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Genealogy

V →Joh. Rudolf (1823-93), pharmacist, botanist, cofounder of the Swiss Alpine Club, grand councillor and municipal councillor in B., S of the physician Dr. →Joh. Rudolf (1790-1851) in B.; M Eugenia Amelie Salchli; B →August (1867-1927), pharmacist, then chocolate fab. in B.; Vt →Wilhelm (1860-1916), prof. d. med. in B., →Walter (1867-1931), chocolate fab. in B., →Otto Hermann (1872-1937), Stadtpräs, in B.; – single.

Biography

L. joined the chocolate manufacturer friend →Charles Kohler ( 1884) in Lausanne and remained there until the end of 1875. Together with Kohler, he founded his own chocolate factory in Bern in 1879. After Kohler soon left, this bore the company name “Rod. Lindt fils” (Rod. = Rudolphe). By nature, L. was neither a businessman nor a technician, but rather an amateur and a taster. What attracted him to chocolate, which in those days was still enjoyed mainly as a beverage, was perhaps the allure of the new. Although demand was high because of the exceptionally good quality of his chocolate, L. made no effort whatsoever to sell much of it. His initial main customer, the Bernese confectioner Jean Tobler, founded his own chocolate factory in 1899, when L. no longer supplied him with sufficient quantities and the previous high discount. The special quality of Lindt chocolate came from two improvements in the manufacturing process that L. introduced. He invented a longitudinal grating machine with shell-shaped troughs (conche), which enabled better homogenization of the chocolate mass, while at the same time removing unpleasant aromatic substances. The real “Lindt secret,” however, which L. jealously guarded, was that he added pure cocoa butter to improve the melting properties of the initially viscous and rough-tasting chocolate, thus achieving a surprising fine-melting effect. It is not known when he succeeded in this invention, which first made the production of fine chocolate bars possible. Of L.’s competitors, the most important was the company headed by J. R. Sprüngli-Schifferli, Chocolat Sprüngli AG in Zurich was prepared to pay a high price for the Lindt secret. On March 16, 1899, it acquired the Lindt chocolate factory in Berne, including all machinery and equipment, factory brands and rights in Switzerland and abroad, for the purchase sum of 1.5 million Swiss francs. The headquarters of the new “Aktiengesellschaft Vereinigte Berner & Zürcher Chocolade-Fabriken” was Zurich. L. was appointed delegate of the board of directors for the Bern production site. His brother August also joined the board of directors, and his cousin Walter was given procuration. The new company initially had to contend with unexpected difficulties. Due to the construction of a new factory in Kilchberg, the company had overstretched itself financially and was only able to pay a dividend with difficulty. In addition, cooperation between Zurich and Berne left much to be desired. In Sprüngli’s opinion, Lindt chocolate should also be manufactured in Kilchberg. Reluctantly and reluctantly, L. gave in. Differences of opinion arose not only on questions of internal organization, but also on sales policy and pricing. At the end of 1905, L., his brother August and his cousin Walter resigned from their posts at Lindt & Sprüngli. In the spring of 1906, the latter two began to produce ‘Lindt’ chocolate on their own account in a newly established factory in Bern. A protracted dispute now ensued between Lindt & Sprüngli in Zurich and the new Bernese company. Lindt & Sprüngli brought an action against L., his brother and his cousin for unfair competition. The Bern factory, however, continued to sell its products under the name “Lindt”. In February 1909, the first decision was made by the Court of Appeal of the Canton of Berne. A. and W. Lindt had to pay the contractual penalties agreed in their service contracts. They appealed to the Federal Supreme Court, but lost on all points. L. died shortly after the court decision became known. Almost two decades passed before the final court decision. On July 8, 1927, the Bern Court of Appeal sentenced the company A. & W. Lindt to pay damages to Lindt & Sprüngli in the amount of 800,000 Swiss francs and to affix the inscription “This chocolate is not the original Lindt chocolate” to all its products and publications. Both parties appealed to the Federal Court. A settlement was reached in the late fall of 1927. The members of the Lindt family undertook to refrain from manufacturing chocolate for all time. This gave the Zurich company Lindt & Sprüngli the sole right to use the Lindt name as a business brand. The factory of A. & W. Lindt was sold in 1932. The Bern factory of Lindt & Sprüngli also had to close during the world economic crisis. After the 2nd World War, Lindt & Sprüngli developed into the second largest chocolate factory in Switzerland. In 1978 the company achieved a world turnover of almost 450 mill. francs. The conching process developed by L. is still used today at Lindt & Sprüngli in the production of particularly high-quality chocolate.

