Our story

An entrepreneurial spirit. A chance discovery. The perfect partnership. This is the story of how Lindt & Sprüngli came to be.

1800s

Pioneers in Chocolate

It all began with the opening of David Sprüngli’s small confectionery in Zurich, Swtizerland. The business grew quickly thanks to Sprüngli’s entrepreneurial spirit and passion. Soon Sprüngli was a name of renown in the chocolate industry.

1845: Early Success

In a small confectionery shop on Marktgasse in Zurich’s old town, David Sprüngli and his son Rudolf Sprüngli-Ammann produced the first solid bar of chocolate in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. It instantly became a success.

Photo of David Sprüngli.
Print of the original factory.

1847: First Chocolate Factory

Sprüngli grew rapidly, opening the Schleiftobel factory in Horgen in 1847. You could actually smell chocolate in the air when production began.

1850s

The Perfect Partnership

During the second half of the nineteenth century, David Sprüngli expanded his business and made a name for himself. His two sons, Rudolf and Johann Rudolf, would eventually take over the company, splitting its assets. As these internal changes were happening at Sprüngli, Rodolphe Lindt, the son of a pharmacist, was just getting started in a small confectionery in Berne…

1859: A Novel Patisserie 

David Sprüngli and son inaugurated a second confectionery on Paradeplatz – the now famous Confiserie Sprüngli. Its elegant interiors quickly found favour among the locals, making it a popular place to gather.

Drawings of early Lindt buildings.
Lindt conching machine and its inventor Rodolphe Lindt.

1879: The Invention of Conching

Shortly after opening in 1879, Lindt’s chocolate company, Lindt & Sons only produced hard, bitter chocolate. Undeterred, Lindt kept experimenting, until one Friday night a happy accident changed everything. He accidentally left his factory without turning off the conching machine. It churned all night and all through the weekend. On Monday morning, Lindt returned and much to his surpise, discovered that the chocolate was delicately smooth and tasted like it never had before. Chocolate was changed forever. That was the beginning of the incomparably creamy, world-renowned Lindt Chocolate.

The secret to this creamy chocolate was all in the mixing. By evenly combining cocoa butter, cocoa mass and milk powder for a prolonged period of time, Lindt’s conching technique created a ‘melting chocolate’ so fine and so flavourful it was impossible to resist. This was the start of a chocolate revolution. And today, conching is still used by chocolate manufacturers all over the world.

1892: The division between brothers

When Rudolf Sprüngli-Ammann stepped down, he divided the company between his two sons, Johann Rudolf Sprüngli-Schifferli and David Robert Sprüngli-Baud in 1892. Johann Rudolf took over the factory in Horgen, later to be part of Lindt & Sprüngli. His younger brother received the two confectionery stores in Zurich.

Painting of Rudolf Sprüngli-Ammann.
Drawing of the newly built Lindt factory.

1899: The Birth of Lindt & Sprüngli

When Lindt happened upon the secret in 1879 that would effectively put Switzerland on the map as a top-tier chocolate manufacturer, Johann Rudolf Sprüngli took notice. His interest had been piqued; he recognised a fellow chocolate connoisseur.

But it wasn’t until 1899 that the two families met. Johann Rudolf Sprüngli had just completed construction on a larger factory in Kilchberg-Bendlikon, the location of today’s headquarters, to increase output. Meanwhile, in Berne, the high demand for Rodolphe Lindt’s creamy chocolate was beginning to strain Lindt’s small antiquated production facilities.

So when Sprüngli offered to buy the company for an impressive 1.5 million gold francs – including staff and the secret recipe – Lindt agreed under the condition that he still had a say in the business. A perfect partnership was born. From here on out, two entities began to exist side by side: Sprüngli and Lindt & Sprüngli – or, as they were officially known at the time, “Aktiengesellschaft Vereinigte Berner & Zürcher Chocoladenfabriken Lindt & Sprüngli”.

1900s

Perseverance despite hardship

The new century started strong for Lindt & Sprüngli, though it was not without its challenges. Despite the First World War, the Swiss chocolate industry flourished, with Lindt & Sprüngli playing a significant role in its success. By 1915, the majority of our output was exported abroad. During the Second World War, Lindt & Sprüngli weathered the storm yet again without sacrificing standards. Due to this dedication to quality, at the end of the war – coincidentally our 100-year anniversary – sales rose rapidly again.

1920s: First subsidiary abroad

In the 1920s, Lindt & Sprüngli foraged abroad for the first time by establishing general agencies in Germany and the US. In 1928, we founded our first own subsidiary in Berlin with a factory for licensed production.

Horse and carriage chocolate delivery.
1930s

Further Growth

Lindt Bâtons Kirsch box.

1932: Bâtons Kirsch

Despite the economic crisis bringing exports to a standstill in the 1930s, our network continued to grow. The launch of the “Bâtons Kirsch” in 1931 proved to be a huge success for Lindt & Sprüngli, and in 1932, a further subsidiary is founded in England. During this period, we also changed our company name from ‘Aktiengesellschaft Vereinigte Berner & Zürcher Chocoladenfabriken Lindt & Sprüngli” to “Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG”.

1945 Lindt chocolate advert.

1945: 100 Years of Lindt & Sprüngli

Lindt & Sprüngli turned 100 and celebrated the big anniversary with a 12-part advertising series. The anniversary coincided with the end of the war and chocolate consumption picked up again. 

