Swiss chocolate makers report record sales
Chocosuisse reports growth from exports and price increases in 2008.GENEVA - Swiss chocolates eased their way through the financial and economic crisis in 2008 with record sales for the fifth consecutive year, the industry association said Monday.
The national chocolate makers association, Chocosuisse, is also counting on further expansion abroad in 2009, after making "notable" inroads in India, the Philippines, South Africa, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates in 2008.
Its 18 members sold 184,969 tonnes of chocolate worldwide in 2008, an increase of two percent over 2007, while overall turnover grew by 9.3 percent to CHF 1.8 billion (EUR 1.2 billion, USD 1.5 billion), Chocosuisse said in a statement.
Exports, especially of chocolate slabs, endured the strong Swiss franc and the declining economic climate, accounting for 60 percent of sales, it added.
Despite traditional gourmet rivalry between Swiss and Belgian chocolates, Chocosuisse reported one of the biggest increases in Belgium with "remarkable" growth of 32 percent in sales volume.
Germans remained the biggest foreign consumers of Swiss chocolate (15 percent of exports), but their demand dropped by nearly a quarter. They were followed by the British (13 percent) and French (10 percent).
Nonetheless, they were all dwarfed by the Swiss, who eat their way through 73,745 tonnes of their own chocolate and earned local manufacturers CHF 894 million, just under of the 924 million earned in the rest of the world.
Chocosuisse said the growth in overall earnings was partly down to an increase in raw materials prices.
Cocoa prices surged in 2008 to break through USD 3,000 a tonne in June, but then dropped even more sharply to just above USD 2,000 by November, according to monthly averages released by the International Cocoa Association.
[AFP / Expatica]