Although the Swiss are already the greatest chocolate consumers in the world, Swiss manufacturers managed to further stimulate consumption of chocolate in their country last year. Per capita consumption of pralines was up 7%, that of small chocolate bars 9% and large chocolate bars 8%, according to figures from Chocosuisse, the Association of Swiss Chocolate Manufacturers.

Swiss people last year consumed 11.5 kg of chocolate per person, a world record. Large and heavily filled pralines are considered to be ‘out’ by Swiss chocolate manufacturers. Instead they opt for smaller portions with new, lighter, more refreshing and often health-promoting fillings. Also in demand are high-quality, hand-made products for which consumers are willing to pay high prices.

Another growing market is represented by diabetic chocolate. Diabetic confectionery products, said to be indistinguishable now in taste and quality from traditional products, are particularly popular with the growing group of seniors, who are more careful about what they eat than younger people. Not surprisingly, the Swiss booth at the International Biscuits and Sweets Fair (ISM), currently underway in Cologne, Germany, was eager to capitalize on another recent fashion: fondues made with chocolate instead of cheese.