Swiss chocolate is justifiably number one in the world of chocolate. A long history of high-quality earned that status and made it worldwide famous.
In this article, we’ll talk about Swiss chocolate history, how it became famous, what makes it special, and about the most famous brands.
Are you ready? Let’s dive into the world of Swiss chocolate!
What makes Swiss chocolate that special?
There are many reasons why. It has roots in rich history, is of high-quality, and Swiss chocolatiers are constantly working on improving it.
1. Switzerland introduced Swiss chocolate brands to the world
Early in 1819 above Lake Geneva, a chocolatier François-Louis Cailler opened a manufactured production venue in Corsier-sur-Vevey.
In 1829 in the canton of Neuchâtel, Philippe Suchard opened a chocolate factory in Serrières.
The number of talented Swiss chocolatiers increased until the end of the 19th century, making Swiss chocolate one of a kind.
2. Milk gives Swiss chocolate the creamiest flavor you can ever taste
The Swiss created the best combination by adding creamy milk produced by Swiss pastureland. How did that happen? Simply, the Swiss invented the chocolate and then made it perfect.
The inventor of Lindt chocolate – Rudolph Lindt was also the one to put into motion the process of ‘conching’. In 1879, he created the very first melt-in-the-mouth Swiss chocolate, while he was running a manufacturing facility in Bern.
The technique of ‘conching’ implies warming the chocolate as you crumble it through versatile rolling pins. As a result, the chocolate is creamier, sweeter, and smoother.
In 1875, Daniel Peter set a new standard in combining Swiss chocolate with milk.
In his factory, he found the perfect mix that happened to be a great success and instantly made Switzerland a pioneering country of chocolate.
3. Impeccable quality, which is not surprising when it comes to the Swiss
The quality isn’t only related to the Swiss chocolate but also its makers – professional chocolatiers.
It is said that if the chocolate is of good quality, it will melt on your tongue immediately, without hardening or making a sandy feeling in your mouth. No aftertaste, just the original one to the core of its ecstasy.
4. Ceaseless creativity and innovation in Switzerland chocolate market
Swiss chocolate has a long tradition but it also ceaselessly discovers new recipes. It’s the small things that make a huge difference.
In these processes of improvement, an important role goes to scientists who never stop to discover new methods and techniques.
They share their achievements with the industry, just like, for example, the Swiss chocolate working group under the guidance of professor Erich Windhab, at the ETH Zurich Institute of Food, Nutrition, and Health.
5. The Swiss themselves can’t get enough of chocolate
According to statistics, the Swiss rank among the top chocolate lovers in the world, consuming averagely between 11 and 12 kg of chocolate per year.
It is not that they only support the Swiss chocolate origin, they are also experts in good taste.
What is different about Swiss chocolate?
1. A long history and tradition
Some names influenced greatly on preserving the tradition of Swiss chocolate.
Apart from François-Louis Cailler (opened a production facility in Corsier), whom we mentioned before, the credits also go to two expertise: Daniel Peter and Rodolphe Lindt.
Daniel Peter was the first to make a solid milk chocolate bar in 1871. He added powdered milk and achieved the perfect outcome, chocolate without bitterness.
Rodolphe Lindt opened his chocolate factory in Berne in 1879 where he mastered the process of ‘conching’. He fused cocoa with cocoa butter, making smooth-textured chocolate that instantly melts in your mouth.
These two inventions were crucial because they are the foundation of the Swiss chocolate flavor.
In 1901, Chocosuisse was founded – the association that protects all companies that work under the label of Swiss chocolate.
According to Swiss law, the food can be branded as Swiss if at least 80 percent of the food by weight is from Switzerland, and, according to the international legal publication Lexology, if the main manufacturing is done in the country.
Ingredients like cacao aren’t included in the weight calculation since they don’t grow in Switzerland.
According to Chocosuisse, Swiss chocolate can only be “ready-conched chocolate or chocolate mass entirely manufactured in Switzerland using cocoa beans or cocoa mass, cocoa butter, sugar and milk as the case may be.”
2. Signature style
Adding milk to Swiss chocolate was the best move that made it the most distinguishable and the most unique in the chocolate market worldwide.
Why is Swiss chocolate famous?
The great names like Daniel Peter, Henri Nestlé, and Rodolph Lindt made Switzerland famous with their high-quality products, giving chocolate brands to the world that persists to this day.
Here we will list how the success of Swiss chocolate looked chronologically:
1815 – Philippe Suchard became an apprentice confectioner and opened his shop in 1825.
1819 – François-Louis Cailler sets a foundation for the mechanized production of pressed chocolate. He opened a chocolate factory in Vevey to manufacture Switzerland’s first mass-produced chocolate confection.
