The world is now another chocolate-themed attraction richer. The new Lindt Home of Chocolate opened September 10, 2020 in Kilchberg, Switzerland. The unique Chocolate Competence Center with its interactive museum, research plant, open-view production line and many other highlights is now delighting visitors from Switzerland and across the world. Swiss Federal Council Ueli Maurer, President of the Foundation’s Board Ernst Tanner and brand ambassador Roger Federer unveiled the centerpiece of the new Lindt Home of Chocolate – the over 9-meter high chocolate fountain.
A few days before the official opening, the new destination of Switzerland’s chocolate industry was inaugurated with a grand opening ceremony. The chocolate museum is a comprehensive information platform on all matters concerning chocolate and is open to the public. Together with Swiss Federal Council Ueli Maurer and tennis star Roger Federer, President of the Lindt Chocolate Competence Foundation Ernst Tanner unveiled the highlight of the Lindt Home of Chocolate. During a ceremony in the entrance hall, the protagonists brought down a golden curtain and revealed the over 9-meter high spectacular chocolate fountain, accompanied by a shower of golden confetti. “The chocolate fountain is the centerpiece of the Lindt Home of Chocolate and represents a homage to the globally renowned and popular Lindor truffles,” explained Ernst Tanner.
During the celebrations, brand ambassador Roger Federer presented a new video in which the world tennis star and a Master Chocolatier set out on a secret mission of discovery through the Lindt Home of Chocolate, with numerous funny moments and several surprising scenes. Sport ace Roger Federer is full of enthusiasm for the new chocolate museum: “The Lindt Home of Chocolate is a unique chocolate experience and I look forward to coming here with my kids.”
Swiss Federal Council Ueli Maurer is also impressed by the new Chocolate Competence Center and emphasized in his speech: “Chocolate is a part of our national identity and the chocolate industry is an extremely important economic sector of our country. For this reason, fostering local chocolate expertise is synonymous with boosting Switzerland as an economic location.”
Lindt Home of Chocolate – main project of the Lindt Chocolate Competence Foundation
The Lindt Chocolate Competence Foundation aims to continue the work of the chocolate pioneers and further strengthen Switzerland in its role as a leading chocolate producing country in the long-term. While the pioneers established the chocolate industry more than 200 years ago, the Foundation promotes today’s innovations, thereby providing the entire industry with new impetus. The chocolate museum is the charitable foundation’s main project and represents a comprehensive information platform for the wider public. “The Lindt Home of Chocolate will play an important role in safeguarding Switzerland’s position as a chocolate country in the long-term, as well as contribute to the transfer of knowledge across the entire industry,” explains Ernst Tanner, President of the Lindt Chocolate Competence Foundation. More than 100 million Swiss francs were invested in the Chocolate Competence Center. Situated close to Zurich and benefiting from excellent public transport connections, the new attraction will provide an exciting destination for up to 350,000 chocolate fans from Switzerland and abroad.
For experts and chocolate fans
The Lindt Home of Chocolate is the home of the renowned Master Chocolatiers, who are now opening their doors and inviting guests to immerse themselves into the fantastical world of chocolate. In addition to the research plant with open-view production line, the Lindt Home of Chocolate also features a 1500 square meter exhibition that takes visitors on a journey into the world of chocolate. First stop on this journey is a cocoa plantation in Ghana. Chocolate fans both young and old then travel along a time-line of chocolate history and follow in the footsteps of the Swiss pioneers. The exhibition also provides a glimpse into some of the secrets of chocolate production. After absorbing all these stimulating facts about chocolate, visitors complete the tour in the tasting room, where numerous masterpieces await to be sampled.
After more than three years of planning and preparation, the pilot plant research facility was successfully brought into operation at the beginning of 2020. The facility combines maximum flexibility and functionality with highest quality implementation and is available to chocolate producers and research institutes as well as universities. Here, professionals can develop recipes on a small scale and simulate the optimization of production sequences and process technologies – factors that are important to the chocolate industry overall. The facility also provides an ideal infrastructure for sector-specific further education and advanced training of specialists.
And last but not least, the Lindt Home of Chocolate also houses the world’s largest Lindt Chocolate Shop, Switzerland’s very first Lindt Café, as well as the Chocolateria for courses in chocolate making, all of which are operated by the subsidiary Lindt & Sprüngli Schweiz AG.
Multi-functional elegance in record time
The multi-functional building based on the plans of Basel architects Christ & Gantenbein is integrated into its existing surroundings in Kilchberg and forms a striking counterpart to the historic Lindt & Sprüngli factory that dates back to 1899. Inside, the three-story building features a distinctive design: Rounded staircases, bridged walkways and imposing skylights give the structure a refined elegance.
Excavation work on the Lindt & Sprüngli site started in early 2017 and the building was completed in a record time of just 36 months. In total, 133,590 tons of earth were removed to expose a building pit the size of a football field. Just a few months later, on September 12, 2017, the Foundation invited guests to the ceremonious laying of the building’s foundation stone. Roughly 1000 days on, in November 2019, the general contractor in charge of the construction officially handed the building over to the Lindt Chocolate Competence Foundation. The period up to autumn 2020 was then taken up with interior construction and designing the diverse and immersive experience world.