn. She found that the demand for sandwiches varied according to the weather and, to avoid wastage, Greta tried to freeze sandwiches and defrost as needed. The Älvsby bread turned out to be excellent for freezing and the skiers’ favourite spread was reindeer roast. One day, Greta received a request to quickly arrange food for a group of bakery stakeholders on a bus trip. With barely two hours to go, she took a few 36 |

Issue 144


July 2022

Greta Nilsson with daughter Elisabeth in 1971.

cartons of sandwiches out of the freezer. At lunch, Greta got the sandwiches out and served to the hungry group. “This is the best thing I have ever eaten on a bus! You have to introduce this sandwich to the market,” urged one of the travellers.

Birth of the beloved Polarbröd logotype It was time to launch the sandwiches to the world, but a name was needed. Greta, who took English-language courses, thought that the word sandwich sounded exclusive. Since the frozen sandwich was from the north, she added the word Polar. With the whole world as a possible market, she named it the Polar Sandwich, and added “Älvsbyn, Sweden” to the packaging.