The value of Swiss chocolate exports topped CHF1 billion ($1.05 billion) for the first time last year, led by increased demand from Canada, the United States, China, the Middle East and Singapore.
Domestic consumption of the delicacy also grew slightly following declining demand in previous years. Sales for Swiss chocolate makers rose 2.2% in 2019 to reach almost CHF1.79 billion.
Nearly three quarters of sales were achieved abroad, a proportion that increased slightly from 72.5% in 2018 to 73.7% last year. The European Union is the most dominant market but growth in export sales was more notable further afield.
Annual per capita consumption in Switzerland rose 0.8% at 10.4 kilograms, bucking a recent negative trend. Swiss consumers also have a taste for foreign chocolate, with imports making up 41% of all sales.
The Swiss Chocolate Association, Chocosuisse, nevertheless complained that production costs for the luxury food in Switzerland are hampered by tariffs that favour domestic ingredients, such as sugar. This creates “unnecessary additional costs”, the association said in a statement.
Chocosuisse also called for the swift ratification of a free trade agreement with Mercosur states that would open up “non-discriminatory access to more than 260 million consumers”.
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