Literature

R. Frei, Über d. Schokolade im Allgemeinen u. d. Entwicklung d. bern. Schokoladeindustrie, 1951 (L); H. R. Schmid, Die Pioniere Sprüngli u. L., = Schweizer Pioniere d. Wirtsch. u. Technik 22, 1970 (P).

Citation

Schmid, Hans Rudolf, “Lindt, Rudolf,” in: Neue Deutsche Biographie 14 (1985), pp. 616-617 [online version]; URL: https://www.deutsche-biographie.de/pnd129429929.html#ndbcontent

Key data

Born: 1855 in Bern Died: 1909 in Bern

Curriculum vitae of Rodolphe Lindt

Rodolphe Lindt is one of the most famous names in chocolate history. The company he founded, Lindt & Sprüngli, is still world-famous today. The son of a pharmacist founded a chocolate factory in 1879. The location was the Mattequartier in Bern, directly on the Aare River.

Invention of the conche

Lindt invented a way to significantly improve the quality of chocolate in 1879. He developed the conche, which probably takes its name from its shell-like shape (derived from the Latin concha). The principle of the conche: a large flat elongated basin made of granite over which granite rollers move back and forth; the rollers strike against the edges so that the liquid chocolate essence splashes back over the rollers into the main part of the mechanism. The resulting friction generates heat, raising temperatures to 76° C to 78° C. This process took 72 or more hours. After that, the chocolate has an amazingly soft consistency. It is important to note that during the conching process, undesirable odor and aroma components volatilize, thus having a very positive effect on the taste of the chocolate. Before the invention of the conche, edible chocolate was usually hard and coarse-grained. Thanks to Lindt’s method, it became so smooth that Lindt named it “fondant” after the creamy custard of the same name. This fondant chocolate became such a success that the conche has since been used everywhere to make edible chocolate. See also under chocolate making. Rodolphe Lindt is also considered the first in Switzerland to add extra cocoa butter to chocolate. Internationally, however, the Joseph S. Fry company from England was probably faster.

Lindt becomes Lindt & Sprüngli

Thanks to his invention of the conche in 1879, Rodolphe Lindt was one of the best-known chocolate manufacturers in his day, and his invention established the worldwide fame of the Lindt name to this day. In 1899, Rodolphe Lindt sold his factory in Bern, including the recipes and trademark rights, to Chocolat Sprüngli AG. The purchase price was 1.5 million gold francs. He himself continued to run the factory in Berne until 1905. The company continues to exist today under the name Lindt & Sprüngli. The Schoko Guide provides information on the further history of the Lindt & Sprüngli AG chocolate factory. Back to: Industrial chocolate production

The history of Lindt chocolate

Entrepreneurial spirit. A chocolate revolution. The perfect partnership. This is the story of how Lindt & Sprüngli came into being. It all began with the opening of David Sprüngli’s small confectionery store in Zurich. Thanks to Sprüngli’s entrepreneurial spirit and passion, the business grew quickly. Soon Sprüngli was a household name among chocolate manufacturers.

1845: Early success

In a small confectionery shop on Marktgasse in Zurich’s old town, David Sprüngli and his son Rudolf Sprüngli-Ammann produced the first solid chocolate bar in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. The product was an immediate success.

1847: First chocolate factory

Sprüngli grew rapidly and opened the Schleifetobel plant in Horgen in 1847. When production started, chocolate could be smelled in the air.

1859: A new kind of confectioner

David Sprüngli expanded his business and began to make a name for himself. He inaugurated a second confectionery on Paradeplatz – the now famous Confiserie Sprüngli. The elegant interior quickly found favor with locals and made the confectionery a popular meeting place.

1879: The invention of conching

Rodolphe Lindt, the son of a pharmacist, had opened a small confectionery shop in Bern in 1879. Shortly thereafter, in 1879, the chocolate company Rod. Lindt & Sons produced only hard, bitter chocolate. But Lindt was undeterred and continued to experiment until, after months of testing, he left his factory one Friday night without turning off the conching machine. The machine continued to stir all night and throughout the weekend. The chocolate Lindt finally found on Monday was deliciously smooth and tasted like never before. The chocolate was forever changed, marking the beginning of an incomparably creamy, world-famous Lindt chocolate. The secret of this creamy chocolate lay in the conching process he developed, which created a finely melting texture by combining cocoa mass and cocoa butter evenly with other ingredients such as sugar and milk over a long period of time. Lindt’s conching technique created a “melting chocolate” that was so fine and flavorful that no one could resist it. This was the beginning of a chocolate revolution. Today, the process of conching is still used by chocolate manufacturers all over the world.

