Best chocolates in Switzerland

By Oriana Pauli ∘ Posted 29th June, 2024 ∘

You’ve probably heard that Swiss chocolate is amazing (and that’s true!), but what are the best chocolates in Switzerland? The choice can be overwhelming, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to test them all for you.

Not all chocolate is equal: Chocolate categories

The first thing to realise when you come to Switzerland is that there are different tiers of chocolate. I base these tiers on price, production process and how widely available the chocolate is. These are the three tiers or categories of chocolate I came up with:

1. Supermarket chocolate: I’ve called the first category supermarket chocolate because (you guessed it) it’s the chocolate you’ll find at the supermarket here.

Generally this means the chocolate is produced in a factory, at an industrial scale. The two major Swiss supermarket chains, Migros and Coop, both stock famous Swiss chocolate names like Lindt & Sprüngli and Cailler, as well as their own brands.

2. Artisanal chocolate: My second chocolate category are the more upmarket, artisanal chocolatiers, which also have franchises and a national presence. To buy chocolate in this category, you usually have to go to a specialty store.

Well known names in this grade include Läderach, Bachmann and Sprüngli (don’t get confused: Sprüngli is a separate, distinct company from Lindt & Sprüngli. Rudolf Sprüngli divided the original chocolate company between his two sons, hence the name-sharing).

3. Local chocolate: The third chocolate category goes to small business, local chocolatiers, which do not have a national presence. With such intimidating competition, you might be surprised at how many small chocolatiers there are in Switzerland! These guys prove that in Switzerland, making quality chocolate really is a passion.  

Our aim is to test a variety of chocolate in each category in order to give you our opinion on the best Swiss chocolates. Please note that this is a fairly divisive topic in Switzerland- everyone has their own favourite chocolates.


Supermarket Chocolate Test: Milk chocolate

My Swiss husband, true to the cliché, absolutely loves chocolate. He could eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day…so needless to say he was an enthusiastic participant in this experiment.

To begin with, we decided to blind test plain old milk chocolate from the supermarket- no fancy flavours involved!

I visited Migros and Coop and found the following plain milk chocolate blocks:

best chocolates in Switzerland milk chocolate range
  1. Villars – 3.60 chf
  2. Cailler – 2.60 chf
  3. Lindt – 2.60 chf
  4. Frey (Migros brand)- 2.20 chf
  5. Halba (Coop brand)– 1.95 chf
  6. MBudget – 0.60 chf
  7. Coop Prix- 0.60 chf

My husband and I both did a random order blind taste test and ranked our favourite chocolates from best to worst, considering taste, texture, creaminess, sweetness and mouthfeel. Here’s the results:

Interestingly we both chose the same top 2 chocolates.

The winner for the best chocolates in Switzerland (for plain milk chocolate) was clearly Frey, followed closely by Cailler.

We both mentioned similar reasons for choosing Frey first- it had a distinct hazelnut flavour. My husband even said it tasted like Nutella. And after looking at the ingredients we saw that ground hazelnuts was the fifth ingredient listed in Frey milk chocolate. None of the other chocolate bars had hazelnuts as an ingredient.

So if you like hazelnut flavour in chocolate, definitely go with Frey!

Cailler came a close second because it tasted quite creamy. This is because Cailler is the only chocolate brand which still uses full milk (in the form of condensed milk) to make their chocolate. The rest all use milk powder.

I actually knew this about Cailler after visiting the Cailler chocolate factory a few years ago and back then I thought you couldn’t really tell the difference. Now I know better 😊

For the creamiest milk chocolate, definitely choose Cailler! (just be aware that it’s now owned by Nestle)

Otherwise, Lindt is a solid choice. My husband actually likes Lindt a lot, so we were both surprised that he put it so low, even below the budget chocolate brands. He was complaining about a ‘cardboard taste’ when he tried it. I didn’t notice any cardboard taste, but even without knowing it I recognised the flavour of Lindt when I tried it- it’s unique and deservedly famous.

I wouldn’t bother with any of the other brands, and especially not the budget brands or Halba. I didn’t enjoy them at all and actually spat a few out. My husband on the other hand ate and enjoyed all the chocolate brands and is finishing off all the blocks as I write.

But in my opinion- life is too short for budget chocolate.


Supermarket Chocolate: Branches

I didn’t think it was fair to mention only plain milk chocolate in the supermarket category for a couple reasons.

First- there are well-known Swiss chocolate brands, like Maestrani and Camille Bloch (both of which have delicious chocolate factories you can visit) which don’t even bother making plain milk chocolate.

And second, branches- which are delicate chocolate bars, not chunky like Mars Bars or Snickers- are almost like a basic foodstuff here. They range from about 20-50g and generally feature chopped nuts, praline, malt or biscuit filling. Most likely, if you ask a Swiss person what the best chocolates in Switzerland are, they’ll answer with one of these branches.

I went to the supermarket and filled a basket with all the branche-type chocolates I could find:

  • Kägi 1.95 chf
  • Frey Giandor 0.80 chf
  • Ovomaltine Branche 1.70 chf
  • Torino 2.20 chf
  • Frey Branche 0.90 chf
  • Eimalzine Branche 0.50 chf
  • Cailler Branche 0.70 chf
  • Lindt Milch-Nuss 1.95 chf
  • Minor 0.79 chf
  • Ragusa 2.20 chf

Confession: I did do a blind taste test but after some consideration it seemed too subjective to rank chocolate with completely different flavours against each other. Everyone has different favourites.

So here’s the flavours so you can try for yourself:

Wafer/Biscuit– Kägi. It;s like a Swiss Kit Kat, but way better than Kit Kat. One of my favourites.

Almond– Torino & Giandor. If Marzipan actually tasted good (and was chocolate) this would be it. These both feel luxurious.

Malt– Ovomaltine & Einmalzin. You can also get both of these as chocolate powder to add to milk as well. My husband’s and brother-in-law’s favourite.

Hazelnut– Cailler branche, Frey branche, Minor. These are the classics, you’ll find them at get-togethers and for school lunches. Minor is the best.

Whole Hazelnut– Lindt Milch Nuss, Ragusa. The lindt bar is plain milk chocolate with whole hazelnuts. Ragusa has praline, milk chocolate and whole hazelnuts. This is my ultimate favourite and the one I would buy people as a present. It’s so good.


Artisanal chocolate & Local chocolate Test

Watch this space! Coming soon, when we’re feeling rich.

Meanwhile, here are some links for chocolate brands in these categories:

Artisanal chocolate:

Local chocolate:

Local chocolate businesses in Zurich


If you want to continue your chocolate adventure in Switzerland, why not consider going to a chocolate factory?

9 Irresistible Chocolate Factories in Switzerland


Oriana

Oriana was born in Zürich and is currently working as an English Teacher in Basel, in northern Switzerland.

This travel blog is is her newest project with her twin sister. Their mission is to give everyone the confidence to travel Switzerland with ease.