“Pop”-peroni Pizza
December 18, 2017 2:03 PM   Subscribe

Grandiosa is the most popular brand of frozen pizza in Norway: per Wikipedia, they sell twenty-four million pizzas each year even though the population of Norway is just over 5 million. With offerings like a "Hot Nacho" variety, complete with little baby tortilla chips on top, it’s little wonder why. (By comparison, the most popular brand in the US makes around 90 million pizzas for a population of 325 million.) Grandiosa is so popular that two of their advertising jingles reached #1 on the Norwegian pop charts.

Facing increasing competition in the early 2000s, Grandiosa invested heavily in marketing to maintain their brand dominance. As part of that campaign, they worked with the Norwegian musician Lars Kilevold on a new theme song for their pizza. Previously, Kilevold had reached #1 in 1980 with his song "Liver er for Kjipt" ("life is too short") and #2 in 1987 with "Ute til Lunch" ("Out to Lunch").

The result of Kilevold's work was a song called "Respekt for Grandiosa." Credited officially to "Grandiosa," it became a ringtone sensation (remember those days?) and as a result reached number one on the VG-lista (the Norwegian version of the Billboard Top 40) for eight weeks in 2006. The album cover for the CD single looked like a Grandiosa box, and the CD looked like a pizza.

Grandiosa followed up "Respekt for Grandiosa" with "Full Pakke," a song that celebrated the "full package" of toppings available on their pizza. That song - complete with choreography - reached number one (for only two weeks this time) in 2007. If you want to learn the "full pakke dance," YouTube has you covered.

[Sort of previously, amazingly]
posted by AgentRocket (46 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Aren’t they nice
Norwegian pies
posted by chavenet at 2:15 PM on December 18, 2017 [3 favorites]


Of course, Furiosa's somewhat more verbose sister. Only natural she would endorse this.
posted by selfnoise at 2:17 PM on December 18, 2017 [5 favorites]


Oh wow, blast from the past. I don't think you can find any Norwegians over the age of 30 who don't remember the chorus from Livet er for Kjipt, and I actually downloaded Ute til Lunch years ago because I thought it was really clever commentary on commercialism.

I moved away before the 2 Grandiosa jingles came out, so no comment there except to say that the pizza really sucks. I mean, no worse than grocery-store frozen pizza in general, but it is kind of appalling that they sell 24 million pizzas a year! I totally chalk it up to restaurant food being so damn expensive in Norway - and, if I have to be honest, not really that much better. I love my homeland, but there's a reason Norwegian cuisine never really took the world by storm. And that's without even mentioning the l-word. However, ribbe, on the other hand... *kisses fingers* *can't wait for julaften*
posted by widdershins at 2:27 PM on December 18, 2017 [7 favorites]


Looks better than Tree Tavern, of course, I live in the Albany Pizza District.
posted by mikelieman at 2:57 PM on December 18, 2017


Damn it, widdershins, I was just preparing to emigrate based on the nacho pizza, and you're telling me the mouth-watering photo is a lie? 2017, man...2017.
posted by maxwelton at 2:58 PM on December 18, 2017


Just so we're clear, it's GrandiOsa, not GrandioSA.
posted by explosion at 3:08 PM on December 18, 2017 [46 favorites]


just extrapolating from my own experience in when i buy frozen pizzas, this is probably because life in norway is bleak and miserable
posted by indubitable at 3:19 PM on December 18, 2017 [11 favorites]


My Norwegian partner considers Grandiosa immune from criticism. It's not pizza though, it's Grandiosa.
posted by knapah at 3:36 PM on December 18, 2017


I am dying with the giggles because I am literally going to Norway next week and I have "get a Grandiosa" on my grocery list, just to try one once even though I realize it is not Real Food (any more than Totino's pizzas are, and I am ashamed to admit how often I eat THOSE).

This is an amazing and amazingly timed post and I can't stop giggling!
posted by angeline at 3:36 PM on December 18, 2017 [4 favorites]


Oh wow, blast from the past. I don't think you can find any Norwegians over the age of 30 who don't remember the chorus from Livet er for Kjipt

I just tested this by playing it on YouTube and she started singing along. It's true.
posted by knapah at 3:41 PM on December 18, 2017 [5 favorites]


The reference to "refrigerated evil" in the Wiki article made me giggle. That just applies to so much mass market food. Must remember the phrase for future use.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 3:45 PM on December 18, 2017


I have eaten some mediocre frozen pizza in my days and that hot nacho pizza looks OK to me.
posted by GuyZero at 3:56 PM on December 18, 2017 [3 favorites]


this is probably because life in norway is bleak and miserable

It is? Looks beautiful to me, but I've never been. I guess even a frozen heaven becomes a frozen hell if you're cold long enough.
posted by Beholder at 4:25 PM on December 18, 2017


It's not pizza though, it's Grandiosa.

This is how I feel about Ellio’s / bowling alley pizza. It’s terrible, and unless you have some cultural attachment to it (not to mention a sweet ringtone), it’s basically inedible.

