Lindt + Sprüngli: opens new plant extension

Kilchberg / CH. (ls) After around three years of construction, Lindt + Sprüngli AG opened the plant extension to the Lindt Cocoa Center in Olten (CH). A total of around 100 million Swiss francs was invested in expanding the plant, which produces cocoa mass for several Lindt + Sprüngli production sites in Europe.

With this significant expansion of its plant in Olten, Lindt + Sprüngli is reaffirming its commitment to Switzerland as a business location. The facility has been producing cocoa mass for the Lindt brand since 1991, initially exclusively for the production site in Kilchberg near Zurich. Since then, the plant in Olten has steadily grown in significance for the entire Lindt + Sprüngli Group, becoming the largest and most important cocoa mass plant within the global production network. Today, Olten supplies Swiss cocoa mass to several of Lindt + Sprüngli’s European production sites. These further process and refine the cocoa mass in accordance with rigorous Swiss manufacturing standards.

20240503-LINDT-SPRUENGLI(Photo: Lindt + Sprüngli)

Forward-looking expansion for the entire Group

The expansion, which began in 2021, includes new production lines, a new loading bay for cocoa mass, a state-of-the-art laboratory, and the redesign of the plant’s administrative offices. This project has created 12 new jobs at the Olten site. The extensive expansions since 2017 have doubled production capacity overall.

During the opening ceremony, Marco Peter, CEO of Lindt + Sprüngli Switzerland, highlighted the key role the plant is to play in the future growth of the entire Group. “As an ultramodern and efficient cocoa mass plant, the Lindt Cocoa Center in Olten is crucial for further growth. The investment is also a commitment to strengthening Switzerland as a business location over the long term,” Peter said.

From the cocoa bean to cocoa mass

In Olten, the cocoa beans are delivered by rail and stored in special silos until they undergo further processing. First, the beans are cleaned while still in their shells and then broken open. Next, the cocoa nibs inside are roasted using a proprietary process that perfectly coordinates temperature and roasting time. The nibs are then crushed in mills, where pressure and friction create the viscous cocoa mass. With its characteristic smell and taste, this cocoa mass is the starting product for further processing into chocolate at one of Lindt + Sprüngli’s production sites.