The History of The Chocolat Frey Company


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Chocolat Frey AG

Logo Chocolat Frey








Buchs, Switzerland

Key people

Hans-Ruedi Christen (CEO)


CHF 387 million (2013)

Number of employees

900 (2013)






Chocolat Frey AG, based in Buchs in the Swiss Canton of Aargau, manufactures  and chewing gum. The products of the leading  manufacturer on the Swiss  market are sold both in Switzerland and abroad under the brand name of Frey as well as additional private labels. The company, founded in 1887, is a business entreprise of the M-Industry and has been a part of the Migros Gro since 1950.


Contents  []

1 History 1.1 Establishment

1.2 First half of the 20th century

1.3 Second half of the 20th century

1.4 21st century

2 Logo

3 Company 3.1 Headquarters

3.2 Key figures

3.3 Certifications

4 Products

5 Sustainability 5.1 Commitment

6 See also

7 References

8 External links







Frey was founded in 1887 by the brothers Robert (31 December 1861 – 3 March 1940) and Max Frey (9 March 1863 – 17 December 1933). Both had already gained experience with the manufacture of  before establishing the family business. After his training as a commercial employee with the company S.A. de la Fabrique des Chocolats Amédée Kohler et fils in Paris, Robert dealt with machines for the manufacture of  in the engineering works Riccard & Greiss. Max completed his commercial apprenticeship with the company Cramer-Frey in Zurich, for which he was eventually also active in Brazil. On 17 December 1887, they founded the general partnership R. & M. Frey in Aarau. The development of the conche in 1879 advanced the industrial production of  greatly. Robert was already familiar with this technique and he was able to integrate it in his company. Furthermore, from the very beginning production was carried out by electric machines.[1]


First half of the 20th century[]


Production facility in Telli, Aarau

In 1906 the firm decided to become a public company. From then on they manufactured  bars and  powder, but also sos and tonics. However, the latter were removed from the range of products later to focus on the manufacture of .[1]


During the First World War the company benefited from Switzerland’s neutral position. Open customs facilitated the export of . However, the procurement of raw materials such as cocoa proved to be much more difficult. As a result of good sales prices abroad, business interrtions could be prevented. Through export, turnover could even be almost doubled, from 882,000 Swiss francs (CHF) (1916) to CHF 1,465,000 (1918). Back then the  was available in Germany, France and Sweden, and later on also in England. With the end of the war exports slumped severely. Germany and France were too preoccied with the reconstruction and were no longer trading partners, leaving only England. This forced the company to downgrade sales to the domestic market. At the beginning of the 1920s, the company teetered on the brink of collapse. Production stood still for days at a time. It was not until the economy recovered around the mid-1920s, that the Board of Directors took heart to develop the foreign market again. However, this attempt failed due to the global economic crisis. During these years Robert Frey junior (born February 18, 1901) gradually took over the company management. His father had already familiarised him with the company early on. This way he was able to ensure that the public company remained family-owned. In 1932 Robert Frey senior retired from the Board of Directors. Only one year later his brother Max Frey died aged 70.[1]


The company also had a tough struggle during the Second World War. Foreign trade was complicated by the war. New import regulations for cocoa and sugar limited the Swiss  market a great deal. Furthermore, many employees as well as executives were called  for military service, so that the company lacked sufficient personnel to advance. Although demand increased slightly after the end of the war, it could not be met due to the lack of manpower.[1]


Thanks to the distinctive economic swing at the end of the Second World War, the company’s situation improved. In 1946 for the first time the Board of Directors came  with the idea of looking around for partners. Four years later Migros took over the company. Chocolat Frey AG is the oldest acquired company of Migros. Initially the alliance appeared to be debatable, as until then Migros owned its own  factory with Jonatal AG. However, for Chocolat Frey AG the signing of the agreement was an important decision. Although the  factory had to adopt the new owner’s terms and conditions, the company management remained in the hands of Robert Frey junior. In addition, the company’s development was promoted.[1]


Second half of the 20th century[]


Chocolat Frey Headquarters in Buchs.

