Lindt & Spruengli is the world's leading manufacturer of fine chocolate, and one of the top six overall. Its principal products are marketed under the Lindt name, now one of Switzerland's most valuable brands, and the top-selling bar chocolate in several continental European markets including Germany and France. The company produces a wide range of boxed and bar chocolates, as well as the enormously popular seasonal Gold Bunny and Santa Claus shaped hollow eggs at Easter and Christmas respectively. (The Gold Bunny was granted trademark protection in 2021 by a German court to deter its many imitators). Other key products include Lindor boxed wrapped truffles and, more recently, the premium "lifestyle" bar chocolate Hello. The group has prospered in recent years by firmly maintaining premium positioning and avoiding the mass confectionery sector. It has expanded its footprint through the acquisition of other upper-end manufacturers in key markets, including Caffarel in Italy, famed for its Gianduia 1865 brand; Ghirardelli in the US, best known for its individually wrapped Ghirardelli Squares, bars and fine baking chocolate; and Hofbauer and Kuefferle in Austria. In the mass market, the group expanded its footprint in the US in 2014 with a deal to acquire Russell Stover, the maker of boxed chocolates and candies. That acquisition briefly established Lindt as the third largest US confectioner behind leaders Hershey and Mars. (It was pushed back into 4th place by the purchase of Nestle's US confectionery by Ferrero in 2018). The group also manages a global network of its own retail outlets, with around 500 Lindt, Ghiradelli, Russell Stover and Caffarel stores worldwide by the end of 2020. Ernst Tanner is executive chairman; Adalbert Lechner will succeed Dieter Weisskopf as CEO in 2022. After a dip in 2020, revenues hit a new high of approx €4.2bn (SFr 4.6bn) in 2021. Net income was €454m. The main Lindt brand family accounted for 76% of revenues. Europe accounted for just over half of total sales and North America for almost 37%. Local sales in the US were almost $1.6bn, with Ghirardelli alone contributing $638m. Sales in Germany were €692m. As one of Switzerland's leading businesses, Lindt also has a long-standing sponsorship partnership with the country's foremost sportsman Roger Federer, its global brand ambassador since 2009. The company also opened its own museum, the Lindt Home of Chocolate, now one of Switzerland's must visited tourist attarctions, not least for its nine-metre-high chocolate fountain.
Capsule checked 13th October 2021
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Historical profile information for Lindt
Marketer Moves 28th Mar 2022: New CEO at Lindt & Spruengli. See Marketer Moves (members only).
Adbrands Weekly Update 9th Jun 2016: Swiss chocolatier Lindt promoted its CFO Dieter Weisskopf to the role of CEO, taking over from longtime leader Ernst Tanner, who remains executive chairman.
Adbrands Weekly Update 12th Mar 2015: Swiss company Lindt proved its skill as arguably the most astute business at present in the confectionery market. It delivered record performance for 2014 despite fierce currency headwinds. Key to its success has been its focus on the luxury market, and also North America, where it snapped up local boxed chocolate icon Russell Stover towards the end of the year. As a result of the three-month contribution from Stover, Lindt's annual revenues jumped 17% to a record SFr 3.39 (around $3.2bn), while net earnings were up 13%. North America accounted for almost a third of sales in 2014, and that proportion will rise to close to half in the current year.
Adbrands Weekly Update 17th Jul 2014: Swiss confectioner Lindt & Spruengli expanded its footprint in the US with a deal to acquire Russell Stover, the maker of boxed chocolates and candies. No price was disclosed, but analysts estimated a deal value of $1.5bn. Lindt already owns upscale US chocolatier Ghiradelli. Best-known for gift box selections under the Russell Stover, Whitman's and Pangburn's brands, Stover's sales are around $600m annually.
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