The Lindt Home of Chocolate in Switzerland opened its doors to chocolate lovers and those eager for knowledge on September 13, 2020, making the world another chocolate-themed attraction richer. Since its inception, the modern three-story museum attraction has become a tourist magnet sitting next to the historic Lindt & Sprüngli factory building in Kilchberg. Kai Spehr, Managing Director, Lindt Chocolate Competence Foundation, in an exclusive interaction with TTJ, takes us on an enthralling journey into the world of chocolate.
– Prashant Nayak
The word “Swiss” has long been synonymous with the enchanting world of chocolates and delights, and what better reason to travel to Switzerland than to visit the Lindt Home of Chocolate, the world’s chocolate capital!
As we understand from Kai Spehr, The Lindt Home of Chocolate is the home of the renowned Master Chocolatiers, inviting guests from around the world to immerse themselves into the whimsical world of chocolate. The Lindt Home of Chocolate features a 1500-square-meter museum that takes visitors on a trip through the history of chocolate, in addition to a research plant with an open-view production line.
There are a series of interactive displays and life-like illustrious models to showcase the chocolatier’s journey. Guests get a first-hand experience of chocolate history, starting from the cultivation of the cocoa pod to its metamorphosis into exquisite, fine chocolate. After absorbing all these stimulating facts about chocolate, visitors complete the tour in the tasting room, where numerous masterpieces await to be sampled and devoured. The exhibition also provides a glimpse into some of the secrets of chocolate production.
Below is our interaction with Kai Spehr, which gives us an insight into one of the world’s finest chocolate brands and the newest landmark in Switzerland.
Q. Please tell us about Switzerland’s chocolate museum (Lindt Home of Chocolate), its inception, USPs, and the reason behind the project?
Founded in 2013 in Kilchberg (Zurich), the Lindt Chocolate Competence Foundation aims to sustain, cultivate, and promote Switzerland’s long-term standing as a business location for chocolate and further strengthen Swiss chocolate-making expertise. The Foundation’s aim is the non-profit promotion of science and research, education, culture, and information to the public about chocolate. A major project of the Foundation is the Lindt Home of Chocolate. This competence center in Kilchberg offers an infrastructure (museum and pilot plant) that will further expand knowledge and expertise about chocolate production and really brings the reputation of Swiss chocolates to life for visitors from all over the world.
Lindt Home of Chocolate
The Lindt Home of Chocolate is a state-of-the-art experience for all chocolate lovers. The building is designed by celebrated Swiss architects Christ & Gantenbein, and houses an interactive chocolate world that will delight all traveller types, be it young or old. With a nine-meter-high chocolate fountain, a multimedia museum, café, various chocolate courses, the building houses the biggest Lindt chocolate shop in the world, offering a unique and an exciting chocolate experience for the whole family. The Lindt Home of Chocolate offers the following activities:
The Chocolate Tour: An exciting tour through the world of chocolate in six themed areas:
- Cocoa Cultivation – We take guests to our plantation.
- Chocolate History – How did chocolate become so popular?
- The Swiss Pioneers – Why is Swiss chocolate so famous?
- Chocolate Production – How is chocolate produced?
- Chocolate Heaven – Chocolate tasting!
- Pilot Plant – What can be done in terms of innovation?
More on the Pilot Plant
After more than five years of planning and preparation, the highly complex research facility was successfully brought into operation at the beginning of 2020. The facility combines maximum flexibility and functionality with the highest quality implementation and is available to chocolate producers and research institutes, as well as universities. For the visitors, however, the highlight is the impressive open-view production taking place in the so-called molding line. Here, the making of a filled chocolate square can be followed step by step.
The Chocolate Courses
In the Chocolateria, guests can see what it’s like to be a real Lindt Master Chocolatier and take their chance to make their own chocolate creations. We offer daily courses and seasonal event courses for Christmas, Easter, or Valentine’s Day.
The Chocolate Fountain
The unique chocolate fountain is the largest free-standing chocolate fountain in the world (over 9 m high). There are 1500 liters of real chocolate flowing in a closed circuit. 94 meters of piping connect the fountain to a tank in the basement, where the chocolate mass is stirred and heated before being pumped back up into the fountain. The aroma of fresh chocolate fills the entire Lindt Home of Chocolate.
The Lindt Chocolate Shop and Lindt Café
The Lindt Home of Chocolate also houses the world’s largest Lindt Chocolate Shop with over 500 sqm of space. Switzerland’s very first Lindt Café offers exceptional sweets and savories. Both the delightful places, and the Chocolateria where courses are offered in chocolate making, are operated by the subsidiary Lindt & Sprüngli Schweiz AG.
Q. What are the highlights and some of the delights at the museum that raises the bar for the visitors’ experience?
While enjoying the six different parts of the museum, guests can get to know all the details about chocolate and there is ample to try and taste. Guests can experience the history of chocolate, its popularity, why Switzerland is famous for chocolate and much more.
The chocolate museum with its fantastic architecture is the newest and largest of its kind in Switzerland. Once you step your foot into the building, the aroma of chocolate enchants you immediately. In the brand new and interactive museum guests have the chance to do an audio guide tour, which is available in six languages, or they have the possibility to book a guided tour where they can also taste several interesting components such as juice from the cacao fruit.
The museum is reached easily from the city of Zurich and can also be accessed by boat, which provides a very scenic tour.
Q. Events are also organised and planned at the museum. Tell us about the meeting places, venues, capacities, and other facilities at the museum?
The specialties are that we can tailor every event according to the requirements of our guests. Lindt Home of Chocolate offers an entire facility for an interactive guided museum tour to enhance knowledge about chocolate and its Swiss history. The experience is enhanced by a Chocolateria where guests get a chance to create their own chocolate figures. The building also offers several rooms that can be used for food and beverage. Catering can also be provided for guests if required.
Q. How unique and experiential can an event at the museum be when compared to conventional or other themed events?
Guests can feel like a Master Chocolatier and experience unique chocolate moments that they themselves, their customers, colleagues, business partners, or family will never forget. They can create their own chocolate delights under the expert guidance of our Lindt Master Chocolatier. They learn all the ins and outs of chocolate, go on an exciting chocolate tour, and dive into the world of our chocolate museum.
Q. Since the museum will be a new experience for Indians visiting Switzerland (one of their favourite destinations), what are your promotion strategies for the India market?
Our strategy is to create top-of-mind awareness for the Lindt Home of Chocolate and establish ourselves as a must-visit attraction in Switzerland. We would be targeting travellers from all segments ranging from young to old and will highlight the USPs of the Lindt Home of Chocolate through various targeted media and consumer channels to enhance brand awareness amongst the right TG.
Q. What is your expectation of footfalls from the India market for the year 2022?
We are expecting an increase in international travellers in general. India has always been an important source market for Switzerland, and we are expecting to see a surge in Indian visitor arrivals at the Lindt Home of Chocolate throughout the year as Switzerland is now accepting all Indians without any travel restrictions in place.