1945: 100 Years of Lindt & Sprüngli

As the war came to and end, Lindt & Sprüngli turned 100 and celebrated the big anniversary with a 12-part advertising campaign.

1945 Lindt chocolate advert.
Early Lindor bars.

1949: Chocolate Gold – LINDOR

In the wake of the war, our Lindt Maître Chocolatiers wanted to create something heavenly to lift our customers’ spirits. They set to work experimenting with the recipe and tinkering with the conching technique until, in 1949, they came across a chocolate so luxuriously smooth it could be compared to melted gold. We named it LINDOR. First appearing as a bar of creamy, smooth and flavourful chocolate, LINDOR was only associated with the signature foil-wrapped truffles 20 years later. Curious to know more about the LINDOR history?

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1952: A hoppy surprise – the Lindt GOLD BUNNY

In 1952, the Lindt GOLD BUNNY first appeared on shelves. Inspired by his daughter, a Lindt Maître Chocolatier created a bunny out of chocolate, wrapped it in gold foil to make it shine and tied a red ribbon around its neck with a little bell so it would never get lost. Today, the iconic Lindt GOLD BUNNY is an Easter staple, signalling that spring is just around the corner. Want to know the entire tale of the Lindt GOLD BUNNY?

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Gold bunny with baby bunny.
Early Lindor truffles.

1969: A world-wide favourite – LINDOR truffles

Finally, in 1969, Lindt & Sprüngli released the first red foil wrapped LINDOR milk chocolate truffles as part of a Christmas promotion. They became an immediate success and customers were sad to see them go once the festive season was over...

1972: At the forefront of chocolate innovation

In 1972, Lindt & Sprüngli developed a ground-breaking new technology in their chocolate production: the Lindt & Sprüngli Chocolate Process (LSCP). Next to the conching technique, this new development is the most significant in the history of Lindt & Sprüngli’s chocolate production. By requiring less space and reducing time and energy consumption, LSCP proved a more efficient way of producing chocolate while maintaining its high quality.

Before the end of the decade, in 1979, Lindt’s Connaisseur Pralines were expanded into their own line, forming a premium collection of chocolates for very special occasions.

Connaisseur chocolate box.
Historical Lindt Excellence Bar from 1989.

1989: Pure EXCELLENCE

In 1989, yet another classic was created. Lindt & Sprüngli introduced the extra thin Excellence dark chocolate bars with its intense and elegant flavors and fine texture.

2000s

The Future of Lindt & Sprüngli

Lindt & Sprüngli is committed to creating fresh new flavours that inspire our consumers while maintaining the highest quality in each of these products. The turn of the century saw a wealth of new delicious chocolate creations and exciting initiatives that bring the world of Lindt closer to you.

Cocoa farmers that are being educated as part of Lindt & Sprüngli Farming program

2008: Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program

Sustainability is an integral part of Lindt & Sprüngli’s corporate philosophy and is firmly anchored in its strategy, from the sourcing of the cocoa beans to the chocolate product. Since 2008, the Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program is an expression of this commitment to sustainability.

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2009: Grand Slam

Swiss global tennis champion, Roger Federer, became a brand ambassador for Lindt & Sprüngli in 2009. In the same year, we expanded our network of Lindt & Sprüngli retail stores globally, making Lindt chocolate accessible to a wider audience.

Roger Federer with Lindt master chocolatiers at Retail Store Opening.
The Lindt chocolate teddy.

2011: Lindt Christmas Magic

The Lindt GOLD TEDDY is launched for some extra magic during the festive season.

2013: Giving Back

In 2013, Lindt & Sprüngli founded the Lindt Cocoa Foundation to safeguard the social and ecological environment around chocolate production. Ensuring sustainable agriculture, the Lindt Cocoa Foundation supplements existing efforts designed to improve the living and working conditions of the cocoa farmers.

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Lindt cocoa farmers.
Inside the Home of Chocolate.

2020: Chocolate delight

To celebrate our 175th anniversary, Lindt & Sprüngli opened its doors to the Home of Chocolate, a museum and chocolate factory in one. Located at our headquarters in Kilchberg, Switzerland,  it houses interactive exhibits, a research and display production facility, the world’s largest chocolate shop, a café and chocolateria designed for baking courses. As the Home of Chocolate, it’s no surprise that it also has one of the world’s largest chocolate fountains!

Today Lindt & Sprüngli is a household name signalling quality, bliss and sweet delight the world over. A global leader in premium chocolate, we are established in more than 120 countries with manufacturing plants in the US and various locations in Europe. Despite our growth, Lindt & Sprüngli remains a homegrown company – in fact, the Swiss remain our biggest champions with each citizen consuming on average one LINDOR truffle a day.

Read more

2020: Chocolate delight

Lindt & Sprüngli opened its doors to the Home of Chocolate, a museum and chocolate factory in one, to celebrate our 175th anniversary. Located at the headquarters in Kilchberg, it houses interactive exhibits, a research and display production facility, the world’s largest chocolate shop, a café and chocolateria designed specially for baking courses. As the Home of Chocolate, it’s no surprise that it also has one of the world’s largest chocolate fountains! Today Lindt & Sprüngli is a household name signalling bliss, quality and sweet delight the world over. A global leader in premium chocolate, we are established in more than 120 countries with manufacturing plants in the US and various locations in Europe. Despite our growth, Lindt & Sprüngli are still a homegrown company – in fact, the Swiss remain our biggest champions with each citizen consuming on average one Lindor truffle a day. 
1845: Early success
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