I do love me some Ellio’s with sri-rancha on it, though.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:37 PM on December 18, 2017


Now I want to know what the pizza options in Norway are. What kind of competition does Grandiosa have in Norway grocery stores? What kind of international reach does Tombstone and Totinos have, if any? Is Take-N-Bake a thing there?
posted by floam at 4:42 PM on December 18, 2017


Looks better than Tree Tavern, of course, I live in the Albany Pizza District.

Yes, it has gone seriously downhill. I like PJs.
posted by oflinkey at 4:43 PM on December 18, 2017 [1 favorite]


this is probably because life in norway is bleak and miserable

It is? Looks beautiful to me, but I've never been. I guess even a frozen heaven becomes a frozen hell if you're cold long enough.


Just for reference, the frozen pizza sections of the grocery stores in Wisconsin were larger than any I've ever seen, and most bars will serve frozen pizzas. Enough do so that there's a type of frozen "pub pizza" designation that I haven't seen elsewhere. Correlation doesn't equal causation and all, but there's some similarities there. You stock up in case you don't want to go outside but don't really feel like making anything either.
posted by LionIndex at 4:48 PM on December 18, 2017 [2 favorites]


Ooh, we're going to Norway this summer, I'll have to get one of these.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:49 PM on December 18, 2017


Evil twin brewery & Lervig made Big A$$ Money Stout with Grandiosa pizza and cash.

I didn't taste any pizza or cash.
posted by TheAdamist at 4:55 PM on December 18, 2017


I was in Norway for the first time this year (Oslo) and it was amazing. I was only there for four days but it felt like home and I miss it.

No one told me about this, though, and I'm kind of offended now. I like terrible frozen pizza. I would've 100% eaten this while I was there.
posted by darksong at 4:58 PM on December 18, 2017


Is sri-RANCHA typo or take my money????
posted by supermedusa at 5:13 PM on December 18, 2017 [4 favorites]


I mean I just mix sriracha and ranch. Actually I make a design with them on the rectangle so I can feel like I paid $12 for an appetizer at a restaurant.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:20 PM on December 18, 2017 [5 favorites]


uncleozzy thanks for clarification. I did not know sri-racha + ranch was a thing but obvs it should be!
posted by supermedusa at 5:26 PM on December 18, 2017


Somebody MUST be importing this to the US.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 5:33 PM on December 18, 2017 [1 favorite]


You stock up in case you don't want to go outside but don't really feel like making anything either.

I am from Wisconsin and I endorse this message.

I would imagine it's the darkness in addition to the cold, though. 4:30 pm feels like 8 pm right now, and that's clearly too late to go out or make anything substantive.
posted by AFABulous at 6:21 PM on December 18, 2017 [4 favorites]


I just dropped in to support my fellow 'sconnies. I leave for work when it's dark, I get off the bus home when it's dark. Mondays after the inevitable Wisconsin weekend binge are particularly brutal. I heat the oven until the two pizza stones (mass!) get to 500, (260c) gussie up a frozen thin crust pizza with some Costco Organic No Salt Seasoning, a little extra cheese (cuz Wisconsin) some sauteed mushrooms, some venison sausage and maybe some broccoli, because there's some in the fridge, pop it in for 6 minutes then 6 minutes more on broil and I've got an easy hot pie of heaven right here in my toasty kitchen. I have no idea what the Norwegian version is like, though my kids are both fluent (I'll ask my daughter next week!) because, of course, Wisconsin, but I can so relate.
posted by Floydd at 7:03 PM on December 18, 2017 [3 favorites]


Is a Grandiosa most similar to a Jeno's, Red Baron, or Digiorno's?
posted by pravit at 7:33 PM on December 18, 2017


I tend to think of frozen pizza as being pizza in the same sense that White Castle sliders are hamburgers. Technically but not really, but on the other hand, there's no spice quite like nostalgia.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:20 PM on December 18, 2017


Yeah, Grandiosa ... Or Merdiosa, as I call them. Larger than any other supermarket frozen pizza over here in Scandinavia and still not worth it. Microscopic traces of ham (let's hope it's ham). The only thing that's more artificial would be the Swedish Billy's pizza. There's not even real cheese on those. I don't know what they're made of.
posted by Termite at 11:03 PM on December 18, 2017


Dr. Oetker Spinaci pizza all the way
posted by anthill at 11:08 PM on December 18, 2017


There's a weird specific craving for lousy-to-below-mediocre frozen supermarket pizza I get about once a month, fulfilled either by Grandiosa or one of the similar local offerings. The craving is highly situational and not centered on the pizza itself: I can't be arsed to cook, the wife is not home to judge me for my choice, and I'm about to sit down and watch a movie. What makes it an easier pick is that the National Food of Finland (bad-to-mediocre pizza by Turkish immigrants) is something I eat once a week anyway, so Grandiosa etc. make for some variety, at least.
posted by jklaiho at 11:55 PM on December 18, 2017 [2 favorites]


Yes, it has gone seriously downhill. I like PJs.

Sovranas made our wedding cake. Paisan's is a sin against nature.
posted by mikelieman at 11:55 PM on December 18, 2017 [1 favorite]


I tend to think of frozen pizza as being pizza in the same sense that White Castle sliders are hamburgers.

