The best of the best Swiss chocolate: 8 brands to try

The best of the best Swiss chocolate: 8 brands to try

Chocolate: a substance beloved the world over. Switzerland is home to many great chocolatiers that produce some of the globe’s most high-quality chocolate. From award-winning chocolate producers to small, family-run companies, the Swiss chocolate industry produces more than 200.000 tonnes of chocolate treats every year!

Swiss chocolate: A brief history

There is a long history of chocolate-making in Switzerland, from when the first cocoa beans reached Europe in the 1500s to the 1750s when the first Swiss-manufactured chocolate went on sale. At the time, most of Switzerland’s chocolate was made by French and Italian migrants in Canton Ticino.

For many years after its introduction, chocolate remained an artisanal product in Switzerland, produced primarily in the Italian-speaking region. It eventually became more well-known when manufacturers in Canton Vaud popularised the treat. The original chocolate manufacturers set up shop in Vevey, later encouraging others to do the same and by 1806 there were seven chocolate manufacturers in the small town.

Was milk chocolate invented in Switzerland?

Perhaps Switzerland's most significant contribution to the history of chocolate is the creation of milk chocolate. Before the 1870s, chocolate did not have the same mass appeal as it does today - the delicacy was expensive and mainly melted into milk or sold as high-strength plain - or dark - chocolate bars.

That was until 1875, when Swiss chocolatier Daniel Peter successfully combined cocoa mass and butter with sugar and condensed milk from Nestlé. The invention successfully refined the bitter taste of chocolate and reduced its cost as less cacao had to be added to each bar, making it palatable and affordable for the masses. Famous Swiss brands like Lindt, Cailler and others would refine the process, allowing them to become the giants of the industry we see today.

Why is chocolate from Switzerland so famous?

In short, Swiss chocolate is famous because of its great taste. Thanks to Switzerland’s strong history of dairy production, the chocolate produced in Switzerland often has a higher milk-to-cacao ratio than chocolate produced elsewhere, giving it a richer and creamier taste.

Swiss chocolate

Best Swiss chocolate - the stats

Switzerland is one of the largest chocolate exporters in the world, while also recording a strong domestic market. The Swiss are the second-highest chocolate consumers per capita in the world after Germany. In 2021, the equivalent of 11,3 kilograms of chocolate per person was consumed in the alpine nation. 

Switzerland is home to 16 large chocolate manufacturers, as well as a number of other small companies. The largest manufacturers are Barry Callebaut and Lindt & Sprüngli. Chocolat Frey, part of the Migros Group, a major chain of supermarkets in Switzerland, is also a big producer. 

Swiss chocolate brands

Swiss chocolate brands range in shape, size, flavour and price, with some offering delicious luxury chocolate at higher prices and others offering cheaper chocolate that still has a fantastically creamy flavour. Here are eight brands you simply have to try:


There are many famous Swiss chocolate brands, but the most popular and world-famous is probably Lindt. The brand advertises the fact that they only use the highest quality ingredients to produce the most delicious chocolate. The company buys its cacao beans from Ghana, Ecuador, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea and the Dominican Republic and places a key emphasis on monitoring the chocolate supply chain. 

Confiserie Sprüngli

For chocolate of the highest quality, look no further than Confiserie Sprüngli. Founded in 1892 as part of Lindt - hence the official name Lindt & Sprüngli - the firm prides itself on producing the best chocolates with the best ingredients - so it is on the pricey side. Along with chocolate, the company is known for its macarons - called Luxemburgerli or Luxemburgers - which you can buy in the 35 stores, cafes and restaurants they have dotted around Switzerland.


One of the other most popular Swiss chocolate brands is Toblerone. Founded by Theodor Tobler in 1908, the company makes Switzerland’s now iconic triangular chocolate. The unique recipe incorporates milk chocolate, white nougat, almonds and honey.

Läderach chocolate

For some of the best artisanal Swiss chocolate, Läderach is the go-to option. Still a family business to this day, Läderach has more than 60 years of experience in the chocolate industry and prides itself on using the finest ingredients, reliably sourced from across the world.

The brand is often described as making lots of different types of luxury chocolate, many of which would make perfect gifts for when visiting friends and family. This chocolate is a little more expensive than other Swiss brands, simply due to the costs associated with sourcing the finest ingredients from sustainable suppliers.

Laederach chocolate

Image: / Taljat David


Halba, part of Switzerland’s Coop group, is another Swiss chocolate producer keen on ensuring their ingredients are sourced sustainably and ethically. The company produces 90 percent of its chocolate with a sustainability label as of 2022 and sells approximately 60 percent of the chocolate it produces abroad. 


With over 200 years of chocolate-making experience, Cailler is one of the most well-regarded chocolate producers in Switzerland. The company’s chocolate factory is located in the Swiss town of Broc, where the firm also sources all of its milk for the production of chocolate. 

The company also only uses Swiss sugar in the production process, to try and keep the origin of their ingredients as close to home as possible. Callier chocolate is unique in that it is one of the only chocolate manufacturers in the entire world that uses lightly condensed milk to produce its treats - a nod to how milk chocolate was first created - rather than the standard milk powder.

Cailler Chocolate

Image: / Tatiana Zinchenko


Ovomaltine was developed more than 110 years ago as a "strengthening product" and became a success across the world thanks to its unique malty taste. The company makes chocolate bars and other treats, as well as a tasty drinking chocolate powder. 

Ovomaltine has seen particular success in many East Asian countries, including Hong Kong, where the drink is often served in local cafes and diners. The McCafé in Hong Kong even has an "Ovaltine Crunchy Latte" option.


Villars’ chocolate headquarters is located in a famous dairy farming region near the Swiss Alps, giving the manufacturers exceptional access to some of the finest milk available in Switzerland. The company has been operating since 1901 and produces chocolate that is often described as gourmet.

The company opened its first chocolate shop in central Fribourg in 2003 and in recent years has gone on to make more innovative chocolate products, including the first Stevia chocolate bar, produced with sweetener instead of sugar.

Villars chocolate

Image: / Grzegorz Czapski

Famous chocolatiers and chocolate shops

Aside from the better-known large Swiss chocolate brands, there are hundreds of other independent Swiss chocolatiers and chocolate shops across the country. Swiss supermarkets also tend to have their "own brands" of chocolate that are immediately recognisable on the shelves. Some examples of these chocolate masters include:

  • Tristan Chocolatier
  • Max Chocolatier
  • Frey
  • Camille Bloch
  • Minor

There are also lots of great Swiss chocolate shops in many different cities too, including:

  • Bachmann, Zurich
  • Du Rhône Chocolatier, Geneva
  • Confiserie Schiesser, Basel
  • Honold, Zurich
  • Stettler, Geneva
  • Confiserie Brändli, Basel
  • Teuscher, Zurich
  • Auer Chocolatier, Geneva
  • Xocolatl, Basel

The sweet, sweet world of Swiss chocolate

With chocolate producers in every Swiss canton, Switzerland has plenty of chocolate for everyone to try. Make sure to try plenty of different flavours and brands and let us know in the comments below which Swiss chocolate you think is the best!

Image: / Nenov Brothers Images



Emily Proctor

Former Editor at IamExpat Media.

Read more



Leave a comment