Swiss Post is issuing a chocolate-scented stamp in May to mark the 100th anniversary of Chocosuisse, the Association of Swiss Chocolate Manufacturers. The 90-centime stamps look finger-licking good and smell even better.
Each stamp resembles a three-dimensional square of chocolate and a sheet of 15 creates the life-like image of a complete chocolate bar on a realistic backdrop of foil wrapping.
The aroma is contained in a coating of lacquer, which has millions of globules of synthetic chocolate scent. When the face of the stamp is touched, the globules burst releasing the smell.
The chocolate-scented stamp, which appears officially on May 9, is described by Swiss Post as a world first and follows the issue last year of the first embroidered stamp to honour the St Gallen textile industry.
Elsa Baxter of Swiss Post's Stamps and Philately business unit told swissinfo that these novelty stamps are a way of interesting normal stamp users.
"The attraction of stamps like these is that they get people who are not really collectors thinking and talking about stamps," she said. The chocolate-scented stamp is aimed at trying to counteract a decline in the number of collectors.
"We are convinced that stamps with high artistic quality as well as innovative design and new techniques will find interested collectors."
For Chocosuisse, the new stamp reflects the sweet smell of success.
The association's director, Franz Schmid, says Swiss chocolate has an 81 per cent share of domestic sales in spite of imports from 36 countries. It also has a good reputation internationally with exports amounting to nearly 65,000 tonnes last year.
Chocosuisse was founded on July 1, 1901. At present, its members number 17 throughout Switzerland.
by Paul Sufrin