Story of Lýsi

From 1936 to today. This is the rich history of Lýsi.

It all started in 1936, with a telegram to Tryggvi Olafsson from E. C. Wise, representing the Upjohn Company in Michigan, USA. Wise asked if any cod liver oil was available in Iceland, as Upjohn needed a new supplier. The vitamin D content in the oil they had previously bought from Norway had dropped drastically.




Olafsson did not have a factory, but he had a building site and along with his wife, he traveled to Norway in 1937 to select and order machinery. Lýsi was then formally established on January 10th, 1938.



Story of Lýsi 01

1938-1957

The story of Lýsi began in 1938 with two brothers, Tryggvi and Thordur Olafsson. Thanks to their innovative and visionary mindsets, they founded a company that soon became Iceland’s largest producer of cod liver oil – which it continues to be to this day.

Þórður Ólafsson in 1938
Þórður Ólafsson in 1938

1958-1977

The recession in the market for cod liver oil continued. Despite this, Lýsi proved profitable and began the production of winterised medicinal cod liver oil in consumer packaging. Around 1960, a laboratory was established and regular research into cod liver oil commenced. Ever since, the domestic market has played an important role as a benchmark, being an important testing ground and research area for the company.

Lýsi proved profitable and began the production of winterised medicinal cod liver oil in consumer packaging.

1978-1997

In 1979 scientists concluded that consumption of fish lipids reduced the risk of coronary diseases. This had a huge impact on consumers and the popularity of cod liver oil grew once more. Lýsi increased the emphasis on research and development, with the result that Lýsi is today one of the leaders in know-how in the field of omega-3 and its utilisation.

1998-present

The demand for cod liver oil was high due to the need for vitamins A and D. Lýsi soon became the largest producer of cod liver oil in Iceland.

Most of its production was exported to the USA, although during World War II there was an agreement between the governments of Iceland and the UK that the latter would be allowed to purchase half of all production during the war.
Most of its production was exported to the USA, although during World War II there was an agreement between the governments of Iceland and the UK that the latter would be allowed to purchase half of all production during the war.