Belgian Chocolate vs. Swiss Chocolate
Raquel Esperanza Knecht
Yolanda Frazao Sophie Gach
History of chocolate
As everyone may not know, chocolate has an exotic origin. Indeed, the first people to consume chocolate were the Hispanic civilizations such as the Mayas or the Aztecs. It’s logical because the tree that produces the cacao beans grows in tropical area. Central America is a place where those plants can find all they need to grow well. Some archaeologist proved that cacao beans were already consumed by humans from 1100 to 1400 B.C. Those beans were used in the fabrication of a beverage that was not yet chocolate. They used to make the beans ferment and collect the liquid. Some time later, chocolate was created.
At first, precolonial civilizations used to produce it as a sweet drink. At that end of the that period, it was a luxurious drink in the whole Mesoamerican area. People were even using it as currency instead of money because it was considered really precious. The Mayas were not using money at all, but cacao beans and xocoalt (the name of their preparation). The preparation of the chocolate drink was changing from one location to another. When Aztecs were more into spicing the beverage, Mayas would add vanilla or sugar to sweeten it. The primitive form of chocolate was also used as gift to the chiefs of the tributes, to the gods and goddesses. Aztects were associating chocolate with Xochiquetzal, the goddess of the fertility. It was a really valuable element of their culture.
Then Christopher Columbus discovered America and so chocolate also. Most of the Europeans didn’t like it at first because they found it too bitter, but later, it became a truly popular product in the Spanish court. Some sweet producers tried to find a way to make it more tasty. In all over Europe, chocolate became a really well-liked candy, but it’s in Switzerland that a great candy maker found the perfect balance and created the chocolate as we all know it now.
History of the brands
Lindt & Sprüngli
The story begins in 1845. The confectioner, David Sprüngli-Schwarz and his inventive son, Rudolf Sprüngli-Ammann, own a small confectionery shop in the Marktgasse of Zurich’s Old Town.
They decide to be the first ones in the German speaking part of Switzerland to manufacture chocolate in a solid form. Even at that time, as many as ten workers were employed.
In 1859, Sprüngli and Son opened a second and larger confectionery and refreshment room on Zurich’s Paradeplatz.
When Rudolf Sprüngli-Ammann retired from commerce in 1892, he had acquired a widespread reputation for the quality of his products and as an expert in his field. He divided the business between his two sons: The younger, David Robert, received the two confectionery stores. The elder brother, Johann Rudolf Sprüngli-Schifferli, received the chocolate factory from his father.To raise the necessary finances, he converted his private company into ”Chocolat Sprüngli AG” and at the same time he was offered the option of acquiring the small, but famous, chocolate factory of Rodolphe Lindt in Bern. So how was Lindt born?
It was in 1879. Rodolphe Lindt, the son of a Bernese pharmacist, wanted to make chocolate. “Do you know what chocolate was like at the time? It was hard: hard to process and hard to eat.” So he bought an old factory hall with antiquated machines. Unfortunately, nothing was working. He wanted to give up when.. came that Friday evening he was about to leave the factory without having finished his work – and more importantly, without having switched off the machines. Did he forget to do because he was in such a hurry? Or was it intentional? Did he have a hunch or was it a small act of defiance? We don’t know. But the machine continued to run: for a whole weekend. When Rodolphe Lindt entered his factory on the following Monday morning, he was initially shocked. But what he found in the stirring tank was anything but hard, burnt chocolate mass. It shone; it smelt wonderful, and when he tasted some of it, he was the first person ever to experience how chocolate melts in the mouth. He was in seventh heaven.
At the beginning of twentieth-century, Belgians, with the colonial expansion, were interested in the discovery of new flavours and particularly the chocolate. Côte d’Or was created in 1983 by Charles Newhouse. The name comes from, “La Côte d’Or”, which is now the country of Ghana, where the cacao beans were picked.
The elephant with an upturned trunk in the logo was designed in 1906 and has become one of world’s most loved and recognized chocolate brands.
In 1987, Jacobs Suchard purchased Cote d’Or. Kraft Foods purchased Jacobs Suchard in 1990. In 1911, Côte d’Or launched the first Côte d’Or chocolate bar. In 1930, Côte d’Or grew its business abroad thanks to the universal exhibition. From 1940 to 1946, the brand Congobar replaces Côte d’Or especially because of the second world war. In 2005, new flavors were created, more exotics thanks to the new commitment of the brand, the fair-trade, and that’s the brand we all know nowadays.
