The history of Nói Síríus can be traced back to the year 1920. A company then called Brjóstsykursgerðin Nói was founded by Gísli Guðmundsson, Loftur Guðmundsson, Eiríkur Bech, Hallur Þorleifsson and Þorgils Ingvarsson, where Þorgils was the company’s first CEO. Four years later, H. Benediktsson & Co merged with the original founders and the company was changed to a corporation.
At first, Nói only manufactured hard candy and caramels, where all operations took place in a basement room in downtown Reykjavík.
Eiríkur Bech was Nói’s first employee, as he had studied confectionary arts in Denmark. Eiríkur later became the CEO of Nói Síríus, a position he held until 1954.
In 1933 the operations moved to its own facilities. That same year, Nói hf. bought the Danish chocolate factory Síríus, although they where run as two entities at first.
Hallgrímur Björnsson, chemist, takes over as Nói Síríus’ CEO.
Up until 1970, when Iceland joined EFTA, importing candy and chocolate was prohibited with very few exceptions. This sculpted the Icelandic candy industry market, where the business focused on manufacturing for the most part, where actual sales came second.
Never the less, competition was fierce between local manufactures, some of which as old as Nói Síríus. Although the importation ban created a certain shelter for Icelandic candy production, the operational options where limited. A strict pricing and monetary policy tied the hands of candy manufacturers and limited their growth and expansion. This would be the case until the importation ban was lifted.
In 1977 Nói’s facilities at Barónsstígur could no longer sustain the expansion, so the sales offices and warehouse where moved to Suðurlandsbraut 4. The same year, Nói and Síríus merged, therefor forming Nói Síríus.
In the 80’s, it was safe to say that people’s views on Icelandic candy manufacturing where pessimistic at best. How where small Icelandic companies supposed to compete with huge global giants, most of whom controlled their own harvesting and production of raw materials?
Like many suspected, imported goods gained increased foothold on the Icelandic market and soon made up for over half of the market share. Luckily, this was not considered negative, as the market expanded roughly by half over the same period.
The 80’s marked the start of the constant product development and improvements we still see today, and the market share of Icelandic candy has stayed at 40 – 45%, where Nói Síríus is by far the biggest.
In 1981, Kristinn Björnsson takes over as the company’s CEO.
Finnur Geirsson takes over as the CEO of Nói Síríus.
In 1993, all operations moved into a new 6.000 square meter facility at Hestháls 2-4 in Reykjavík and subsequently merged with H. Benediktsson hf. moving all Kellogg’s imports to Nói Síríus.
In 1995, Nói Síríus bought the candy manufacturer Opal, and as a result parts of the operation moved to Akureyri.
In 1999 all production seized in Akureyri and was moved to Hestháls in Reykjavík. Parts of the production were moved to Latvia where Nói Síríus set up shop along with other investors. A year later, Nói bought a well-known cracker manufacturer (Staburadze) and merged productions. Later that year, the new venture purchased the majority part in Latvia’s biggest candy manufacturer (Laima) which created Laima/Staburadze which Nói Síríus held a 25% share in.
By the end of 2004, Nói Síríus sold its shares and looked for new ventures. In 2006, the company acquired an English chocolate maker, Elizabeth Shaw. In 2009 Nói Síríus sold its shares in Elizabeth Shaw and focussed on exporting their own products.
Current key markets consist of the US, Russia, Denmakr and the Faroe Islands. Due to an increase in production, further expansion was required which lead to the build of a new 1.800 square meter warehouse at Hestháls, upping the total square space of Nói’s facilities to 8.000 square meters.
Currently over 150 people work at Nói Síríus. The company produces a wide range of candy products, in various shapes and sizes. The product selection is constantly increasing and packaging- and marketing trends are in constant evaluation in order to meet new needs on the market and technical evolution.
Operations are although not limited to production, as Nói imports a vast range of global brands such as Cadbury’s, Park Lane and Kellogg’s.
Nói Síríus has been run as a family business for most if its days, where 80% of shares are held by 3 holding companies that all are bound by family bonds.
Nói Síríus builds on a solid and traditional foundation and has had the privilege to grow alongside the Icelandic nation through the years. An open market and healthy competition has fortified the company, which has an optimistic and positive view for the future.