NewsSchokofest Christmas, chocolate country Germany

Schokofest Christmas, chocolate country Germany

Germany and Switzerland are considered by statisticians to be the chocolate countries par excellence. Why actually? And what did Corona do in terms of chocolate?

Bonn / Bern / Kilchberg – People never eat sweeter, that could actually be the name of the game during the Christmas season – a variation of the song “Bells never sound sweeter”.

Chocolate plays an important role in Advent and on the holidays, even if it has competition from cookies, gingerbread, Stollen, Spekulatius and cinnamon stars during the festival. In comparison, although fewer chocolate Santa Clauses are produced and consumed in this country than chocolate Easter bunnies, Christmas can still be described as a chocolate festival.

The German confectionery industry produced around 160 million chocolate Santa Clauses and Santa Clauses for the Christmas season in 2021 – five percent more than last year. 103 million stayed in Germany. Chocolate Easter bunnies were even produced this year, according to the BDSI (Federal Association of the German Confectionery Industry), 214 million, of which 107 million stayed in the country.

Germany is chocolate country

One thing is clear: Germany is a chocolate country – like neighboring Switzerland. “As a comparison of the data from Caobisco, the European Confectionery Association, over the last 20 years shows, Switzerland and Germany are at a similarly high level in terms of per capita consumption of chocolate, and they keep taking turns at the top of this ranking “, Says a spokesman for Chocosuisse, the association of Swiss chocolate manufacturers, in Bern.

In Bonn at the BDSI, Torben Erbrath from the Chocolate Division says that chocolate consumption has remained stable in Germany over the past few years. It is therefore always around 9 kilograms per year. So that’s 90 hundred gram bars of chocolate per person and year.

Some are amazed at this number and find it high, others tend to laugh at this statistic because they devour much, much more themselves. The average consumption is calculated from the production in a country minus exports plus imports, divided by the number of inhabitants. 50 years ago, according to the BDSI, every German citizen only ate around 50 bars.

More cravings since the corona crisis

The corona crisis seems to have led to more cravings for snacks. In Germany, chocolate is known to be often referred to as food for the nerves. In the pandemic, many seem to need it more often. “The chocolate consumption of households will be higher in 2021 than in 2019,” say the chocolate experts from the market research company Nielsen in Frankfurt. Since the beginning of the pandemic, many consumers have been more at home, working from home or going out less because of the restrictions and contagion concerns.

In the Lindt Home of Chocolate, a museum in Kilchberg near Zurich, visitors are informed about how important Switzerland and Germany have been in the history of chocolate – even if the history of chocolate is of course much older than the 150 years or so in Central Europe invented milk chocolate. Already 1000 years before the Europeans discovered America, preparations made from the fruits of the tropical cocoa tree were used by the indigenous people there as food and luxury goods.

However, the Aztecs’ unsweetened cocoa preparations were hardly appreciated by the conquerors from Europe. Only after adding honey or cane sugar did their triumphant advance begin. The Aztec xocoatl – from “xococ” (tart, spicy) and “atl” (water) – became chocolate over time.

The Kilchberger Chocolate Museum is primarily concerned with the question of how it came about that “Switzerland – the small, mountainous country in the heart of Europe – became the ultimate” chocolate country “. The reason is some inventors who reformed the chocolate market in the 19th century.

Names from history that can still be found in product names today are, for example, Theodor Tobler (1876-1941), who invented the first chocolate with honey and almonds, and Philippe Suchard (1797-1884), who was the master of the chocolate myth and advertising is applicable. His company started producing in Germany (Lörrach) from 1901 and became famous with “Milka” (brand name made from milk and cocoa).

Chocolate breakthrough in 1875

The Swiss Daniel Peter (1836-1919) is considered to be the inventor of (mass-produced) milk chocolate. Even if, according to researchers, the first “Chocolade” with milk components was already available in Dresden in the 1830s at the company Jordan & Timaeus, the breakthrough did not come until 1875 in Switzerland. After experiments with powdered milk, Peter succeeded in combining cocoa, sugar and condensed milk.

This success story would hardly be conceivable without his business friend, the pharmacist Henri Nestlé (1814-1890), who made a career in French-speaking Switzerland but was actually called Heinrich Nestle and came from Frankfurt am Main.

Born in Bern, Rudolf Lindt (1855-1909; later also called Rodolphe Lindt) invented the conching machine. Stirring in the conche turns the chocolate mass into a matt, glossy, liquid, aromatic mass that can be easily poured into molds and melts on the tongue, as billions of people like it today – not just at Christmas. dpa

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