Swiss chocolate consumption dips to lowest levels in 40 years

Around 70% of Swiss chocolate is exported. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

For the first time since 1982, average annual chocolate consumption in Switzerland has fallen below the 10 kg per person mark. 

This content was published on March 1, 2021 - 12:08

On average, a Swiss resident munched 9.9 kg of chocolate in 2020, 6.9% less than the year before, according to the Association of Swiss Chocolate Manufacturers (Chocosuisse). This decline was at the expense of Swiss-made chocolate, as the import volume of foreign-made chocolate increased by 1.8%. and its share rose from 41% to 43%.  

The industry body blames protectionist measures at home for the rising sales of imported chocolates in Switzerland. 

“This trend is being driven by an asymmetry in the border protection of raw materials and processed products: as a result of the border protection, certain raw materials are twice as expensive in Switzerland as abroad,” said a statement by Chocosuisse on Monday. 

The Covid-19 pandemic also took a toll on the industry. Production fell by more than 10% to 180,000 tonnes. As a result, exports dropped by 11.5% to 126,000 tonnes. In total, chocolate sales fell by 14.5% to CHF1.53 billion ($1.68 billion).  

“There was one factory closure in 2020 as well as a 4.8% decrease in the number of people employed in the industry,” said Chocosuisse. 

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