HKScan Oyj (OMX: [ HKSAV] ) is an originally Finnish manufacturer of meat foods and products, but nowadays their product range also includes ready meals and pet foods. In the 1990s and 2000s the company - by then known as HK Ruokatalo Oy - targeted the international market, acquiring meat production companies around the Baltic Sea: In Sweden, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - including the Swedish Scan AB in 2007, which resulted to the modern-day name of the company. HK is originally an initialism of Helsingin Kauppiaat ("Helsinki Merchants"), a company that was acquired in 1991 by "LSO", and HK is the best known brand of the company in its native Finland. Its Finnish subsidiary is still known as HK Ruoktatalo Oy ("HK Food House Inc."). HKScan Oyj is the fifth largest food manufacturer in Europe and a company listed in the Helsinki Stock Exchange.


:"Text in this section is largely based on a translation of the company's [ history page] "

The history of the company in its current form traces back to the year 1913, when a number of farmers founded the co-operative slaughterhouse of South-Western Finland ("LSO – Lounais-Suomen Osuusteurastamo", or nowadays "LSO-Osuuskunta Oy", a subsidiary of HK Ruokatalo in Finland responsible for attaining the livestock). South-Western Finland is the traditional farming and agricultural center of the country because it offers one of the longest agricultural growing seasons. From early on the company was successful in domestic meat wholesales. Also, targeting the international market came early, and the first meat exports are said to have started in the late 1910s.

More local co-operative meat producers joined LSO in 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. A big reorganization took place in the Finnish meat products market in the years 1981 and 1985 when "SOK" and "OTK" – large retailing co-operatives by the working class residents in the cities – gave up their own meat industries. This naturally led to an increase in LSO's market share.

During the early 1990s LSO acquired other domestic food manufacturers: Helsingin Kauppiaat Oy in 1991 and "Kariniemi Oy" in 1993. Helsingin Kauppiaat was a meat producer with a factory located in Helsinki's suburb Sörnäinen at the time. Its products include the famous "Sininen Lenkki" sausage. Kariniemi is a producer of chicken meat. Sörnäinen area is still active in meat production and wholesale business, spotting "Helsingin Tukku" and "Cher Wotkin's", but the functions of the original Helsingin Kauppiaat factory and the production of "Sininen Lenkki" has moved to Vantaa's Pakkala factory.

The company started foreign expansion in 1998, when it bought the majority of shares in the Estonian AS Rakvere Lihakombinaat, a previously state-owned but later privatized food producer. More companies were acquired in following years: Sokołów SA in Poland, AS Talleggin in Estonia and A/S Rigas Miesnieks in Latvia. Rigas Miesnieks has operations in Lithuania as well, where the company offers Klaipedos Maistas brand products in addition to its own Latvian brands.

In 2006 and 2007 the heavily expanded company, that by this time was known as HK Ruokatalo Group, acquired Scan AB, the largest meat producer in Sweden. The company decided to renamed itself "HKScan Oyj" apparentyl due to having shifted its focus to the international market.

The company has optimized its production chain heavily during 1990s and 2000s, leading to many mass resignations and closures. Production facilities in Turku were closed in October 2007, and in Tampere in March 2008.

Modern day

HKScan is based in Turku. It has subsidiaries in Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, and it is is in co-operation with the Danish Crown AmbA in Denmark.

In Finland it owns several brands, including:
* HK: all beef and pork meat and products, ready meals and salads. By far the most famous product is the "Sininen Lenkki", an inexpensive, mixed-meat sausage, which has deep roots in the Finnish national mentality and modern culture. The sausage on its own is not of any culinary excellence.
* Kariniemen: Chicken products.
* Popsi: Knackwursts, some sausages.
* Via: The latest addition, gourmet products designed by the TV-chef Jyrki Sukula including dressings.

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