Let’s start with some facts about chocolate production.
Did you know that…
… the largest factory is the Hershey Chocolate Factory in the USA?
… not Lindt, but Teuscher is the largest Factory in Switzerland and the second largest of the world?
… the third largest factory in the world is Godiva Chocolatier in Belgium?
Lindt & Sprüngli – Kirchberg, Switzerland
Lindt gets its cocoa beans from Central America and east Africa. They are harvested by hand and carefully selected. The workers check if all of the cocoa beans can be used for Lindts production and after they ship the cocoa to the different factories all around the world. In these factories, they process cocoa in the varied kinds of chocolate Lindt has.
Factories: – Kilchberg, Switzerland – Induno Olona, Italy – San Francisco, USA – New Hampshire, USA – Aachen, Germany
The biggest production facility is the one in Aachen, which means that most of the Lindt Chocolate is produced in Germany and not in Switzerland.
Côte d’Or – Halle, Belgium
Côte d’Or has its cocoa beans mostly from Ghana. That is why the brand is called Côte d’Or (Gold coast) referring to the old name of contemporary Ghana. In 2001, Côte d’Or had been continued questioned about their ethical stance because the media discovered that in their cocoa farms children worked. After the bad publicity, they joined the Rainforest Alliance Certified. It is an organization from Kraft Foods that makes sure that there is no child labour or bad working conditions. Côte d’Or was one of the first to join this organization. In contrast to Lindt, they sort the beans out in the different production facilities all around the world.
Factories: – France – Netherlands – Great Britain – USA
Chocolate is one of most underestimated businesses in the world. The worldwide consumption of chocolate each year is 7.2 million tons and 50% occurs on the European continent. So, as you can see, the chocolate business is booming. The annual estimate sales of chocolate around the world contribute 83 billion dollars to the global economy.
What do you think is the top chocolate consumption holiday in America? To be honest, I thought is must be Valentine’s Day or Easter, but it is actually Halloween. During Halloween, people buy and consume over 90 million pounds. In the second and third places are Easter with 71 million tons and Valentine’s Day with 48 million tons. So if you add everything together, in total, people in America consume over 210 million pounds just during three holidays.
On an average Valentine’s Day nearly $400 million of is purchased on chocolate around the world. In numbers, this is 5% of the industry sales.
Except the Asian countries, chocolate is sold the most in every other
country in the world. For example, the top four chocolate consumption countries in the world are Switzerland with 8,8kg per person (19,4lb), Austria with 8.1 kg (17,9lb), Germany with 7.9 kg (17,4lb) and Belgium with 5.6 kg (12,3lb) per person. Can you imagine that they eat so much chocolate alone? Let me give you an example that you can imagine this number better. That means one average person from Switzerland eats 88 Lindt chocolate bars a year.
As you already know, Switzerland produces most of their chocolate in Germany. That is the reason why Germany is the biggest exporter of chocolate products on the world with $3.8 billion a year. In the second place is Belgium with $2.6 billion and France with $1.6 billion. On the other side, the top three importers of chocolate are the USA with $2.5 billion, Germany with $2.4 billion and France with $2.4 billion as well.
So which chocolate is really the best? Belgian or Swiss chocolate?
One Belt, One Road: China’s Plan to Dominate Global Trade
By Carl Blomberg, Sweden
Global trade and cooperation across borders has been shown to be crucial for nations all over the world. Ever since the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944, where 44 allied nations agreed on a new global monetary system, trade interdependence has benefited countries on all continents, causing expanding economies and improving standards of living. One of global trade’s most prominent players though, China, has for a long time remained low profile in international matters. The nation has implemented former leader Deng Xiaoping’s words ‘’hide your strengths, bide your time’’. Until now. With one of the largest and most comprehensive infrastructure projects ever, called the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s position in global matters is expected to move towards the very center. What is the Belt and Road Initiative, and more importantly; how will it impact the world and international relations?
