How much chocolate do you produce each year?

approx. 3,600 tonnes per annum

How many tonnes of chocolate do you sell outside Switzerland each year?

approx. 1,200 tonnes per annum – that’s about 35% of our chocolate production

Do you also work at night (shift work)?

Depending on requirements, we operate a 2 or 3-shift system.

How many kilos of chocolate do you produce per day?

Approximately 15 tonnes per day, depending on the volume of orders.

How long does the chocolate production process take?

From the processing of the prepared raw materials (i.e. peeled and roasted) to the finished product approximately 24 hours.

How many employees do you have?

Approximately 160 employees but it fluctuates according to the season.

What influence do you have on world trade?

A very limited one because we are a small company in the grand scheme of things. This is why we joined the association Chocosuisse so that we can put forward our concerns together with other Swiss chocolate manufacturers.

To which countries do you mainly export your products?

Maestrani is a Swiss company and concentrates on the national market, but also exports its products throughout the world, above all to Germany, Austria, Italy, France, South America and Asia. In total we export to about 40 countries.

Could you describe the history of Maestrani AG in just a few words?

You can find out everything about our history here.

Are the headquarters of Maestrani in Flawil?

Yes we have no other company premises.

What is the oldest product, which you are still producing now?

The Munz Krachnuss bar.

Are there any new products on the horizon?

Yes, we are continuously launching new products. Minor Split is one of the latest successfully launched innovations.

To which shops do you sell your products (for resale)?

We mainly sell to retailers such as Coop, Spar, Denner, to wholesalers like TopCC, CCA etc. as well as to bakeries, kiosks and catering outlets.

Which is the most popular product?

Minor sticks and the white Munz Prügeli.

Why should one buy your chocolate?

Maestrani has over 160 years of experience in producing chocolate and manufactures 100% of its products in Switzerland, in contrast to many other producers. We delight young and old alike with the unique and unmistakable recipes of the Maestrani, Minor and Munz brands. Maestrani also accepts its social and ecological responsibility with regard to the environment with its organic and Fairtrade products. You can find our sustainability objectives and projects as well as other interesting facts and information in our latest Sustainability Report.

What advertising methods do you use?

As you know: “Anyone who doesn’t advertise, .....” You probably know the ending of the saying and we have also been aware for a long time that we cannot do without advertising or a sophisticated marketing plan. However, we make a fundamental distinction between Above-the-line (ATL) and Below-the-line (BTL) measures. For example, we emphasise TV adverts as a form of mass advertising to showcase our brand to a wide audience. In order to distinguish ourselves from our major competitors in the TV landscape, we invented our squirrel called Split, which impresses young and old on TV when it hunts for the best hazelnuts. Split fans also get their money’s worth in our Game “Split’s big trip” game. This is available in Google Play and the Apple Store.

We then continued the success of Split on social media and now the Minor Facebook Account and his appealing brand ambassador have about 55,000 fans on Facebook. Since August 2018 Minor has also been on Instagram. Maestrani’s Chocolarium was added later on, where social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram provide exciting insights behind the scenes and it’s possible to be involved with visits by other guests through the many re-posts with #chocolarium or @chocolarium. For example, as BTL measures we use targeted POS advertising and also convince our customers in the shops about our products with attractive displays, shelf stoppers and tastings. We continuously anchor the Maestrani brand in our home-town of Flawil and its surroundings through regional sponsorship. We are also regular participants at various B2B and trade fairs open to the general public.


What is Maestrani’s Chocolarium?

The Chocolarium, the core of a building extension, was opened as a visitor centre with spectacular architecture in Flawil in April 2017. An experience tour provides visitors with more information about the processes involved in the production of chocolate. It starts with a film, then continues into the raw materials room and an 80-metre long glass gallery, which allows guests to enter the core of the production process. The tour features interactivity, exploring the senses, emotionality and information worth knowing and visitors are given the answer to the question of how happiness is put into chocolate. A «Globis chocolate experience» was developed for children. They can complete the tour with specially developed Globi exhibits – and afterwards have a look around the shop with their parents and buy refreshments in the cosy café.

What gave you the idea of Maestrani's Chocolarium?

The mission behind it was to create a world of experiences, where chocolate comes to life. We also wanted to go in a new direction with the Chocolarium. The aims of the new setting were to create an emotional brand experience, increase visitors numbers to the site and present the three brands of Minor, Munz and Maestrani as a brand family. Fun, enjoyment and interaction always play the major role in all of this. The idea of happiness was an ingenious idea, which goes perfectly with Maestrani.  This is because its founder Aquilino Maestrani already said in 1852 that anyone who recognises true beauty and happiness, was looking at the world through the eyes of a chocolate connoisseur. Happiness therefore accompanies visitors to our visitor centre throughout their entire visit.

