Wasa is the world's largest producer of crispbread. Every year the company sells around 60,000 tons of crispbread in 40 countries. The Swedes eat more crispbread than any other people in the world, almost 4 kilograms per capita. Wasa's largest markets outside Sweden are the other Scandinavian countries and Germany, closely followed by Poland, the Netherlands, France, and the USA. However, crispbread as a category exists almost everywhere.
Wasa, which has a staff of around 950 people, has been owned by the Barilla Group since 1999. The head office is in Stockholm, Sweden, and the company has production facilities in Filipstad in Sweden, Celle in Germany, and Hamar in Norway.
The name Wasa has its roots in an old Swedish word, vase, which means sheaf. Since the 14th century, the coat of arms of the first king of Sweden, Gustav Vasa, and his family has featured a stylized sheaf. Gustav Vasa was sometimes called the "Rye King". No-one knows exactly where the name comes from, but it may have its origins in the fact that the king demanded that his people pay their taxes in the form of rye, a valuable commodity at the time. For many years, Wasa used a picture of the Rye King on its packaging. This was later replaced by a royal crown above the name. Today, the crown has been evolved to a crown-sheaf which represents the origins of Wasa. It also lends a royal air to crispbread, something which is also reflected in the fact that the company has been appointed purveyor to His Majesty the King of Sweden.