Fun Facts About the Top Swiss Chocolate Brands

Updated on September 30, 2018
Monique K-G profile image

I live in Switzerland and have had the luxury of tasting all of these delicious chocolates (maybe a bit too much...).

Selection of Lindt chocolate truffles
Selection of Lindt chocolate truffles

Switzerland is known as the home of cheese, banking, and chocolate. Swiss chocolates are world famous, as the names Lindt, Toblerone, Läderach, Cailler, and even Nestlé feature in shops across the globe.

In this article, I will explore the Swiss tradition of chocolate making. I will also provide some insight into some of the top Swiss chocolate companies—and what makes them famous.

A Cocoa Bean
A Cocoa Bean

The Introduction of Cocoa Beans

Cocoa beans were first discovered by the Aztecs, who believed it was a gift of the gods. They referred to these beans as the "food of the gods." The Aztecs used cocoa to prepare a drink called "xocolatl," or chocolate water, which was described as a bitter, salty drink. Cocoa beans were later discovered by the Spanish, who were amazed by its nutritional level and the energy it provided.

From Bean to Bar (a Video from Cailler)

Where does Chocolate come from?

Chocolate comes from cocoa beans, which are normally grown within the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn (20 degrees from the equator). The majority of the world's cocoa plantations are located in West Africa.

From these cocoa beans, there is cocoa butter and smaller beans. The butter is used in milk and white chocolate. The smaller beans are normally reduced to cocoa powder, which is used in milk and dark chocolate. A variety of other ingredients are used to introduce or enhance different flavours.

Cailler selection (left to right) Milk, Almond, Hazel nut, Dark, Praline, & Caramel
Cailler selection (left to right) Milk, Almond, Hazel nut, Dark, Praline, & Caramel

Cailler

Cailler holds the title as Switzerland's oldest chocolate company, as it was founded by François-Louis Cailler in 1819. François was born in Vevey, a town close to Lausanne (southern Switzerland), which had seven chocolate factories in the early 1800s. After owning a small shop, François purchased a factory in 1820 to produce chocolate on a large scale.

Cailler Chocolate Factory

Cailler's Chocolate Factory accepts visits, where you are guided through the history, get a sneak-peak at the factory, and taste-test a variety of chocolates (best not to eat beforehand and to bring a water bottle!). There is also a shop to purchase a variety of their chocolates with sweet deals.

Address: Rue Jules Bellet 7, 1636 Broc (Switzerland)

Range of Nestle Chocolate Bars
Range of Nestle Chocolate Bars

Nestlé

Founded by Henri Nestlé, the Nestlé company started off in 1867 as a small business that initially focused on baby formula. In 1905, after joining forces with Milkmaid, the first Nestlé chocolate was made. Later, in the 20th century, they developed more chocolates that are known today. They also branched out into the pharmaceutical industry and acquired Mövenpick Ice Cream, a Swiss ice cream brand.

Which of these chocolate bars do you recognize from Nestlé?

Lindt Milk Truffles
Lindt Milk Truffles

Lindt

Chocoladefabriken (Chocolate factory) Lindt & Sprüngli AG, more commonly known simply as Lindt, was founded in 1845 and is famous for its truffles and chocolate bars. The company started off as a small confectionery store in 1836, called Confiserie Sprüngli, and was run by a father and son: David Sprüngli-Schwarz and Rudolf Sprüngli-Ammann. They later acquired Rodolphe Lindt chocolate factory in 1899, and the name was changed to Lindt & Sprüngli. However, it is commonly known simply as Lindt.

Toblerone Traditional
Toblerone Traditional

Toblerone

Theodor Tobler created Toblerone in 1876 and was one of the first to explore different shapes for their chocolate bars. Their standard chocolate, instead of being a simple milk variety, is a mixture of nougat, almonds, and honey in a unique milk chocolate. Its predominant mountain logo pays tribute to the famous Swiss mountain, the Matterhorn.

Frey Assortment
Frey Assortment

Frey

Frey is a chocolate brand that is associated with the supermarket Migros. Frey was founded by brothers Robert and Max Frey in Aarau, in 1887 (67 years after Cailler!). The small company gradually expanded until it was purchased by Migros in 1950, and it went international in 1997. In 2012, Frey celebrated its 125th anniversary.

The Frey Chocolate factory accepts visits, where you can learn about the history of the cocoa bean and chocolate, as well as about the company's general production. There is also a chocolate taste-test section, where all different Frey variations can be tasted. There is also a shop to buy your favourites, and a photo booth to get a digital chocolate memory!

Address: Bresteneggstrasse 4, 5033 Buchs (Switzerland)

Läderach Assortment
Läderach Assortment

Läderach

Chocolatier Rudolf Läderach Jr. founded Glarus in 1962, which later was rebranded as Läderach in 2008. Rudolf developed the revolutionary truffles design, with a hollow, thin chocolate shell, which improved the manufacturing process of the truffles. Läderach won a bronze medal at the independent World Pastry Team Championship in Nashville, Tennessee (in the United States), in 2008.

Läderach offers tours, a taste-test section, and a chocolate shop. Indulge yourself in the chocolate fountains, with fresh chocolate by the spoon!

Address: Grabenstrasse 6, 8865 Bilten (Switzerland)

The Most Popular?

According to Ranker.com, the best Swiss chocolate is Lindt, followed by Toblerone and Läderach. However, this is debated among the Swiss. Some believe that Cailler is the finest Swiss chocolate—but that it doesn't receive the recognition it deserves, as it is not widely exported.

I personally find it hard to decide. As the Lindt truffles just melt in your mouth (making them hard to resist), Cailler boxes are linked to special occasions, and Läderach has the most unique chocolate bars, which come in a wide range of variety.

Which is your favorite Swiss Chocolate Brand?

See results

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Monique K-G

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      • profile image

        Lui 

        8 months ago

        Hi Monique, well done!

        Good article :-) My favorite is also Lindt.

        In Freiburg also exists a very good chocolate company. Nearly even better or as good as Lindt.

        Some nice sentence to the theme chocolate:

        "I don't simply eat chocolate. I give calories a home!"

        "Chocolate doesn't ask silly questions, chocolate simply understands."

        "Chocolate doesn't solve problems, but a apple can't do it as well ". ;-)

        Best regards , Lui

      • Monique K-G profile imageAUTHOR

        Monique K-G 

        8 months ago from Switzerland

        Thanks Bede! I must say I agree - Lindt is at the top. Thank you so much for the idea to write about Swiss chocolates :)

      • Bede le Venerable profile image

        Bede 

        8 months ago from Minnesota

        Great article Monique- as for me, there can’t be anything better than a Lindt truffle. I’m quite certain that those are the chocolates served in Heaven. I tried a Godiva chocolate today...not nearly as good. It was interesting seeing all the little beans in the pod.

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