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About Us

The Jarlsberg® brand of cheese has been exported to the United States for over 40 years and is America’s #1 selling brand of specialty cheese. Claiming the highest awareness among U.S. consumers over any other imported cheese in the U.S.  The mild, nutty unique taste—unlike any other domestic or imported cheese—is a testimony to the quality and consistency of Norwegian Cheese Producers.

Norwegian Cheese has been imported to the United States since 1940 reaching 1.5 million pounds of exports by 1969. These exports included traditional products such as Norvegia, Gjetost and Nokkel. Jarlsberg® was introduced to the U.S. in 1965.

 

Jarlsberg® is manufactured in 20 lb wheels and 10 lb loaf forms and is made from pasteurized cow’s milk. The cheese is classified by the United States Food and Drug Administration as semi-soft part skim cheese but, because of the eye formation and the method of product, Jarlsberg® has been classified for U.S. Customs purposes of entry into the U.S. as a Swiss/Emmenthaler type cheese.

 

Jarlsberg® Lite, a reduced fat version of Classic Jarlsberg®, was introduced into the U.S. in 1990 and has become the #1 Brand of specialty, reduced fat cheese in the U.S. and the #2 Brand of reduced fat cheese in U.S. consumer awareness.  It has a high positive consumer taste preference estimated to be over 80%.

 

In the early 19th Century, Norwegian Cheese Makers, like their counterparts in the United States and a number of other countries, attempted to produce a domestic version of the increasingly popular Emmenthaler cheese from Switzerland. As in many other countries, these efforts resulted in a slightly different product but still a version of the original Swiss cheese. Starting in 1956 through 1965, the University of Agriculture in Norway conducted developmental research on a semi-soft part skim cheese with eye formation. Prof. Ole M. Ystgaard is credited for developing the bacteria cultures and manufacturing techniques used to process the cheese. This new cheese, later to be known as Jarlsberg®, was named after Count Vadel Jarlsberg®, whose estate was on the Oslo Fjord near where it was first manufactured. 

 

Norseland, Inc., owned by TINE SA, is the exclusive importer and sales and marketing agent responsible for the continued success of Jarlsberg® in the United States. TINE SA acquired Ilchester Cheese Company Ltd. and is now under the Norseland umbrella of brands alongside America's #1 cheese brand, Jarlsberg®. Norseland’s personnel totals 94 full time employees (including Canada) in various departments of production, distribution, marketing, accounting and sales. Regional sales offices are located in Montreal, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas and New York with the corporate office in Darien, Connecticut.

 

Norseland utilizes a network of top quality, professional perishable food brokers throughout the United States as an extended sales force to assist in the sales, promotional and merchandising function in approximately 45 of the top 50 marketing areas. The national network represents over 500 sales people calling on headquarters, retail supermarkets and Club Stores on behalf of Norseland, Inc. products.

  

Norseland expanded its original mission to create a product range of unique specialty cheese brands which are the leaders in their categories. The company’s formidable position as an importer of specialty cheese makes them an attractive partner for other cheese manufacturers who desire a stronger position for their brands in the USA.  In addition, Norseland represents the García Baquero Spanish cheeses, Old Amsterdam aged gouda, and Gabriella & Suprema Italian cheese line.

 

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