The Swiss chocolate industry, which comprises 18 manufacturers, saw its turnover increase by 2.7% last year to CHF 1.72 billion. However, sales in Switzerland and the main export markets of Germany and the United Kingdom, however, fell sharply.

However, this decline was offset by increased sales in other markets, according to the umbrella association Chocosuisse in a press release on Tuesday. The total volume of sales was 183,738 tonnes, almost 4900 tonnes more than the previous year. The share of production sold abroad increased again to 62.8% (61.2% in 2013).

Total domestic sales of Swiss chocolate manufacturers fell by 1.4% compared to the previous year,”said Urs Furrer, director of Chocosuisse. The decrease in volumes is particularly noticeable for semi-fabricated products such as topping chocolates and fillers (-8.7%).

While the sale of solid bars increased slightly overall (-0.8%), the volume of filled bars decreased (-4.2%) and the volume of white chocolate bars (-7.3%). On the other hand, branches, bars and poles showed a positive development (5.8%). Overall, sales in Switzerland increased by 1.8%.

Exports up

Despite a decline in the two main export markets of Germany (14% volume, 7% turnover) and the United Kingdom (9% volume, 3% turnover), foreign sales grew. They amounted to 115,474 tonnes (5.3%), while at the same time raising turnover to CHF 821 million (3.7%).

One of the best chocolatier in Geneva confirm “The trend is definitely Bullish.”

The Asian and American markets have shown a gratifying development,”notes Chocosuisse. Double-digit growth rates were recorded in Canada, the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates, China, Russia and Singapore.

In the European markets, Italy and Belgium in particular showed a positive trend. After the decline of the previous year, France and Austria returned to growth.

Consumption of chocolate (excluding powders) per capita in Switzerland declined from 12 to 11.7 kg last year. The share of imports increased again to 37.2% in 2014. Since 2000, this proportion has almost doubled.

Desired political intervention

The removal of the floor rate reinforces import pressure on the Swiss market and puts a strain on exports, notes Chocosuisse. Moreover, the price of raw materials, conditioned by agricultural policy, significantly weakens competitiveness.

Consequently, the umbrella association considers that it is up to the political world to make the necessary corrections. It advocates the conclusion of additional free trade agreements and the removal of new bureaucratic obstacles in the framework of the Swissness project.