In 1963 the construction of the present headquarters began and the plant was relocated from Aarau to Buchs in the Canton of Aargau. At the same time the entire , confectionery and sweets manufacture, which Migros had operated until then, was centralised in one location. With this, the company mutated into a modern and successful industrial firm. Since 1974, as the only Swiss manufacturer it has also produced chewing gum, which today accounts for around 10% of Frey’s total annual turnover.[1]


In the 1980s two-figure increases in turnover filled the business accounting ledgers. In 1985 the company’s turnover exceeded the CHF 200 million threshold for the first time and the firm soon took over leadership on the domestic  market. These good preconditions facilitated investments. Various structural and quality-related changes were implemented and the issue of environmental protection gained in importance. In line with this the company has been procuring district heating from the nearby refuse incineration plant since 1984.[dead link][2] Since then the company has managed virtually without heating oil. In addition, the plant was graded with a new SBB (Swiss Railways) rail connection. The 1980s were of great importance for international trade as well. For the first time since the Second World War foreign trade was re-established. England, the USA, Denmark, Austria and Japan, later also France and South East Asia, imported the  of Chocolat Frey AG. However, for the time being export remained a modest secondary business. During the 1990s, the international trade was expanded and professionalised. In 1997 the company launched its new project ‘Chocolat Frey goes international’, with the aim of export contributing to Chocolat Frey AG’s profitability in the long term. A key account management system was introduced for key customer liaison and sport.


21st century[]


International trade with private labels continued to be expanded after the start of the 21st century. The Netherlands, Scandinavia, Canada and Germany were new additions. The foreign market became the company’s most important growth factor. Since 2007 in addition to the private labels, the brand Frey has been offered again internationally, both in the travel retail business, i.e. in duty-free shops at airports and through sales in collaboration with international trade partners worldwide. In 2008 the two companies Chocolat Frey AG and Delica AG, both specialised in ‘indulgence’ foods, closed ranks. In order to strengthen the international market position and to utilise synergies to their best potential, it stood to reason to place both companies under one overall direction – a position held by the CEO of Chocolat Frey AG. Nonetheless, Delica AG will remain a corporate body, as do the two sites of Buchs and Birsfelden.[dead link] [3] Today the company achieves more than one third of its total turnover abroad. The products are sold in over 50 nations on all five continents. More than 42,000 tons of , confectionery products, semi-finished products and chewing gum leave the production facilities in Buchs annually. On the domestic market the company is the number 1 among Swiss  manufacturers with a 34,9% market share (according to Chocosuisse 2013). Chewing gum also accounts for part of the total turnover as around 10% are achieved in the chewing gum segment, around 2/3 of this with private labels in the international business.[1][4]


In 2012 Chocolat Frey AG celebrated its 125th anniversary.


Chocolat Frey AG opened its new visitor center at Easter 2014.




With the unicorn’s head the company logo of Chocolat Frey AG includes an element of the family crest of the brothers Max and Robert Frey. As the family name of ‘Frey’ was used as a brand name as well, it was also integrated into the logo. In addition, the company’s traditional character of  manufacturing is established through the time reference of ‘CHOCOLAT SUISSE DEPUIS 1887’ (‘SWISS  SINCE 1887’), which is displayed below the family name against a red background.






In 1967 the manufacturing base of Frey relocated from Aarau to the newly built factory in Buchs in the Canton of Aargau. To date Buchs is the only manufacturing base for  and chewing gum. However, the area was continually developed and extended. Today it comprises several buildings on an area totalling around 70,000 m², for storing and processing cocoa and manufacturing  and chewing gum. In addition (on a further lot of approx. 10,000 m²), the company has its own railway connection to the SBB (Swiss Railways) for the sply of raw materials and delivery of semi-finished and finished products.[1]


Key figures[]


More than 500,000 bars of  leave the production premises in Buchs/Aargau daily. Annualised, this means more than 42,000 tons spread over 2,400 different products. In addition to  and pralines, Chocolat Frey AG’s core products, the company manufactures semi-finished products (couvertures,  and cocoa powders and liquors, fillings etc.) for further processing in industry and trade, chewing gum under the brands Skai and Candida as well as private labels. With a market share of approximately 35% (according to Chocosuisse, 2013), Frey is the leading  manufacturer on the Swiss market. The company employs more than 900 members of staff and in 2013 achieved a gross turnover of CHF 387 million.[4]