White Castle are steamed onions infused with meat, in a shape reminiscent of hamburgers.

And wonderful.
posted by mikelieman at 11:58 PM on December 18, 2017 [4 favorites]


Meh, Grandiosa is OK if you're hankering for something warm and don't feel like actual cooking. It's inoffensively bland. That being said, shoot me a memail if you're travelling in my general area and I'll heat up a Grandiosa for you.
posted by Harald74 at 11:58 PM on December 18, 2017


It all makes sense like 20 years later. Bilingual multicultural puns are hard.

I met a Norwegian girl Mexico a long time ago, she hung out with my group of friends a lot.

Some people were talking about the Spider Woman of Teotihuacán, also know as the Great Godess or La Gran Diosa.

This Norwegian girl found it funny that in Spanish Grandiosa can be parsed as Gran Diosa, and tried to make some jokes about the Great Godess of Pizza that no one in the group got.

Given that Norway only has 5 million people and taking into account the whole six degrees of separation thingy I think there is a non negligible chance that someone in this thread knows Tone from Norway who spent some time in Guadalajara about 18 or 19 years ago. If you do, please tell her that one of the Mexicans from Avenida Chapultepec remembers her fondly and finally got the joke.
posted by Index Librorum Prohibitorum at 1:18 AM on December 19, 2017 [31 favorites]


Eh, Hot Nacho pizza seems kind of tame, here in Germany we have pasta pizza, chips pizza, chocolate pizza, hot dog pizza and pizza burger (with nachos!). To be fair, I don't think Dr. Oetker has ever produced a hit single.
posted by Skybly at 1:23 AM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


Now I want to know what the pizza options in Norway are.

Pizza in Norway is kinda expensive, on the whole. A simple calzone from Peppes Pizza (Scandinavia's "largest pizza restaurant chain", it says here) is 138 NOK, which is about 16,5 USD.

Grandiosa is quite popular in Sweden, as well. Although not at all on the same level as in Norway.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 2:07 AM on December 19, 2017


This is almost definitely a stunt, but last year the news reported that Japan was training reindeer to deliver pizza. If it was successful, it seems like that could be translated to Norway.
posted by AFABulous at 8:36 AM on December 19, 2017


I was in Norway in June this year, and on the drive from Bergen to Oslo, stopped for lunch somewhere and ordered the pizza (I love me some pizza with corn on top!). When it was set down in front of me, the waitress asked if I'd like any ketchup. (Huh? Maybe she meant marinara sauce? Either way, no thanks!)

So I enjoy my (mediocre) pizza, and at the end of the meal when we're paying the bill, the owner comes out specifically to ask me where we're from (NYC) and why we didn't ask for/use any ketchup with our pizza? Also, why didn't I finish all the crust? He then proceeded to tell us how no Americans ever use ketchup and they never finish their crusts, so he finally figured he just had to ask someone!

After I told him that ketchup isn't really used on pizza in the US, maybe because it's too sweet, and I didn't finish the crusts because it was a big pizza (I left out that it wasn't the best crust), he determined that Norwegian ketchup* isn't as sweet as US ketchup (so more like marinara I suppose) and that Americans are doing it wrong.

Norway is a fascinating, beautiful, and really weird** place.

*-also, apparently they don't import any foods, so all food has to be made in Norway or some such thing, so Norway makes their own ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, etc? Haven't fact checked this but it seemed a little odd.

**-my parents were both born/raised in Sweden, so I'm just doing the traditional neighborly country ribbing here

posted by Grither at 8:54 AM on December 19, 2017 [2 favorites]


This is how I feel about Ellio’s / bowling alley pizza. It’s terrible, and unless you have some cultural attachment to it (not to mention a sweet ringtone), it’s basically inedible.

This describes Emo's Pizza in St. Louis.
posted by slogger at 12:36 PM on December 19, 2017


Imo's! I mean Imo's Pizza. Guh.
posted by slogger at 12:43 PM on December 19, 2017


Pizza in Norway is kinda expensive, on the whole.

FTFY.
posted by madcaptenor at 1:09 PM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


Fun post, just some pedantry: while "kjipt" (from the song Life is too (Livet er for) "kjipt") is probably a Norwegification of "cheap", in this context kjipt means "sad", "depressing", "gray", "dull", "meaningless". Not "short" (or "cheap", for that matter).
posted by Dumsnill at 1:18 PM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


Hey, Dumsnill, thanks for the day brightener!
posted by Floydd at 3:16 PM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]


The continued cultural relevance of Grandiosa never ceases to amaze me.

I can still conjure up what it tastes and feels like, and I haven't had a piece for over ten years.

How much do they cost these days?

edit: apparently around ~$A6.20
posted by flippant at 6:14 AM on December 21, 2017


Yep. I’m in Bergen, and I’m on the couch in my rental with a Grandiosa on the table!

Reminds me of Red Baron pizza, not my favorite, but not terrible, but also not an experience I’m going to repeat on this trip!
posted by angeline at 10:47 AM on December 29, 2017


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