Norway - Country Commercial Guide
Agricultural Sectors; Food, Agriculture, Fishery and Forestry Products
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Norway is a high-cost producer with agricultural policies focused on maintaining a high degree of self-sufficiency.  To maintain agricultural production, Norway’s subsidies for most agricultural products exceed those of the EU.  High tariffs, quantitative restrictions, and technical barriers to trade severely limit competitive products from entering the Norwegian market.  Tariff-rate quotas exist for grains and meat. Additionally, Norway extends rebates to food processors in compensation for the high cost of agricultural inputs and to ensure that Norwegian processed products can compete with imports. 

Norway is a sophisticated market featuring affluent, well-educated, and open-minded consumers who speak English well and spend between 10 and 15 percent of their disposable income on food. Norway’s location as one of the world’s most northern countries means that the growing season in Norway is comparatively short and therefore relies on imports. 

In 2022, total Norwegian imports of agricultural and related products totaled $13,806 million of which $472 million originated from the United States, making it the 13th largest supplier. U.S. trade to Norway was dominated by U.S. exports of biodiesel followed by fats and oils, as well as wine, feed, and food preparations.

U.S. producers are professional, offer great variety, and deliver products with a consistent quality. U.S. farmers have a good story to tell about sustainability, farm to table supply chains, and their State/regional heritage. It is highly recommended that U.S. exporters study the Norwegian import requirements carefully. Shipping time & costs, import tariffs, and EU labeling regulations make U.S. products more expensive. Some U.S. food products suffer from a negative perception among Swedish consumers due to misinformation and an image issue. There is fierce competition on price, quality, uniqueness, and innovation from other European countries. 

Norwegian legislation is more restrictive than EU legislation regarding genetically modified products. This difference in the assessment of biotech products has led to Norway’s rejection of several products approved in the EU. The retail market for alcoholic beverages (containing above 4.75% alcohol by volume) is controlled by a government monopoly, Vinmonopolet.


The best U.S. food, agricultural, fishery and forestry prospects for Norway include: 

  • Biofuels and related feedstocks
  • Vegetables fats and oils
  • Tree nuts and peanuts
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Conventional soybeans and/or derivatives (oil, meal, and protein concentrates)
  • Health foods, organics and non-traditional, niche products

Norway is only 50% self-sufficient in food and agricultural production.  U.S. food and agricultural products are associated with high quality and innovation.  Large Nordic retail chains (Reitan Group and Norges Group) provide opportunities for high volume sales to established U.S. suppliers.  Norway is also a large importer of soybeans and has the only crushing facility in the Nordics.  While biotech restrictions impede the bulk of U.S. soybean exports, demand for conventional soybeans and/or derivatives remains high. 

Global branding and further integration of European markets is continuing to produce a more homogeneous food and drink market in Europe, but significant national differences in consumption remain. Nevertheless, certain common trends are evident throughout the EU: demand for greater convenience, more openness to non-traditional foods, and a growing interest in healthy and nutritious foods, food products with a special certification or claim (including organic, free-from, etc.), smaller portions, (regional) products that have a great story to tell (provenance), and strong well-known U.S. branded food and beverages.