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Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG
Company typePublic (Aktiengesellschaft)
Founded1845 (179 years ago) (1845)
Key people
Ernst Tanner (Executive Chairman)
Adalbert Lechner (CEO)
RevenueIncrease CHF 4.97 billion (2022)
Increase CHF 745 million (2022)
Increase CHF 570 million (2022)
Total assetsDecrease CHF 7.95 billion (2022)
Total equityDecrease CHF 4.40 billion (2022)
OwnerLindt & Sprüngli AG Fonds für Pensionsergänzungen (15.43%)[1]
Ernst Tanner (2.277%)
Rudolf Konrad Sprüngli (0.8091%)
Number of employees
14,466 (2022)
Footnotes / references

Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG,[a] doing business as Lindt,[4] is a Swiss chocolatier and confectionery company founded in 1845[5] and known for its chocolate truffles and chocolate bars, among other sweets. It is based in Kilchberg, where its main factory and museum are located. Lindt is one of the largest Swiss chocolate manufacturers.



Founding and early years

Rodolphe Lindt (left) and David Sprüngli, founders

The origins of the company date back to 1836, when David Sprüngli (1776–1862) and his son Rudolf Sprüngli-Ammann (1816–1897)[6] bought a small confectionery shop in the old town of Zürich, producing chocolates under the name David Sprüngli & Son. Before they moved to Paradeplatz in 1845, they established a small factory where they produced their chocolate in solidified form in 1838.

When Rudolf Sprüngli-Ammann retired in 1892, he gave two equal parts of the business to his sons. The younger brother David Robert received two confectionery stores that became known under the name Confiserie Sprüngli. The elder brother Johann Rudolf received the chocolate factory. To raise the necessary finances for his expansion plans, Johann Rudolf then converted his private company into "Chocolat Sprüngli AG" in 1899. In that same year, he acquired the chocolate factory of Rodolphe Lindt (1855–1909) in Bern[7] and the company changed its name to "Aktiengesellschaft Vereinigte Berner und Zürcher Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli" (United Bern and Zurich Lindt and Sprungli Chocolate Factory Ltd.).[8]

In 1934, Lindt started to produce milk chocolate. Before, it only produced dark chocolate.[9]



In 1994, Lindt & Sprüngli acquired the Austrian chocolatier Hofbauer Österreich and integrated it, along with its Küfferle brand, into the company. In 1997 and 1998, respectively, the company acquired the Italian chocolatier Caffarel and the American chocolatier Ghirardelli,[10][11] and integrated both of them into the company as wholly-owned subsidiaries. Since then, Lindt & Sprüngli has expanded the once-regional Ghirardelli to the international market.

On 17 March 2009, Lindt announced the closure of fifty of its eighty retail boutiques in the United States because of weaker demand in the wake of the late-2000s recession.[12]

Recent developments


On July 14, 2014, Lindt bought Russell Stover Candies, maker of Whitman's Chocolate, for about $1 billion, the company's largest acquisition to date.[13]

In November 2018, Lindt opened its first American travel retail store in JFK Airport's Terminal 1 and its flagship Canadian shop in Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto.[14][15]

In response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Lindt announced that it would halt commercial operations in Russia on a temporary basis.[16]

In 2023, Lindt partnered with ChoViva, a German cocoa-free chocolate brand, and launched vegan chocolates using oats and sunflower seeds.[17]



Lindt & Sprüngli has twelve factories: Kilchberg, Switzerland; Aachen, Germany; Oloron-Sainte-Marie, France; Induno Olona, Italy; Gloggnitz, Austria; and Stratham, New Hampshire, in the United States. The factory in Gloggnitz manufactures products under the Hofbauer & Küfferle brand, in addition to the Lindt brand. Caffarel's factory is located in Luserna San Giovanni, Italy, and Ghirardelli's factory is located in San Leandro, California, in the United States.[18] Furthermore, there are four more factories of Russell Stover in the United States, including locations in Corsicana, Texas; Abilene, Kansas; and Iola, Kansas.

Since 2020, the main factory of Kilchberg has included a visitor centre and museum, referred to as Lindt Home of Chocolate. The museum notably displays the world's largest chocolate fountain, measuring over nine metres tall and containing 1,500 litres of chocolate, flowing from a giant whisk.[19] The museum takes the visitor through the history of chocolate and the chocolate industry. There are plenty of opportunities to taste various kinds of chocolate at the end of the tour.[20]

Notable products


Gold Bunny

Lindt chocolate cafés and stores


Lindt has opened over 410 chocolate cafés and shops all over the world.[21][22] The cafés' menu mostly focuses on chocolate and desserts. Lindt chocolate cafés also sell handmade chocolates, macaroons, cakes, and ice cream.

On 15 December 2014, eighteen people, including eight staff, were held hostage at a Lindt cafe in Sydney. Three people, including the gunman, died in the incident.[23][24]

Lindt store at Zurich Airport
Lindt store in Canal Walk mall, Cape Town
Lindt store in Leeds



In September 2017, an investigation conducted by NGO Mighty Earth[25] found that a large amount of the cocoa used in chocolate produced by Lindt and other major chocolate companies was grown illegally in national parks and other protected areas in the Ivory Coast and Ghana,[26][27] the world's two largest cocoa producers.[28][29] Mighty Earth's 2019 annual "Easter Chocolate Shopping Guide" awarded The Good Egg Award to Lindt "for greatest improvement in sustainable policies".[30] However, in terms of agroforestry, Lindt scored only a yellow rating, the second-highest of 4, for Agroforestry and a red ('needs to catch up with the industry') for Agrochemical Management on the 2022 Chocolate Scorecard, which since 2020 is a collaboration between Mighty Earth, Be Slavery Free and other NGOs.

