Portuguese Sardines shine a beacon in Times Square

Portuguese Sardines shine a beacon in Times Square

The Fantastic World of the Portuguese Sardine opens a store on the emblematic square as tinned food becomes a growing trend in the US.

The Fantastic World of the Portuguese Sardine chain opened its first store outside Portugal in New York’s famous Times Square on August 21. The brand’s US store, which saw an investment of €4.5 million, is one of the 21 that belong to the O Valor do Tempo group, which annually produces around 2.5 million cans of preserves in partnership with the Comur canning factory – one of the biggest references in the Portuguese canning industry.

The brand’s entry into the United States of America marks the beginning of the group’s expansion outside Portuguese territory. “We opened our first store outside Portugal. We are living the American dream, bringing one of Portugal’s most relevant calling cards to Times Square”, says the company on its LinkedIn page.


The Fantastic World of the Portuguese Sardine_Times Square.2

According to Alda Filipe, Kronos Homes Sales & Managing Director, who visited the store just four days after its inauguration, “this ingenious business/marketing strategy is another step to effectively put Portugal on the map and capture the hearts of Americans”.

Sharing her visit on LinkedIn, the Algarve-based real estate professional says, “I don’t typically post much about non-real estate matters, but I can’t resist sharing how proud I am to have stumbled upon Portuguese tinned sardines right in the heart of Times Square, New York!”

The US store, which has secured a 10-year lease for the prime location, is designed to resemble a bookshop. However, instead of rows of literary works, visitors discover a multicoloured array of sardine tins. Shades of green and gold predominate, and a large red neon sign in the window with the message “Portuguese Sardine” attracts the attention of thousands of passersby.


The Fantastic World of the Portuguese Sardine_Alda Filipe

Adding to the store’s colourful and entertaining setting, an animated film is played on a loop to “transport visitors to a mind-boggling dimension”, says the brand.

This typically Portuguese delicacy isn’t a novelty in the United States. In fact, at the beginning of the 20th century, tinned sardines were a highly sought-after product in New York because they were simple and convenient to eat as they had no skin or bones.

And now, they are making a comeback. “Currently, canned fish is asserting itself as a cornerstone of modern American culture, as it is a ready-to-eat, healthy, versatile product, with long shelf life, with a wide range of fish and is easy to transport and travel”, reveals the brand.

According to the New York Post, who recently visited the store, “Fantastic World couldn’t have come at a better time: Sardines have taken social media by storm with tin-fluencers such as Danielle Matzon amassing millions of views by binging on this upwardly mobile eat-on-camera. The soaring demand for this so-called “hot girl food,” as dubbed on Reddit, even caused a nationwide tinned seafood shortage in January.”



Following its consolidation on Broadway, the group states its objective is to “approach the American market”, to “increasingly affirm Portuguese preserves as an international product, riding a growing trend towards recovering their good reputation, particularly in the United States of America”.