What do you offer at Maestrani's Chocolarium?

An interactive tour, various chocolate pouring courses, Betty Bossi baking courses, tastings, children’s birthday parties – all this can be experienced in the chocolate factory. You can find all the information about what we offer here.

Where do you buy the raw materials (cocoa, sugar, hazelnuts, etc.)?

We buy our raw materials from the following countries of origin:
Sugar: naturally we buy the sugar from Switzerland (from sugar beet).
We obtain the organic sugar as cane sugar from the country of origin (Paraguay, Brazil, etc.).
Hazelnuts: we buy our high-quality hazelnuts, which are used for our cult product Minor among others, from Italy and Turkey.
Almonds: We purchase them from the USA and organic almonds from Spain.
Organic cocoa mass and butter: Our cocoa originates from various countries such as Peru, Dominican Republic, etc.)
Cocoa products: We chiefly buy them from West Africa, South America and Central America.

What is of particular importance to you when purchasing raw materials?

Many of the raw materials we purchase are organic and Fairtrade goods.

Do you use exclusively Swiss milk or milk powder?

Yes, we use Swiss milk powder almost exclusively. Unfortunately there are no Swiss products available for our kosher products. This is the reason why we are forced to switch to milk products from Germany

Is it important to you that the raw materials (especially cocoa beans) are produced according to fairtrade principles? Why is that?

Yes, this is very important to us. For example, we therefore exclusively use certified cocoa products. 100% of our products with cocoa are UTZ or Fairtrade certified. With our “Maestrani Swiss Organic bars” product range, which carry an organic and Fairtrade certificate, we are advocating environmentally friendly and fair production of our products. You can also find more detailed information on our procurement in our Sustainability report.

Why are the raw materials not produced here?

The climate conditions are unfavourable for many raw materials or they are not grown in Switzerland (e.g. cocoa beans or hazelnuts).

Do any raw materials come from Switzerland?

In principle we buy milk powder and sugar from Swiss producers.

How long does it take to import raw materials?

This depends on various factors such as availability, harvest times, transport methods and any delivery problems owing to environmental influences or similar events, but in general between 1 - 8 weeks.

How do you store the raw materials?

The raw materials are stored in our warehouse under optimal conditions, i.e. normally cool, dry and odour-free.

How are your products transported abroad?

By lorry to neighbouring countries, by ship or plane to more distant export countries.

How concerned are you about environmental protection?

In principle we avoid any unnecessary energy consumption and promote sustainable production. For example, we use 100% of our energy from hydro-electric power. You can find about this and other projects in our Sustainability Report.

Where do you buy the production machinery and packaging materials (at home or abroad) and what do you take into account in particular when buying them?

We obtain our production machinery and packing materials both from Switzerland and abroad. This depends on the requirement profile. We pay attention to the quality, price, availability and transport routes.

What does chocolate consist of?

Dark chocolate consists of: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter
Milk chocolate consists of: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, milk powder
White chocolate consists of: sugar, cocoa butter, milk powder
The additional raw materials are then added, which give our products their unique taste. (fruit, almonds, hazelnut chips etc.)

What is the process from the cocoa bean to the ready-made chocolate?

You can find all the steps in the manufacturing process to make chocolate here.

What is the secret of good chocolate?

The longer chocolate is "conched", the better the quality. Naturally, high quality raw materials are also important for good chocolate and the know-how for the entire processing procedure. Maestrani has kept its seventh sense for chocolate. The chocolatiers from Maestrani have the ability to combine high quality cocoa, healthy milk, a secret range of other ingredients and resource-saving manufacturing into refined chocolate delicacies.

Why do you think Switzerland is famous for its chocolate?

The time between 1890 and 1920 was the golden age of the Swiss chocolate industry. It coincided with the great period of Swiss tourism. Members of the higher social classes from all over world, who spent their holidays in Switzerland, discovered and appreciated Swiss chocolate and took its reputation back to their home countries. The production by the Swiss chocolate producers with so much initiative conquered the world chocolate market between 1900 and 1918. Up to three-quarters of Swiss chocolate was exported. This made the small country of Switzerland into a chocolate world power. Naturally "Swiss chocolate" also acquired its worldwide reputation through its excellent quality compared with the foreign competition. You can find more information about the history of Swiss chocolate at