German market help keeps Swiss confectioners 'in the black'

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cent Chocolate Switzerland

Rising demand in Germany informed a hike in sales to that market of nearly 17 per cent for Swiss chocolate manufacturers in 2010, who report sector recovery following the notable sales decline in 2009.

Of total chocolate production, 60.4 per cent was sold abroad compared to 60.7 per cent in 2009, shows the latest report from trade representative group, Chocosuisse.

“Over the course of 2010, following the losses of 2009, Switzerland's 18 chocolate makers were once again in the black,”​ observed the sector representatives.

In a year-on-year comparison, sales went up 1.3 per cent to 176,424 tonnes while turnover across the industry rose 2.4 per cent to reach CHF 1,743m. “The slightly disproportionate increase in sales turnover was partly due to the price adjustments necessitated by sharp increases in the cost of raw materials,”​ continued Chocosuisse.

Germany is the biggest export market for the Swiss chocolate industry – representing 15.8 per cent of the sector’s foreign sales last year. The trade body said that quantities delivered to the neighbouring country rose against 2009 by 23.6 per cent.

It also noted significant sales growth as regards exports to Italy - up 25.5 per cent in quantity and 18.7 per cent in value compared to the previous year.

Sales in the EU area as a whole, compared to 2009, were up by 6.2 per cent in quantity and by 2.7 per cent in value, said Chocosuisse. The UK market represented 13.2 per cent of this traffic, France 9.0 per cent and Canada 7.3 per cent.

Outside the EU, the Swiss confectioners were able to notch up sales increases in Brazil, Israel, Canada and Saudi Arabia. Sales went up 1.3 per cent to 176,424 tonnes while turnover across the industry rose 2.4 per cent to reach CHF 1,743m.

Domestic sales for the Swiss industry totalled 69,829 tonnes, which was 2.1 per cent higher than the previous year, said Chocosuisse. As for value, domestic sales rose to CHF 898 million (up 3.3 per cent on 2009).

“Given a domestic chocolate-product consumption of 93,975 tonnes – including imports but excluding cocoa and chocolate powder – this works out to an average consumption of 12.0 kg per capita, up 300 g on the foregoing year),”​ commented the sector representatives.

And they report that the best growth rates were achieved with small chocolate bars such as branches and prügeli (up 19.9 per cent) and with assorted pralines (up 10.1 per cent).

The share of imported chocolates consumed on the home market dipped for the first time in nine years, amounting to 33.2 per cent on the previous year’s 33.6 per cent.

The Swiss confectioners cite optimism for export sales in 2011, building on existing growth, with maintenance of current share their reported objective in regard to the ‘saturated’ domestic markets.

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