In order to answer the above-mentioned questions, we will have to take a giant leap back in time, all the way to 130 B.C. and the introduction of the Silk Road – an ancient network for trade and commerce. The Silk Road stretched four thousand miles, from east and central Asia all the way to Europe, through India and the Middle East. The various routes that together formed the Silk Road promoted trade and had a large impact on participating nations. It brought great benefits in communication and movement of goods, services and ideas, and, as a whole, the network increased cooperation and commerce between nations significantly. From China, the Europeans received goods such as silk, spices and medicine. In return, the Chinese could trade for grapevines, horses and animal fur. Consequently, the Silk Road was an early example of globalization.
When Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Chinese communist party, first initiated the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative at the Association of Southeast Nations summit in 2013, it was with the idea of rebuilding the ancient trade network in a new modern take. According to the World Bank, the Belt and Road project, also referred to as the One Belt One Road Project or just BRI, ‘’is an ambitious effort to improve regional cooperation and connectivity on a trans-international scale’’. Furthermore, the World Bank explains that the large investment effort will involve multiple different trade routes, both on sea and land. Altogether, they aim to strengthen infrastructure, trade and investment links between China and approximately 70 other nations committed to BRI so far.
The population of the countries involved amount to 4.4 billion people. This, in turn, are equivalent to more than 60 percent and almost two thirds of the entire world’s population. Committed countries, coming from Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania, together constitute one third of the global economy. According to ChinaPower’s article ‘’How Will the Belt and Road Initiative advance China’s Interests?’’, the estimated cost of infrastructure needs in the developing parts of the Asia-Pacific exceeds 25 trillion dollars through year 2030. Already in 2017 China had pledged 1 trillion dollars to the project.
Given the size of this broad and highly prestigious investment, it is not difficult to understand that opinions of both the positive and negative kind have occurred following its beginning. Proponents of the BRI argue that not only China will benefit from the deal, but also many of the less developed participating nations. During the past four decades China’s growing economy has enabled more than 800 million people to improve their standards of living, going from extreme poverty to a more stable economic situation. With the BRI China’s economy is expected to grow further. Also, BRI allows China to move up in the global value chain and gives the nation geostrategic advantages. On a bigger scale, BRI possesses the potential to help poor countries improve their infrastructure and enhance connectivity to the rest of the world. Thereby, they get a chance to increase commerce and enrich their relations to other nations.
Despite the mentioned benefits, there has been, and still is, strong resistance towards the project. United States, together with Germany and other European nations, are a few influential actors that have raised concern and opposition towards the BRI. But why? Well, one reason is that mentioned nations view the project as Chinese expansionism. The main controversy following the BRI has been that less developed countries, that are in deep need of infrastructure improvements, agree to large loans issued by China. That way they are are put in debt, which they, in turn, might be incapable of paying back. When borrowing nations are not able to return the loan, China gain access and ownership in the actual investments, for instance ports or railroads. Among others, this has been the case in Malaysia, Montenegro and Laos. According to Business Insider, Malaysian president Mahathir Mohamed even cancelled further Chinese-funded BRI projects in the country in order to prevent Malaysia from ending up in unsustainable debt.
The Belt and Road Initiative is a very versatile and complex project, and thus only time can tell whether it will be a global success or a vast failure. At present it is easy to argue for both cases. To date, questions remain for instance on how the US and the EU will treat the matter; European nations such as Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, Russia and Switzerland have all joined in to cooperate in BRI, but will there be more to come? Does Washington, with president Trump leading the way, have to oppose themselves to this project, or could the US actually take part in the BRI and gain economical benefits? And how will the BRI affect China, and other committed nations? These are just a few of all the questions following the development and progress of the Belt and Road Initiative. In all uncertainty, though, two things are for sure: One, that the BRI will change the economic environment and geopolitical relations in the world. Two, that China are done hiding their strength, and biding their time.
What makes Denmark the happiest country in the world?
