Swiss increase their taste for chocolate

Switzerland's chocolate industry has had a bitter-sweet year, according to results just published by the industry's professional association of factories, Chocosuisse. Domestic demand has grown but foreign sales dropped.

This content was published on February 15, 2000 - 19:41

Switzerland's chocolate industry has had a bitter-sweet year, according to results just published by the industry's professional association of factories, Chocosuisse. Domestic demand has grown but foreign sales dropped.

Sales from the country's 15 chocolate factories totalled just over 130 thousand tonnes in 1999, almost the same as for the previous year. Turnover rose by nearly three per cent to SFr1.22 billion.

Demand for chocolate on the domestic front has bounced back after several years of stagnant sales. The more optimistic outlook for the economy and the growth in the number of tourists allowed Swiss sales to rise 5 per cent.

With the increase in chocolate imports, the average Swiss is now eating more chocolate than ever. Each inhabitant now consumes an average of eleven and a half kilogrammes a year. Pralines and small chocolate bars are the most popular products.

Exports continued to be affected by the Asian economic crisis at the beginning of last year and losses suffered were not fully compensated by an improved performance later in 1999.

Foreign sales reached almost 60,000 tonnes, which is a six per cent fall on the previous year. The value of chocolate exports fell by one per cent to SF 418 million.

Large chocolate bars were the biggest disappointment and saw sales fall by twelve per cent.

Germans remain the most avid admirers of Swiss chocolate accounting for 26 per cent of exports, followed by the British (12 per cent), the French (eight per cent) and the Americans (seven per cent).

Chocosuisse says the outlook for this year is good with better sales likely as the world economic recovery backs up growing domestic demand.

From staff and wire reports

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