1892: The division between brothers

When Rudolf Sprüngli-Ammann resigned, he divided the company between his two sons, Johann Rudolf Sprüngli-Schifferliand and David Robert Sprüngli-Baud. Johann Rudolf took over the factory, while his younger brother received the two confectionery businesses.

1899: The birth of Lindt & Sprüngli – a perfect partnership.

The perfect partnership When Lindt stumbled upon the secret in 1879 that would make Switzerland internationally known as a first-class chocolate manufacturer, Sprüngli also became aware of it. His interest was aroused , because he recognized in Lindt a like-minded chocolate connoisseur. But the two entrepreneurs did not meet until 1899, when Johann Rudolf Sprüngli had just completed the construction of a larger factory in Kilchberg-Bendlikon, the present headquarters, with which he intended to increase production. At the same time, in Bern, the high demand for Rodolphe Lindt’s creamy chocolate was slowly pushing the small antiquated production facility to its limits. When Sprüngli offered to buy the company for an impressive 1.5 million gold francs – including the Lindt brand and secret recipe – Lindt agreed on condition that he would still have a say in the business. The perfect partnership was born. From here on, two establishments were created in parallel: Sprüngli and Lindt & Sprüngli – or, as they were officially called at the time, “Aktiengesellschaft Vereinigte Berner & Zürcher Chocoladenfabriken Lindt & Sprüngli.” The new century dawned for Lindt & Sprüngli, although not without challenges. Despite the First World War, the Swiss chocolate industry flourished, with Lindt & Sprüngli playing a major role in its success. By 1915, most of its products were exported abroad. During the Second World War, Lindt & Sprüngli survived the turbulent period without compromising its standards. Due to these high quality standards, sales rose rapidly again at the end of the war – which coincidentally coincided with the company’s 100th anniversary.

1920s: The first steps abroad

In the 1920s, Lindt & Sprüngli expanded abroad for the first time, establishing general agencies in Germany and the USA. In 1928, the company’s first own subsidiary was founded in Berlin with a factory for licensed production. The company continued its growth in all key markets with its own subsidiaries or distributors. Today, Lindt & Sprüngli is number 1 in the global premium chocolate market and is known for its chocolate classics.

1932: Bâtons Kirsch

The Kirschstengli, a true Swiss original, was introduced and has proven to be a real success for Lindt & Sprüngli to this day.

1945: 100 Years of Lindt & Sprüngli

Lindt & Sprüngli turned 100 and celebrated the big anniversary with a 12-part advertising series. The anniversary coincided with the end of the war and chocolate consumption picked up again.

1945: 100 years of Lindt & Sprüngli

Lindt & Sprüngli turned 100 and celebrated the big anniversary with a 12-part advertising series. The anniversary coincided with the end of the war and chocolate consumption picked up again.

1949: Chocolate gold – LINDOR

After the war, our Lindt Maître Chocolatiers wanted to create something heavenly to lift the spirits of our customers. They set to work experimenting with chocolate recipes until, in 1949, they came up with a chocolate so luxuriously smooth it could be compared to molten gold. It was given the name LINDOR. First appearing as a bar of creamy, smooth and tasty chocolate, it wasn’t until 20 years later that Lindor became associated with its signature foil-wrapped truffles. Want to know more about the history of LINDOR? Learn more

1952: A hopping surprise – the Lindt GOLD HARE

In 1952, the Lindt GOLD HARE appeared on the shelves for the first time. Inspired by his daughter, a Lindt Maître Chocolatier created a chocolate bunny. He wrapped it in gold foil to make it glow, and tied a red ribbon with a small bell around its neck so it would never get lost. Today, the Lindt GOLD HARE is an Easter classic and shows everyone that spring is just around the corner. Would you like to learn all about the history of the Lindt GOLD HARE? Learn more

1969: A worldwide favorite – LINDOR Truffles

In 1969, Lindt & Sprüngli launched the first LINDOR truffles as part of a Christmas special. They were an immediate success and customers were sad when they disappeared again at the end of the Christmas season …

1979: Chocolate classic

Before the end of the decade, in 1979, Lindt Connaisseur Pralinés were expanded into a separate brand line, establishing a premium praline collection for very special gift occasions.

