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Swiss chocolate sales soar

Swiss chocolate sales soared to a record of nearly 1.7 billion Swiss francs last year, breaking records at home and abroad.

by: Stephanie Nebehay | 11 Feb 2008

The rise in revenues was fuelled by a surge in exports to European neighbours and tourists, Chocosuisse (the Association of Swiss Chocolate Manufacturers) said.

The Swiss contributed to the boom, eating an average of 12.3 kilos of chocolate each, 400 grams more than the previous year.

Swiss traditionally rank first worldwide in average per capita consumption of chocolate, although the figures include purchases of tourists visiting Switzerland, the group says.

"We think the cold summer and wet autumn were responsible for the increase. Nobody will have more in terms of per capita consumption," said Chocosuisse's director Franz Schmid.

In all, 181 266 metric tons of Swiss chocolate – milk, dark and white – were sold worldwide last year, in the form of chocolate bars, pralines and other delights.

Exports of Swiss chocolates, which rose by 13.8 percent in value terms, accounted for slightly over half of overall annual revenues (833 million Swiss francs). Germany, followed by Britain, France and the United States are the biggest fans.

"Two-thirds of our export business is related to the EU. It is very important business for us," Schmid said.

The Alpine country, renowned for its high-quality products and skilled confectioners, is home to industry giants including the world's largest chocolate maker, Barry Callebaut, and Lindt & Spruengli. The Berne-based Chocosuisse represents 18 manufacturers who employ 4 564 people.

Earlier this week, Switzerland reported record exports in 2007 of another famed national product – Swiss cheese.

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