Chocosuisse raises concerns as Swiss chocolate sales fall
Latest figures from Chocosuisse, the association of Swiss Chocolate manufacturers has raised concerns as annual sales fell by CHF 260 million (14.5%), to CHF 1.53 billion, amid key market challenges, reports Neill Barston.
According to the organisation’s latest assessment, the amount of chocolate produced nationally also dropped by around 10% equating to a figure of 20,000 tonnes, to 180,000 tonnes during 2020, with per capita consumption rates noted to be the lowest in 40 years (to less than 10kg).
Chocosuisse said that both domestic and export business had been hit – with the latter declining by 11.5% to 126,000 tonnes, with sales declines reported in all categories.
At the same time, the amount of imported chocolate increased into the country, with a reported factory closure in Switzerland resulting in the overall number of employees working within the industry fell by 4.8% in 2020.
The country now has a total of 16 manufacturing facilities, and is home to major brands including Lindt, Toblerone, Nestle, Milka Swiss Chocolates, Laderach and Chocolate Frey.
In the domestic market, only the semi-finished product business was better in 2020 than in the previous year. This is, for example, chocolate mass that is sold to confectioners. All other product categories showed severe setbacks. The amount of Swiss chocolate sold domestically decreased by 6.9%, the sales generated with it, by 15.1%.
Challenging start to the year
According to Chocosuisse, conditions were little improved at the start of 2021, with export volumes decreasing 15.3% year-on-year, but imports of foreign chocolate increased by 5.4%.
Furthermore, as a result of border protection, certain raw materials are reportedly twice as expensive in Switzerland as abroad and compensation mechanisms only have a limited effect.
With the establishment of a minimum border protection for sugar demanded by the sugar manufacturers, there is a threat of additional raw material prices – which Chocosuisse urged for action on to prevent further impact on the country’s confectionery sector as it attempt to handle a notably challenging period of trading.