By: Johannes, 5/9/2019
According to 2016’s statistics, Denmark is the happiest country in the world and there are probably many reasons for that. It could be the country’s strong history with great author, poets and philosophers. It could be the unique weather only appearing in Denmark, or it could be something completley else. To get a better understanding of Denmark and its happiness, the following cultural and political factors might be a part the explanation:
“Money can buy material things, but real happiness must be truly earned” are words spoken by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in 1750. But one thing that Rousseau did not mention is the fact that money definitely makes the way to happiness shorter. The strong Danish economy is one of the main reasons why Denmark is considered one of the happiest countries, the world has ever seen. According to analysts, Denmark has the 39th largest economy in the world and the country’s GDP is slightly less than 300 billion dollars on a yearly basis. The numbers are very impressive considering Denmark’s population is less than 6 millions and it gives Denmark a spot among the 20 best countries when it comes to GDP pr. Capita. It makes the citizens in charge of a big purchasing power that helps the entire economy to run smoothly. It lowers the number of unemployment and it gives the individual citizen the ability to not worry about their own personal economic situation, which might be a reason why Danes are in a situation where they have the energy to enjoy what life is really about.
Nordic social model:
In the early 1960’s, Danish politicians started what we today know as the Danish welfare state. It is a system consisting of high taxes and a large number of public services, and it is widely recognized to be among the top reasons why Denmark is one of the happiest countries. The average Dane pays 45% in income tax while some individuals under special circumstances pay up to 60% in income tax. Many people around the world will probably ask themselves why Denmark as a whole is satisfied with their tax rate but statistics show that 90% of all Danes happily pay their taxes. The answer to the satisfaction is simple: it is an investment in the Danish people’s future and safety. The hospitals in Denmark are among the best in the world and everyone has access to them in case of an emergency. Furthermore, universities are totally free to attend and students get paid an amount of roughly 1000 dollars every month while they are studying. These are just a few of the best examples of what Danes receive from the public sector and the result from that is less inequality between the over class and middle class which definitely increases the happiness for the general Dane.
What impact does architecture have on us as human beings? The biological answer is that the brain releases endorphins when we look on something we like. But scientists also suggest, that it creates a deeper connection between people sharing the same architecture. Denmark has a proud history of great architects who have impacted Denmark and the rest of the world alike. Most Danish cities are dominated by Renaissance architecture, where buildings like Borsen, Rosenborg Castle and Frederiksborg Palace are great examples of that. This old style mixed with modern buildings from Bjarke Ingels (best known for designing Two World Trade Center) and Jorn Utzon (designer of the Opera House of Sydney) makes cities like Aarhus and Copenhagen really beautiful and enjoyable for even the hardest critic. But architecture is not just about a nice look. It gives the Danish population something to gather around and is an essential part of understanding what being Dane is all about. It is a fundamental pillar for people to stay happy and many Danes definitely take advantage of that.
“Hygge” is described as “A Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cozy, charming or special”. For Danes it is not just a foreign word or an indescribable feeling but a part of their DNA. It is a cornerstone of the Danish culture and it has been around in the country for 1000’s of years since it comes from the Old Nordic language (hyggja), originally meaning “to think”. In American popular culture, “hygge” is always connected to a cozy cabin with a small fireplace and pot full of hot cocoa, but for Danes the word means way more. The entire society is more or less build around “hygge” and everywhere you go you see small coffee houses with only one purpose: to provide Danes with a “hygge”-chat over a cup of “hygge”-coffee. In general, Danes seek their “hygge”-moments as often as possible and in many cases it is all about the small everyday moments that results in “hygge”. It gives the ability to enjoy a stressed out everyday life and is for sure a contributory factor to the happiness of Denmark.
Low crime rates:
The fact that your family and best friends are safe and sound is an important part of your happiness. In Denmark, safety is not really a daily life issue since reports consistently show that Denmark is a top 5 country when it comes to safest countries on earth. It means that the Danish people do not have to fear criminals when they leave their houses and therefore it is easier to enjoy life. Furthermore, Denmark is considered the least corrupt country in the world, which is super important as well. It is the main reason why the Danes are more willing to trust their politicians, which helps the society to be a place where people in general trust each other. It lowers the amount of inequality, which definetly benefits the average person and the overall happiness.
A few simple physical exercises to enhance your learning
Nellie Robertsson, Sweden
For several years teachers have been preaching that there is no easy way to earn good grades, that the key to success is simply hard work and late evenings with repetitive homework. However, is this all of the truth?
