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Lindt bunnies are not Swiss

March 12, 2013, 5 Comments

Lindt bunny frontThey are the symbol of Easter in Switzerland. But the golden Lindt bunnies aren’t Swiss. As revelations go, this one is up there with Heidi was German and Switzerland isn’t neutral in terms of shock factor. How can those cute little gold-wrapped bunnies not be Swiss? They are made by Lindt & Sprüngli, one of the oldest and most famous chocolate makers in Switzerland. Except they are made by Lindt & Sprüngli in Germany.

I discovered this thanks to a friend from Helvetic LA, who bought a Lindt bunny in Los Angeles, only to find it was made in Germany. Fair enough, I thought, as that’s an export market. But surely the ones in Switzerland would be made here? Wrong. All the ones in the supermarkets in Bern are made in Germany, although you have to have good eyesight to discover that.

Lindt bunny small printOn the back of the bunny the ingredients are listed in German, French and Dutch but down at the bottom are the magic words: Fabriqué par / Geproduceerd door: Lindt & Sprüngli GmbH (Allemagne/Duitsland) D-52072 Aachen. Funny that they don’t write that in German, given that they are sold in Germany. Obviously they don’t want to have that anywhere for fear of scaring canny Swiss consumers – even though most of them can understand the French anyway!

To reassure anyone who does cotton on to the fact that their bunny isn’t Swiss, there are the words ‘Garantie de Qualité Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli Kilchberg/Suisse’. And on the bottom, beside the bar code, it also mentions Lindt & Sprüngli in Switzerland but only with the words ‘Vertrieb durch’ or ‘Distributed by’. In other words, Lindt in Switzerland is the distributor for the German Lindt products.

Lindt bunny undersideAt a time when the new Swissness proposals are being debated in the Federal Parliament, it’s interesting to see that this Swiss icon isn’t Swiss at all. I checked the shelves and Lindt & Sprüngli very carefully mark their chocolate bars with SWISS MADE where it applies (so the bunny doesn’t get that stamp of approval). But the new rules might change that. The proposal is for foodstuffs to have the Swiss Made stamp only if 80% of their ingredients are Swiss, unless they include things that cannot possibly be Swiss because they aren’t grown here. While that would cover cocoa, much of Swiss chocolate production relies on imported sugar rather than the home-grown variety. So the Lindt bunny might soon have some other non-Swiss chocolate friends.

Rodolphe Lindt must be turning in his grave. He opened his chocolate factory in his hometown of Bern in 1879 and developed the crucial process that makes chocolate as smooth as it is. Known as ‘conching’, it was allegedly discovered by accident when he left the chocolate mixture churning in the machine for three days. It made him a millionaire and he eventually sold his business to Sprüngli of Zurich.

How sad that they no longer make the bunnies here in Switzerland. I’ll be boycotting these rabbits this year. It seems ridiculous to buy one that has been made from German chocolate and transported hundreds of miles when there are enough other Easter bunnies made from real Swiss chocolate in the shops. Sorry Lindt – your bunnies might be all over your Swiss home page but they won’t be in my home this Easter.

Lindt bunny back

 

5 Comments on "Lindt bunnies are not Swiss"

  1. gegu Tuesday March 12th, 2013 at 09:32 PM · Reply

    I must admit, i was totally shocked when i read the headline. Then i read the line about how it was just as shocking as Heidi being german and laughed out lound. Seriously, as an Englishman you have excellent knowledge of the Swiss.

  2. Marianne Manes Tuesday March 12th, 2013 at 11:00 PM · Reply

    That is sad indeed, this dilution of Swissness. People shouldn’t be bamboozled into thinking they are buying Swiss chocolate, when it’s not. I’m creating another version yet. I import 100% of my chocolate from Switzerland to LA, where I make the fresh chocolates. Born in Switzerland Made in LA, just like me. Born and raised in Bern, now in LA.

  3. Heidi Thursday March 28th, 2013 at 02:54 AM · Reply

    Shocking revelations indeed. I didn’t know we were living in a globalised world. What happened to the purity of Swiss chocolate? And what about the trusty Swiss banking system? The IOC? The Red Cross? OMG, it’s all not what it seems to be! I don’t know if I can bear it anymore…

  4. ashley Saturday November 7th, 2015 at 05:32 PM · Reply

    greetings from texas diccon. i found your excerpt to be most interesting. can you believe that i have never really opted for chocolate and I’m presently 39 years old?? about a week ago, my father-in-law and his other half of 35 years who is swiss sent us a box of sprungli truffles. (they actually send us a box every year but I’ve never partaken thinking i didn’t like chocolate.) well, this time and through my husband’s persistence i tried one… then another and another. they are delicious. swiss made does make a difference after all. now diccon, if you know of a way i can order them through an english website please, please be so kind as to share. i too would like to order them for my fellow americans who have for so long not tasted real chocolate. many thinks for writing your piece =)

  5. Dolores Myers Saturday May 18th, 2019 at 08:39 PM · Reply

    Lindt Easter Bunnies Made in Germany!, I couldn’t believe it.

    I purchased 2 at Easter time. And they were not good – inferior to Lindt Classic Recipe Milk Chocolate Bars. (Which I eat every day.)

    My Swiss roots go back to the 1400’s. My family has always felt Swiss quality is high quality. These bunnies are poor quality. The Lindt Chocolate people should make them in Switzerland.

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