Switzerland is probably one of the most fundamental countries in the field of chocolate manufacturing. Although the creation of the latter is not attributed to the Swiss, it is nevertheless undeniable that they are among the pioneers of the chocolate industry. Indeed, the first chocolate shop established in Switzerland opened its door in Bern in 1792, one hundred years after the appearance of chocolate in the country.
The History of Swiss Chocolate
The year 1697 marked the discovery of chocolate by Heinrich Escher, Mayor of Zurich. He introduced it into Switzerland and allowed it to be consumed only by members of the ruling brotherhoods of the city. Thirty years later, two Italians set up a chocolate- making factory and quickly fell into disrepair because of the local population’s absolute repulsion for this luxury product. However, many chocolate factories started to pop up in
Lausanne, Ticino, and Blenio starting in 1800. And Charles-Amédée Kohler definitively commercialized a series of chocolates in 1830 and tirelessly improved the quality of its products. Moreover, one of its recipes, hazelnut chocolate is largely consumed by Europeans. Then, new ingredients were added by Daniel Peter in order to create other varieties of chocolate to compete with the dark chocolate monopoly. In 1875, milk chocolate was born thanks to Peter and his special ingredients. Moreover, Rudolph Lindt marketed another variety in 1879: melting chocolate with a velvety texture and a highly appreciated taste.
The Consumption of Chocolate in Switzerland
The Swiss consume the most chocolate in the world: 11.6 kg per person per year according to a study. For good reason, chocolate is an integral part of the nutritional habits of the Swiss. In particular, many Swiss specialties are marketed at festivals (such as Sechseläuten of Zurich during which small chocolate figurines are sold), parties, and fairs. Swiss Chocolate Production
About 600 tonnes of chocolate in various forms are exported annually from
Switzerland. Before the First World War, Switzerland was among the countries with the largest share of the world chocolate market (up to 170 tons exported in 1914). However, during the post-World War period chocolate lost its place and started to be consumed less often. Many efforts have been made by manufacturers to find new varieties (projects that are unfortunately very expensive). Nevertheless, chocolate remains a typical emblem of Switzerland and continues to revive and satisfy its fans in the country.