1826 – Phillippe Suchard created a commercial mixing machine for cocoa and sugar. Swiss chocolate stayed crumbly but tasted better.
1830 – Charles-Amadeé Kohler added hazelnuts to Swiss chocolate which became the most famous “mix-in” in the country.
1867 – Daniel Peter and François-Louis Cailler’s son-in-law joined their forces and started operating under the name Peter-Cailler.
1875 – Jacques Henri Nestlé came into the business, and he blended his powdered milk with Daniel Peter’s chocolate to produce the creamy sensation that became the standard Swiss chocolate. Nestlé’s powdered milk became a substitute for the more expensive cacao butter, giving a product that is sweet and affordable.
Now, on a building at 14 rue des Bosquets in Vevey is a plaque that marks the site where milk chocolate was created.
1879 – Rudolf Lindt made the first “fondant” chocolate made with a conching machine. Swiss chocolate becomes a melt-in-your-mouth confection, the one that sets the standard of the quality and impeccable taste we know today.
1879 – Henri Nestlé and Daniel Peter united to form the Nestlé Company.
1899 – Lindt sold his factory and conching technique to Chocolat Sprüngli AG, with whom he cooperated under the name of Lindt & Sprüngli AG. Sprüngli paid 1.5 million gold francs for the recipe and marketing rights. Soon, the secret of the conching techniques leaked out and other companies started using it.
1893 – The company run by Charles Miller and Karl Bernhardt was taken over by the Lindt and Springli Company to become Switzerland’s biggest chocolate manufacturer.
1908 – Theodore Tobler presented his worldly recognized Toblerone line of confectionery, milk chocolate with nougat, almonds, and honey.
The 1930s – The Nestlé Company invented White chocolate in Vevey. The main ingredients were milk, sugar, and cocoa butter that gave chocolate that melted but also tasted milkier and sweeter.
The chocolate industry in Switzerland
The chocolate industry in Switzerland is a very important part of the food industry and the Swiss economy in general. Switzerland is number one in chocolate consumption in the world.
Per year, they produce about 180,000 tons of Swiss chocolate. Of the overall number, about 39% is sold in Switzerland and 61% is sold abroad.
Lindt Home of Chocolate
The building of Lindt’s Home of Chocolate was founded in 2013, and it is the highlight of the Swiss chocolate history.
The modern design for this multifunctional building was created by architects Christ & Gantenbein.
It differs from the historical Lindt & Sprüngli factory building from 1899. But, with its modern design, it fits into the surroundings in Kilchberg.
At the entrance is a 9 meters tall chocolate fountain, the largest in the world.
There you will find the best chocolates, pralines, and a whole range of other delicious treats.
Lindt’s Home of Chocolate is the owner of the world’s largest Lindt chocolate shop, a Lindt café, and a Lindt Chocolateria that offers chocolate courses.
You can make the greatest chocolate together with a real LINDT Master Chocolatier and learn all about your favorite treat.
This project has one goal – to become the most important Swiss business location for chocolate in a long term.
Also, they will continue doing the work of the former company founders, who made Swiss chocolate famous worldwide and an important part of national identity.
Lindt Home of Chocolate, with its highly developed transportation net in Zurich, is about to become an exciting day-trip destination for Swiss chocolate fans all over the world.
Swiss chocolate brands
Now we will give some insights into some of the best Swiss chocolate companies and what makes them famous.
Cailler is Switzerland’s oldest chocolate company, founded in 1819. It is placed in Vevey, where its founder François-Louis Cailler was born.
Firstly, he had a small shop, and then in 1820, he bought a factory with the idea to start the mass production of Swiss chocolate.
You can visit Cailler’s Chocolate Factory and taste different chocolates, but be ready – bring a bottle of water! You can also visit their shop and buy their chocolate to surprise someone.
Cailler’s Chocolate Factory will probably provide you the best tour on which you can learn more about Swiss chocolate.
The chocolate tour starts with a brief history of how Swiss chocolate has become famous, how chocolate came to Europe, and how the finest chocolatiers made Swiss chocolate perfect.
At the end of the tour, you will visit the all-you-can-eat chocolate tasting room and enjoy its luxury.
The quality of this brand can compete with some of the best premium Belgian chocolate brands.
Location: Rue Jules Bellet 7, 1636 Broc, Switzerland
Lindt Swiss Chocolate
Lindt & Sprüngli AG is famous for its truffles and chocolate bars. The company was run by father and son David Sprüngli-Schwarz and Rudolf Sprüngli-Ammann.
