Last year was a positive year for the Swiss chocolate industry as a whole, with 190,731 tons of it sold at home and abroad, industry body Chocosuisse said on Thursday.
Exports rose by 4.8 percent to 127,923 tons with a turnover of 936 million francs, a 6.9 percent increase on the previous year.
Chocolate makers will be particularly happy that exports to Germany – Switzerland’s main export market – rose by 16 percent in 2017 after a decline in the last three years. Exports to the UK, France and Canada also rose.
However it wasn’t an entirely rosy picture, since Swiss chocolate was less popular at home, with sales falling by 1.3 percent to 62,808 tons, reducing domestic turnover by 0.4 percent.
Domestic consumption of imported chocolate also fell slightly, meaning overall each Swiss resident ate 500g less Swiss chocolate in 2017, bringing the annual per capita chocolate consumption down to 10.5kg.
It’s the third year in a row that domestic sales have fallen, while exports have risen every year since 2012, according to Chocosuisse figures.
Switzerland’s long relationship with chocolate dates back to 1819 when Francois-Louis Cailler opened a chocolate factory in Corsier near Vevey and founded Cailler chocolate, the oldest Swiss brand still in existence.
Some of the world’s best known brands were started by Swiss chocolate entrepreneurs in the 19th century, including Suchard, Sprüngli, Lindt and Toblerone.