1989: EXCELLENCE

In 1989, another classic was created. Lindt & Sprüngli introduced the extra-thin Lindt EXCELLENCE chocolate bars with their intensely elegant flavors and fine texture. Lindt & Sprüngli is committed to creating fresh, new flavors that inspire our consumers while ensuring the highest quality of each of these products. At the turn of the century, Russell Stover was acquired in the U.S. (2014) and there was an abundance of delicious new chocolate creations and exciting initiatives to bring you closer to the world of Lindt.

2008: Lindt & Sprüngli Farming Program

Sustainability is an essential part of Lindt & Sprüngli’s corporate philosophy and is firmly anchored in its strategy from the sourcing of cocoa beans to the chocolate product. Since 2008, Lindt & Sprüngli’s Farming Program has been an expression of this commitment to sustainability. Learn more

2009: Grand Slam

Swiss tennis world champion Roger Federer became a Lindt & Sprüngli brand ambassador in 2009. In the same year, Lindt & Sprüngli established its own global retail network to bring the unique Lindt chocolate experience to a wider audience.

2011: Lindt Christmas Magic

For a very special Christmas magic, the Lindt TEDDY was launched at Christmas time in 2011.

2013: Lindt Cocoa Foundation

The Lindt Cocoa Foundation was established in 2013 to protect the social and environmental environment surrounding chocolate production. The Lindt Cocoa Foundation promotes sustainable agriculture and complements existing efforts to improve the living and working conditions of cocoa farmers. Learn more

2020: Chocolate Indulgence

In 2013, the non-profit Lindt Chocolate Competence Foundation launched a visionary project in Kilchberg, Switzerland. It was not until 2020, the 175th anniversary of Lindt & Sprüngli, that the Lindt Home of Chocolate opened its doors. Located at the headquarters in Kilchberg, it houses an interactive chocolate museum, a research and pilot plant, the world’s largest chocolate store, a café and chocolateria specially designed for chocolate courses. As the home of chocolate, it is no surprise that it is also home to one of the largest chocolate fountains in the world! Today, Lindt & Sprüngli is a household name that signals bliss, quality and chocolate indulgence worldwide. As the world’s leading supplier of premium chocolate, we are established in more than 120 countries with 11 production sites in Switzerland, Europe and the USA. Despite its growth, Lindt & Sprüngli is still a homegrown company – in fact, the Swiss remain the biggest champions, with each citizen consuming an average of one LINDOR truffle per day. Learn more

2020: Chocolate delight

In 2013, the non-profit Lindt Chocolate Competence Foundation launched a visionary project in Kilchberg, Switzerland. It was not until 2020, the 175th anniversary of Lindt & Sprüngli, that the Lindt Home of Chocolate opened its doors. Located at the company’s headquarters in Kilchberg, it houses an interactive chocolate museum, a research and pilot plant, the world’s largest chocolate store, a café and chocolateria specially designed for chocolate courses. As the home of chocolate, it is no surprise that it is also home to one of the largest chocolate fountains in the world! Today, Lindt & Sprüngli is a household name that signals bliss, quality and chocolate indulgence worldwide. As the world’s leading supplier of premium chocolate, we are established in more than 120 countries with 11 production sites in Switzerland, Europe and the USA. Despite its growth, Lindt & Sprüngli is still a homegrown company – in fact, the Swiss remain the biggest champions, with each citizen consuming an average of one Lindor truffle per day.

5 responses

      The Gold Bunny and other well-known products were developed in Aachen, Germany. That is why the products bear the words “Made in Aachen” or “Made in Germany” or “Made in Germany”. Because the products come from Germany this is probably often connected to. Lindt is very popular as a brand in Germany and also strongly represented, not only in supermarkets but also in large Lindt stores in city centers and in outlet centers. Due to this presence of the brand, many people probably automatically assume that Lindt chocolate must be a German product without taking a closer look. Top users in the topic of chocolate Because they do not know that it is Lindt and Sprüngli. Germany is the market leader with Ludwig Schokolade. Among them run several well-known brands. probably because it is very widespread in Germany, in Cologne Lindt is in the chocolate museum… if the company “Lindt & Sprüngli” was mentioned more often, more people might think that it comes from Switzerland. I don’t know who thinks that. Lindt und Sprüngli AG does not sound German.

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