Throughout its 160-year history, the world’s largest producer of premium chocolate, Lindt & Sprungli, has mastered the art of fine chocolate-making through innovative craftsmanship, a proprietary refinement process and strict quality control.
Lindt & Sprungliutilizes its own renowned team of Master Chocolatiers who constantly create new recipes and innovative products. With thousands of premium chocolate products in its portfolio worldwide, LindtÕs most beloved and well-known product is the iconic Lindor Truffle.
First created nearly 50 years ago in Switzerland, Lindor Truffles are known for the solid outer chocolate shell and smooth, soft-melting center. The filling melts at a lower temperature than the outer shell, creating a truly unique tasting experience.
Lindor Truffles are made today in much the same way they were made nearly half a century ago. To ensure the highest-quality chocolate, Lindt uses superior-grade and unique flavor beans such as Criollo, which accounts for less than 5 percent of the world’s supply, and Trinitario cocoa beans.
In the United States, all Lindor Truffles start with the same Lindt chocolate, created and shipped directly from Switzerland. This 2,200-pound block of chocolate is what the Swiss Master Chocolatiers refer to as Lindt Chocolate’s secret ingredient.
To create the Lindt chocolate we enjoy today, the chocolate liquor block is slowly melted down to a liquefied state, where it is then mixed with sugar, milk, and other ingredients, depending on the recipe.
While innovation is key, the company attributes its enduring success to the exceptional craftsmanship practiced by its Master Chocolatiers and staying true to its Swiss heritage. In fact, the company has used the same basic recipe for its chocolate that was developed by founder Rodolphe Lindt more than a century ago.
The final step in creating Lindt Chocolate involves a unique refinement process developed by Lindt himself in 1879. As the legend goes, the method, called conching, was discovered accidentally by Rodolphe Lindt, who left his chocolate mixer on over the weekend. The constant stirring refines the chocolate and allows for the flavor to fully develop and the texture to become exquisitely smooth.
The key to great chocolate
The chocolate Lindt developed was called, chocolat fondant, which literally means melting chocolate the smooth, soft-melting chocolate for which the center of Lindor Truffles are known today.
Unlike mainstream chocolate, premium chocolate undergoes this intensive refinement process for hours to create a smooth, luxurious texture. Lindt still carries this legacy today, sometimes conching its chocolate for up to three days straight.
In fact, Lindt refines its chocolate so carefully that the particle size falls between 14 and 16 microns, particles so minuscule they are virtually undetectable by the human tongue.
Once the chocolate has been properly conched and refined, some of the chocolate is molded into crisp, chocolate shells. The shells cool, and are then carefully injected with a soft, melting center and finally capped.
Up to 120,000 pounds of ingredients are trucked in to the New Hampshire-based facility per day and nearly $2.5 million worth of product is stored in huge silos waiting to be made into delicious Lindor Truffles. But the recipe itself? That’s a carefully guarded trade secret.
While the overall chocolate market grew a mere 1.6 percent in 2005, the premium chocolate market soared 21 percent, according to the international research firm ACNielsen. Lindt USA, which produces roughly 5.8 million truffles per day, has experienced more than 30 percent annual sales growth since 2002.
Lindt’s consistent growth and product innovation has fueled increased consumer demand for premium chocolate worldwide. To accommodate this growth, Lindt recently announced it will add 300,000 square feet of space to its current facility, providing increased production and storage capabilities for its Lindor truffle collection and the ability to produce a portion of its bar portfolio, including Excellence domestically. Currently, the bar collection is manufactured exclusively in Europe.
While U.S. demand for premium chocolate continues to increase, flavor preferences remain strikingly familiar, with milk chocolate remaining as one of Americans’ favorite flavors. However, Lindt offers chocolate lovers around the world a wide variety of truffle flavors, from White to Raspberry, 60 percent Extra Dark to Hazelnut. In fact, Lindt created a Peanut Butter Lindor Truffle in 1996 specifically for U.S. palates.
Since 1845, Lindt has pioneered the premium chocolate industry and mastered the art of gourmet chocolate-making. As demand for the highest-quality chocolate continues to increase, Lindt & Sprungliwill continue to provide exceptional product offerings and innovations to chocolate lovers around the world.
Celebrating a New Creation
In Spring 2007, Lindt & Sprungli introduced another premium chocolate collection, Creation 70 percent . Creation 70 percent is the first mousse-filled dark chocolate bar collection on the market and uses 70 percent cacao content dark chocolate. The line features three flavors, Chocolate Mousse, Cherry Chili, and Orange.
The Creation 70 percent Collection features a rich and fluffy mousse added to the inside of each 70 percent dark chocolate bar. Lindt is the first premium chocolatier to offer dark chocolate, mousse-filled bars.
The Creation 70 percent line includes:
Creation 70 percent Chocolate Mousse: Characterized by a strong presence of cacao with slight creaminess with a smooth, bittersweet flavor.
Creation 70 percent Cherry Chili: Highlights an exotic yet subtle balance of tangy cherry and hot chili.
Creation 70 percent Orange: Punctuated by the tartness of orange, Creation 70 percent Orange is well-balanced with a smooth, subtle finish.
The line will be available at all Lindt retail locations and online at lindtusa.com.
Ann Czaja is Lindt’s Master Chocolatier. For more information visit www.lindt.com