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Posted by
494 posts

Everywhere in Switzerland sells amazing chocolate. Even the grocery stores. Our favorite Swiss chocolate is a brand sold at the Coop grocery stores and we'd consider ourselves "connoisseurs".

Posted by
2768 posts

I think a variety of brands would make a good gift/souvenir.

I’m a big fan of the Frey bars sold at the Migros grocery stores. I especially like the giandor blanc flavor. My brother-in-law loves the Frey bar that is in the light blue wrapper. I can’t remember what flavor that is.

The Bachmann’s bakery in Lucerne had some really good individually wrapped small chocolate bars. Sort of looked like a Twix bar, but smaller. I think there were 3-4 different flavors.

I like the chocolate bark from Laderach.

I love the Lindt chocolate balls. They’re much better than the ones made and sold in the U.S. A lot of different flavors.

The sprungli chocolate was not my favorite.

It's hard to go wrong with chocolate in Switzerland. I'm bringing my bigger suitcase on my next trip so i can stock up. :)

Posted by
1931 posts

When I buy chocolate to take with me abroad as presents I always buy the home brands at Migros (Frey) or Coop (Halba).
It is good chocolate, and very, very Swiss.

The big name brands, like Lindt, are now available worldwide. I would even take Lindt balls (that I like a lot) with me back to Switzerland because the range available in Italy or Germany is more extensive than what is available at home, and it is cheaper too. Lindt, while very good, is an International brand, not a Swiss brand...

I once made that mistake. Took Lindt chocolate with me to Australia, only to find out that all supermarkets there had it, and at lower prices than in Switzerland...

So I take the Migros or Coop brands. They are guaranteed to be Swiss and unavailable abroad. And very good.

Posted by
3190 posts

We can buy Lindt bars here in our local stores for way less than they charge in Europe.
Three for $10 CAN , last I looked.

I also buy local supermarket chocolate in Europe, it’s usually really good!
The best ever was from a market in Prague for about a dollar for a huge bar.
Plus it’s always fun seeing what local supermarkets have for sale in another country.

Posted by
8582 posts

S J check to make sure they are imported. I think Lindt bought out Russell Stover, a US company, and might be making it here. US tastes are more sugar, less fat.

We just load up at the airport using up our leftover CHF.

Connoisseurs might appreciate Furst chocolate in Austria, freshly made in store with no preservatives. We came across it in old town Salzburg.

Posted by
1532 posts

I highly recommend a smaller maker, Laderach. I do not like mass produced food in general.

Posted by
7963 posts

There's a Läderach I passed at Bern station today.
It looks like serious chocolate going on in there. They were cutting it up. I will try those brands at Migros also.
I just got here with chocolate from Belgium. I got a carry on just for chocolate.

Posted by
5027 posts

If you really love quality chocolate and you can travel to Broc (near Gruyere -sp?) then visit the Cailler factory. They have tours that include a fabulous tasting room, and you can buy from there as well. Otherwise, I think it's only available online.

Posted by
7963 posts

Thanks CJean. Gruyères looks like a interesting town (The H.R. Giger Museum is on the list) also and I got a Swiss Travel Pass 6 day maybe I will make it.

Posted by
9106 posts

I highly recommend a smaller maker, Laderach.

Laderach is widely available in the US (including the Bay Area). Here in the Northeast and Canada, there are many company stores in shopping centers and outlet malls.

Posted by
5027 posts

JT, the Giger museum was a lot of fun. We went in on a whim while we were there.

Posted by
4973 posts

So many European chocolate companies are contracted to sell in the US by US mega corporations, and therefore required to change their recipes. Also, many European chocolate makers have US facilities. So check the back wrapper for manufacturing locations. For chocolate actually made in Europe, try World Market, or specialty grocery stores. I believe Trader Joe's sometimes has REAL chocolate, ( as I call it.)
Good luck!

Posted by
1784 posts

An internet search:

Cailler: Cailler holds the distinction of being Switzerland's oldest chocolate company. It was founded in 1819 by François-Louis Cailler in Vevey. The company uses locally sourced ingredients such as Swiss sugar and fresh alpine milk to create its delectable chocolates. Cailler's Extreme chocolate bar, a blend of intensely dark and creamy milk chocolates, is particularly popular. Visitors can even take guided tours of the Callier Chocolate Factory for a multi-sensory experience and a chance to craft their own Swiss chocolate.

Comment:

Yes, Nestle has owned them since 1929. However, the product is made in Switzerland with Swiss ingredients. Ownership in this case does not affect the manufacturing process and I agree with others that their bars are some of the best and widely available in all grocery stores at very reasonable prices.

Posted by
133 posts

Hands down, Japonais bars made by Frey found in Migros stores.
We always bring 15-20 bars home with us.

Posted by
11433 posts

We did a serious tasting of dark chocolate bars available in COOP last year and decided the Halba was the best, and ironically the least expensive. All friends and family got a bar in their Christmas stockings.

Although Lindt is available in North America (I love the various “balls!) in NA the bars and truffles are made with high fructose corn syrup. The European manufactured versions are made with sugar and taste so much better!

We’ve often passed a Laderach store and drooled over the barks. Gonna have to add that to our testing this fall. I shy away from fancy packaged options that probably are prettier gifts, but the grocery store brands of Halba, Lindt, Callier, and others are easy to transport and satisfying. Ragusa, big with the Swiss, does not suit my taste, though. Too soft.

Posted by
4522 posts

If you look at Lindt packaging, it's made in New Hampshire. Not that there's anything wrong with that ...

Posted by
2448 posts

Although Lindt is available in North America (I love the various “balls!) in NA the bars and truffles are made with high fructose corn syrup. The European manufactured versions are made with sugar and taste so much better!

This exactly.

Posted by
1931 posts

Ragusa by Block is also very good, and something that you are unlikely to find abroad.

Posted by
2768 posts

Japonais bars? Halba? Ragusa? Sounds like I might need a bigger suitcase for my trip. :)

Jazz, let us know what you end up getting and what your favorites are.

Posted by
1784 posts

I highly recommend a smaller maker, Laderach. I do not like mass produced food in general.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Laderach is mass produced in their plant in Bilten, Switzerland and has well over $100 million in sales. However, as long as the ingredients are top quality who cares how or where it is made.

More chocolate news. Our friends in Canada have some serious chocolate bars and Norway looks to be on top.

https://enter.chocolateawards.com/competitions/world-final-competitions/world-final-2023-winners/

Posted by
4522 posts

and a timely article in the WSJ that chocolate prices in the EU will be going up (it's the world largest consumer) because of new farming sustainability requirements and 4 years of bad cocoa bean harvests

Posted by
7963 posts

I went with a picked assortment from Sprüngli; they knew which ones did not have nuts which someone is allergic to.

Posted by
21 posts

This is a great post and will try those grocery brands posted here next week when I visit Zurich on a 9 hour international layover where there is a grocery store, maybe Migros or COOP outside security at Zurich airport.

Do you have a favorite chocolate factory tour in Switzerland?

Other than the Lindt chocolate factory in Zurich, are any other factories reachable as possible day trips from Zurich airport?

Many thanks in advance.