Study maps Swiss divide over chocolate treats

Study maps Swiss divide over chocolate treats
Image: Cailler
Residents of French-speaking Switzerland are the biggest consumers of chocolate in the world, shows a new study that maps regional differences in Swiss taste.

The most chocolate in the mountain country is gobbled down in the cantons of Jura, Fribourg, Valais, Neuchâtel and Vaud (in that order), according to a survey conducted for Cailler, the Swiss chocolate subsidiary of Nestlé.

Swiss residents devoured an average of 11.9 kilograms of chocolate in 2012, making them world champions, figures supplied by Chocosuisse, the federation of Swiss chocolate makers indicate.

Cailler, based in the town of Broc in the canton of Fribourg, launched a study to map the regions of the country to find out exactly who is eating the most and what kind.

The research was conducted in collaboration with Unico-first SA, an institute for market studies, and the Zurich university of applied sciences (ZHAW).

It found that those in the canton of Jura eat the most chocolate, while those in the canton of Zurich the least.

Among other findings, the study showed one third of Swiss eat chocolate at least once a day.

And it noted a cultural divide or “Schokoladegraben” between the German-speaking cantons on the one side and the “Latin” regions of Suisse Romande (French-speaking Switzerland) and Italian-speaking Ticino on the other.

The “Latins” tend to prefer dark chocolate (containing higher levels of cocoa), while German-speaking Swiss prefer milk chocolate.

The study showed that couples and parents tend to nibble more of the stuff than singles and divorcees.

And it discovered that the favorite time for residents across Switzerland to have their choco-treats is between 9 and 10pm, just ahead of the lunch hour, times coinciding with dessert and coffee.

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