In August 2020, the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia (FAS) opened up an antitrust case against Lindt after a failed response from the company a year earlier. The regulators have found quality differences for the same Lindt products in Russia over what is being sold in Western markets without informing Russian consumers. According to the FAS, such behaviour of foreign producers can lead to a redistribution of demand in the market and lead to unjustified benefits over other competitors, as companies like Lindt can still garner Russian demand for their products through brand recognition alone without delivering the same quality as in Western Europe.[31][32] Lindt responded and denied that there are differences for its products sold in Russia and the EU, except for labeling.[33]

In December 2022, Lindt was among one of many dark chocolate bars that have contained either high amounts of lead or cadmium metals, when compared against California's maximum daily allowable dose level, according to Consumer Reports study "Lead and Cadmium Could Be in Your Dark Chocolate".[34] The cadmium levels are still within the EU limit of 0.80mg/kg for dark chocolate.[35]

See also



  1. ^ transl. Chocolate Factories Lindt & Sprüngli AG; pronounced [ʃokoˈlaːdəfaˌbriːkn̩ ˈlɪnt ʊnd ˈʃprʏŋli aːˈɡeː]


  1. ^ https://reports.lindt-spruengli.com/annual-report-2023/corporate-governance/group-structure-and-shareholders.html
  2. ^ "Lindt & Sprüngli Group Financial Key Data". Lindt Sprüngli AG. Archived from the original on 23 March 2023. Retrieved 24 March 2023.
  3. ^ "Change in Group Management of Lindt & Sprüngli". Lindt Sprüngli AG. 27 June 2022. Archived from the original on 1 October 2022. Retrieved 1 October 2022.
  4. ^ "An Outline on the Story & Creation of Lindt | LindtUSA". www.lindtusa.com. Archived from the original on 19 July 2017. Retrieved 3 May 2022.
  5. ^ "Lindt & Sprungli | Company Overview & News". Forbes. Retrieved 30 January 2024.
  6. ^ Squicciarini, Mara P. (2016). The Economics of Chocolate. Oxford University Press.
  7. ^ "The pioneers of Switzerland's 'Chocolate Revolution'". swissinfo.ch. 13 December 2017.
  8. ^ "Story of Lindt". LindtUSA. Archived from the original on 19 July 2017. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  9. ^ "About Lindt". Archived from the original on 27 May 2022. Retrieved 21 May 2022.
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  11. ^ "Ghirardelli Chocolate Sold". AP NEWS. Archived from the original on 24 June 2021. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  12. ^ Wiggins, Jenny (17 March 2009). "Lindt closes lid on most of its US stores". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 10 December 2022. Retrieved 3 January 2016.(subscription required)
  13. ^ MacLucas, Neil (14 July 2014). "Lindt & Spruengli to Buy Russell Stover Candies". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 25 October 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017.(subscription required)
  14. ^ Madden, Chris (29 November 2018). "Lindt & Sprüngli Travel Retail sees sales jump as Master Chocolatiers debut in US". DFNI Online. Archived from the original on 4 December 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  15. ^ DeMontis, Rita (28 November 2018). "Lindt flagship store lands at Yorkdale". Canoe.com. Archived from the original on 4 December 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  16. ^ FT Reporters (10 March 2022). "Stay or go? Western consumer brands wrestle with Russian dilemma". THE FINANCIAL TIMES LTD. Financial Times. Archived from the original on 10 December 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  17. ^ "Lindt Partners With Cocoa-Free Chocolate Brand ChoViva to Launch New Vegan Bar". vegconomist. 21 December 2023.
  18. ^ "Contact Us for Ghirardelli". Ghirardelli. Archived from the original on 24 October 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
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  21. ^ "More Than 410 Own Shops Worldwide". Archived from the original on 14 May 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
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  23. ^ Doherty, Ben; Jabour, Bridie; Delaney, Brigid; Wahlquist, Calla; Davidson, Helen; Safi, Michael; Milman, Oliver; Farrell, Paul (20 December 2014). "Sydney siege: how a day and night of terror unfolded at the Lindt cafe". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 15 June 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  24. ^ "Lindt Cafe: The day international terrorism came to Australia". www.9news.com.au. 28 December 2019. Archived from the original on 2 July 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  25. ^ Higonett, Etelle; Bellantonio, Marisa; Hurowitz, Glenn (15 September 2017). "Chocolate's Dark Secret" (PDF). Mighty. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 December 2019. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  26. ^ "Olam to acquire global cocoa business of Archer Daniels Midland for $1.7 billion". The Straits Times. 16 December 2014. Archived from the original on 12 December 2019. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  27. ^ "Olam Livelihood Charter 2016" (PDF). Olam. September 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  28. ^ Wessel, Marius; Quist-Wessel, P.M. Foluke (December 2015). "Cocoa production in West Africa, a review and analysis of recent developments". NJAS - Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences. 74–75: 1–7. doi:10.1016/j.njas.2015.09.001.
  29. ^ Harris, Nancy; Payne, Octavia; Alix Mann, Sarah (6 August 2015). "How Much Rainforest Is in That Chocolate Bar?". World Resources Institute. Archived from the original on 2 November 2017. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
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  35. ^ "Cadmium in chocolate, European Commission" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 March 2023. Retrieved 7 March 2023.