Chocolat Frey is certified in accordance with:

ISO 9001

ISO 14001 [2]

FSSC 22000 (Food Safety System Certification)

IFS (International Food Standard)




bars by Chocolat Frey


The bunnies Sunny, Funny and Lucky from the Easter range

In order to be able to control the high demands on quality itself, Frey follows the production process from the cocoa bean to the finished  bar 100% in Switzerland. Every single production step—from procuring the cocoa beans, roasting them in the plant, to careful processing of the —is carried out by the chocolatiers themselves. A large part of the cocoa beans comes from West Africa, primarily Ghana, but also from South America.


Overall, Frey manufactures 2,400 products including a wide variety of  bars (solid and filled), countlines (Blox, Risoletto, Branches and Frey d’Or), truffles and pralines, but also a wide range of chewing gum. For special events such as Easter and Christmas, seasonal products are on offer.

bars: With the Extra fine milk , Frey has manufactured one of Switzerland’s top-selling s for many years. Further important s are Giandor and the premium line Srême

Pralines: Prestige Line



-coated marshmallows

Easter and Christmas specialities: Today, in addition to Easter eggs and other Easter products, Frey manufactures over 6 million Easter bunnies annually, weighing between 18g and 1,400g (overall around 2,400 tons).

Semi-finished products

Chewing gum: Since 1974 Chocolat Frey AG has also offered an extensive range of chewing gum under the names of Skai, Candida and Fruity Fresh as well as produced own labels. Since 1988 only sugar-free chewing gum products have been manufactured.

Crèation de Luxe: Prestige Line




Chocolat Frey AG bases its understanding of sustainability on the three-pillar model. Sustainable development can only be achieved by considering economic, social and ecological criteria in equal measure and along the entire value chain. Since 2011 Chocolat Frey has acquired cocoa beans through the program of UTZ Certified, ensuring the compliance with social minimum standards and better wages for the cocoa farmers. Thanks to the utilisation of district heating instead of crude oil, respective structural measures, raising awareness and training of personnel as well as consistent controlling, energy consumption could be decreased by almost a quarter over the past few years, thus lowering the emission of CO2 significantly. In line with this, Frey was awarded ‘CO2-reduced company’ certification by the commercial environment agency for its voluntary endeavours in favour of climate protection. As a logical consequence, the company was awarded environmental certification according to ISO 14001 in 2008.[2]




With its commitment to the SOS Children’s Village in Ghana, Chocolat Frey AG sports orphaned and abandoned children. In 2007 the company financed the construction of one of currently twelve family houses in the SOS Children’s Village ASIAKWA, Ghana, and since then has secured the annual running costs of this house.[5] It was put into operation in April 2008 and currently provides 10 children with a family environment with a ‘mother’ as a caregiver.


See also[]

List of bean-to-bar  manufacturers




1.^   to: a b c d e f g h Chocolat Frey archive

2.^   to: a b c "Chocolat Frey AG bekennt sich zur Umwelt und erhält das ISO 14001 Zertifikat" (in German). Retrieved 2010-01-29.

3.  ^ "Swiss Delice melts into Chocolat Frey" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-01-29.

4.^   to: a b "Facts and figures". Retrieved 2014-03-21.

5.  ^ "Cooperation partner SOS Children's Village" (in German). Retrieved 2014-03-12.


External links[]


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chocolat Frey AG.

Official site, in multiple languages, including English

Official American market site

Official site of M-Industry in multiple languages, including English

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Categories: Brand name

Food companies of Switzerland


1887 establishments in Switzerland

Food companies established in 1887


Praline (US /ˈpreɪliːn/; UK /ˈprɑːliːn/) is a form of confectionery containing at a minimum nuts and sugar; cream is a common third ingredient.

There are two main types:

French pralines, a firm combination of almonds and caramelized sugar.

American pralines, a softer, creamier combination of syr and pecans, hazelnuts or almonds with milk or cream, resembling fudge.


