The first chocolate factory in German-speaking Switzerland
In 1845, Rudolf Sprüngli-Amman founded the first chocolate factory in German-speaking Switzerland in Zurich, but it was Rodolphe Lindt who revolutionized chocolate production with his invention of the conching machine in Berne in 1879. Together, in 1899, the two men laid the foundations for one of the most successful chocolate manufacturers in the world: Lindt & Sprüngli.
It was this innovative mixing, stirring and aerating process that gave the previously chewy, brittle, and floury chocolate its smooth, melt-in-the-mouth texture. Fondant chocolate was born, and the global success of Swiss chocolate sealed. In 1899, Lindt sold his factory together with the manufacturing secret of conching to the Sprünglis for the equivalent of around 300 million Swiss francs – and the rest is history.
Others Get a Taste for it
Others soon followed in the promising footsteps of Lindt & Sprüngli: Maestrani began production in 1852, followed by Tobler in 1899 in Berne. The latter’s Toblerone chocolate bar is now sold in 122 countries around the world. True Zurich manufactories are Teuscher, founded in 1931, and Confiserie Honold, which has been cultivating the fine art of chocolate making since 1905. Both are famous for their champagne truffles – the only way to find out which are better is by sampling them.
The Chocolate Industry Today
The bean-to-bar movement has taken the chocolate world by storm – and it also bears (sweet) fruit in Zurich. Garçoa, La Flor, Kürzi, and Taucherli are innovative small-scale manufactories that control the production process of their chocolate from the bean to the bar and are also actively involved themselves.
Lindt Home of Chocolate: a New Building Abounding in Superlatives
As from 2020, chocoholics from all corners of the globe will be able to immerse themselves in the world of chocolate at the ultra-modern Lindt Home of Chocolate, located on the site of the Zurich headquarters of the globally successful company.