Firstly, it was only a shop, but later it expanded by acquiring Rodolphe Lindt chocolate factory in 1899.
They changed the name to Lindt & Sprüngli. Nevertheless, it is commonly known simply as Lindt.
Lindt is one of the most well-known Swiss chocolate brands. With high-quality and accessibility, Lindt keeps the throne in the chocolate industry. They have around 370 chocolate shops all over the world.
At Chocolateria in Kilchberg, you can visit their workshops and tastings. Also, you can visit their Swiss Chocolate Adventure at the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne.
Lindt is also involved in touristic chains by running some factory outlets and cafés in the most visited places in Switzerland.
To locate the nearest stores, you can use their interactive map.
The Nestlé Company was founded in 1867, initially as a small business based on baby formula.
In 1905, the company united with Milkmaid, and the first Nestlé chocolate was produced.
They started to do it massively and created more chocolates that are famous today.
They also have a Swiss ice cream brand, Mövenpick Ice Cream. Furthermore, they are part of the pharmaceutical industry.
Nestlé has expanded worldwide, serving products in more than 80 countries.
As we mentioned, even though it is the most popular for the diversity of Swiss chocolates, they also offer different things, such as pet food, baby food, snacks, cereal, coffee, medical food, etc.
Nestlé makes different types of chocolate and flavors, such as milk chocolate, dark chocolate, almond and hazelnut, milk crunch, fruits and nuts, choco-chunks, etc.
Their most famous product is probably KitKat that was produced in 1935 and it kept its impressive taste.
For white chocolate lovers, products like Milkybar and Quality Street are also very popular.
Theodor Tobler created Toblerone and made it one of the most unique milk chocolates by adding nougat, almonds, and honey.
He was among the first to make different shapes for the chocolate bars – a unique triangular shape chocolate bar.
Toblerone’s mountain logo, the unique triangular shape, is devoted to the famous Swiss mountain, the Matterhorn peak.
Unquestionably, Toblerone is one of the most unique Swiss chocolate brands that will bring you the ecstasy of flavors on every single bite.
The exquisite combo of ingredients will follow you even after the chocolate has melted.
Every chocolate lover should indulge himself with this heavenly and classic Swiss chocolate.
It will touch your senses with tastes of natural honey, the best cocoa, Swiss milk, and almond nougat. Also, a substantial amount of dopamine will make you happy.
In 1962, Glarus was founded by Chocolatier Rudolf Läderach Jr.
In 2008, it was rebranded as Läderach.
Rudolf perfected the revolutionary truffles design, the one that comes with a thin, hollow chocolate shell.
In 2008, at the independent World Pastry Team Championship in Nashville, Tennessee, Läderach won a bronze medal.
Läderach is famous for their “FrischSchoggi” – fresh chocolate bars and fancy bonbons. Another special treat is their white chocolate with crushed raspberries and blackberries.
Läderach offers you a self-guided tour on which you can learn how chocolate is being made. Also, you can visit sections for gifts and souvenirs.
It may be expensive, but it guarantees you the best and unforgettable taste.
One of locations: Läderach (Schweiz) AG, Bleiche 14, 8755 Ennenda, Switzerland
In Aarau in 1887, Frey was founded by brothers Robert and Max Frey, and it is associated with the supermarket Migros.
The company started expanding until it was bought by Migros in 1950. Later in 1997, it went international.
You can visit the Frey Chocolate Factory and find out about the history of chocolate and cocoa bean, and how the factory operates.
In the chocolate taste-test section, you can taste many Frey variations, and visit the shop to buy chocolate, and make a photo for a lasting memory!
In 2012, Frey celebrated its 125th anniversary.
Location: Bresteneggstrasse 4, 5033 Buchs, Switzerland
What Swiss chocolate is the best and the most popular?
Well, it is debatable. According to Ranker.com, the best Swiss chocolate is Lindt, followed by Toblerone and Läderach.
Some think that Cailler is the best and that it doesn’t get the credits it deserves.
However, it depends on your preferences.
If you want the melt-in-your-mouth taste, you’ll choose Lindt truffles.
If you want boxes designed for special occasions, you’ll choose Cailler.
And if you want special chocolate bars and come in a variety of tastes and shapes, you’ll choose Läderach.
Now that you’ve read some facts about Swiss chocolate, only one question remains: Where to buy Swiss chocolate?
You can find it in all major cities and supermarkets which offer versatile chocolate brands in one place.
If you are looking for more affordable chocolate, check supermarkets like Migros and Coop and have a tasteful blast!
Wherever you are in Switzerland you can find delicious chocolate.
If you want to go on a chocolate tour around the country hire a limousine and add even more luxury to your trip.