Belgian pralines consist of a  shell with a softer, sometimes liquid, filling, traditionally made of different combinations of hazelnut, almonds, sugar, syr and often milk-based pastes. These high-fat, low-melting point s are at the luxury end of Belgian  and represent an important product of many Belgian chocolatiers.

A praline cookie is a  biscuit containing ground nuts.


Contents  []

1 Varieties 1.1 European nut pralines

1.2 Belgian soft-centre pralines

1.3 American cream-based pralines

2 See also

3 References



European nut pralines[]


Praline shop in Brussels. Such luxury shops typically also sell  truffles

As originally inspired in France at the Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte by the cook of the 17th-century sugar industrialist Marshal du Plessis-Praslin (1598–1675),[1] early pralines were whole almonds individually coated in caramelized sugar, as opposed to dark nougat, where a sheet of caramelized sugar covers many nuts.[2] Although the New World had been discovered and settled by this time, -producing cocoa (native to the New World) was originally not optionally associated with the term. The European chefs used local nuts such as almonds and hazelnuts.


The powder made by grinding  such caramel-coated nuts is called pralin, and is an ingredient in many cakes, pastries, and ice creams.[3] After this powder has been mixed with , it becomes praliné in French, which gave birth to what is known in French as chocolat praliné. The word praliné is used colloquially in France and Switzerland to refer to these, known simply as "s" in English, i.e. various centres coated with .[4] In mainland Europe, the word praline is often used to mean either this nut powder or the  paste made from it, widely used to fill s, hence its use (by synecdoche) in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and the United Kingdom to refer to filled s in general.[5] In the United Kingdom, the term can refer either to praline (the filling for s) or, less commonly, to the original whole-nut pralines.


Belgian soft-centre pralines[]


Pralines from Belgium are also known as "(soft-center) Belgian s", "Belgian  fondants" and the somewhat vague " bonbons" in English-speaking countries — cases of  (if from Belgium usually a quality, branded lower-melting point Belgian ) filled with a soft centre. They were first introduced by Jean Neuhaus II, a Belgian chocolatier, in 1912.[6]


There have always been many types and shapes: nearly always containing a  shell with a softer filling. Confusion can arise over the use of the word praline in Belgium as it may refer to filled s in general known as pralines /prɑːliːn/ and it may also refer to a traditional praline filling common in Europe (caramelised hazelnuts (noisettes) or almonds (amandes) ground into a paste, sometimes with whey powder, condensed milk or cream) described as praliné /prɑːliːneɪ/. Belgian s (pralines) are not limited to the traditional praliné filling and often include nuts, marzipan, salted caramel, coffee, a spirit, cream liqueur, cherry or a  blend that contrasts with the outer shell. They are often sold in stylised boxes in the form of a gift box. The largest manufacturers are Neuhaus, Godiva, Leonidas, and Guylian.


American cream-based pralines[]


French settlers brought the recipe to Louisiana, where both sugar cane and pecan trees were plentiful. During the 19th century, New Orleans chefs substituted pecans for almonds, added cream to thicken the confection, and thus created what became known throughout the American South as the praline.


Pralines have a creamy consistency, similar to fudge. It is usually made by combining sugar (often brown), butter, and cream or buttermilk in a pot on medium-high heat, and stirring constantly, until most of the water has evaporated and it has reached a thick texture with a brown color. Then it is usually dropped by spoonfuls onto wax paper or a sheet of aluminum foil greased with butter, and left to cool. [2][7]


'Pralines and cream' is a common ice cream flavor in the United States and Canada.

See also[]

Portal icon Food portal



Scots tablet






1.  ^ Food Timeline Praline History

2.^   to: a b The Creole Confection – New Orleans Pralines

3.  ^ Julia Child (1961), Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Alfred A. Knopf

4.  ^ You Say Praline, I Say Praline, and They Say Praliné at the Wayback Machine (archived December 8, 2008)

5.  ^ Belgian Pralines

6.  ^ Amy M. Thomas (December 22, 2011). "Brussels: The  Trail". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-12-25. "Ever since the Brussels chocolatier Jean Neuhaus invented the praline 100 years ago, the city has been at the forefront of the  business. ... They are breaking away from traditional pralines—which Belgians classify as any  shell filled with a soft fondant center..."

7.  ^ Praline Definition


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