Neuroscientists have for many years informed us about the benefits of physical exercise and, if combined with learning, there will be positive effects on your memory skills. These positive effects first emerged in a research during the 1970s when researchers examined the possibility that exercise could be a support therapy for mentally ill patients. The researchers were examining mice and their performance in a maze task. Before the task, some of the mice were able to run on a wheel and the researchers instantly revealed that these particular mice performed much better in the maze task than the mice who did’nt use the wheel. This was the first indication that physical exercise does effect how the brain operates.
Although, does this mean that we need to take a long run before every class to enhance our chances of better grades in school? No. Recent research demonstrate that a few simple exercises during or before class can improve your ability to memorize things and help the brain to make faster conclusions.
Here’s a few simple exercise to perform in the classroom to enhance your learning:
- Star Jumps
- Take a quick walk to a nearby cafe and grab a coffee before class
- A few squats up and down from your chair
- High knees
- Jump around on one foot
So do yourself a favor, take a minute to do one of these simple exercises and you will both save time and improve your grades at the same time.
Florida Teachers Will Be Allowed to Be Armed in Class
Nina Mundwiler and Melanie Galera, Switzerland
In order to avoid any other killings in schools, the Florida State Parliament approved a law that would allow teachers to arm themselves. This measure still has to be proved, since is it extremely controversial.
The purpose of this new law is to prevent any further killings, since what happened in the Parkland High school, where a student shot 17 people on February 14 2018.
This law was approved on Wednesday 5/1/2019 by 65 against 47 in the Florida House of Representatives. The law says that teachers may arm themselves on a voluntary basis, after having completed 144 hours of training in the use of weapons.
“The recipe for a tragedy”
Opponents argue that the solution to gun violence cannot be to allow more firearms. They are concerned about the danger of accidents. Teachers might have to face once an urgent situation with real police officers and could be mistaken for a dangerous shooter or even just make a false manipulation that could inflame the situation. A person that is not well trained to face this kind of situation can easily make matters worse.
“Arming teachers is the recipe for a tragedy” said Florida Democrat Representative Val Demings. “The real solution is to keep weapons out of reach of harmful hands.” After the Parkland killings, President Donald Trump proposed to arm teachers in the United States, and also refused to consider banning assault rifles, a type of lethal weapon used on the day of the massacre.
What Defines Art?
by Santiago Bustos, Colombia
In every particular time in history, the concept of art has changed as a result of the human conception, it goes beyond our need of communicating and reach the void between our need to feel comprehend. Beginning with the first art expressions appeared in the paleolithic, the art evolve through the different civilizations, bond to our perspective of the world; reaching in modernity the concept that everything could be art. Therefore, if everything can be art nowadays, what defines art?
We used to think that art could be everything that shows our reality or at least the way we see it, showing in periods as the renaissance, almost identical paintings of a determine subject, such as bodies or nature. But in the other hand, with the creation of the camera, we lost the value of that art, because we could be able to capture the real life without any chance of making a mistake, so it was likely to think that art would cease to exist because it wasn’t useful anymore, even thought, it didn’t. Instead, art evolve to a new concept in modernity, redefined as every way of expression needed in the human behavior.
However, with the rebirth of art, our artistic creation went through its second crisis; art began to rebel against itself by manipulating our conception of beauty. Expression represent us, even the things we couldn’t express about ourselves (such as the abstract art) and show that our expressions are almost everything we want them to be, going from pictures of an urinal to a soup can. But, if the same soup we buy at a supermarket was the soup we pay for seeing in a museum, it seems illogical to keep appreciating art, because, in some way, everything could turn into art and also the world itself is already a piece of art.
On the other hand, even if art could be everything, it doesn’t mean that art loses meaning or importance; art could still be whatever we want it to be and still be precious, because it continues to have a technique and a process that keeps reflecting our nature, and trying to define it is as difficult as defining our nature.
Five Things Not To Do When Creating A Social Media Strategy
By: Daniela Sanchez – Colombia
Social media is one of the most important topics that businesses have been talking about the last couple of years. However, despite these conversations, it’s still hard for some companies to integrate themselves into the digital world, and thus, they often do not have a good experience with technology nor do they get the great results they want. Below, I would like to suggest five things not to do in devising a good strategy for your company.
1. Start posting without a strategy
It is normal to think that the first step is to create a business profile on all social media platforms, and to start posting about your company on every one of them. However, there is a lot of work to do before even launching your company’s marketing on social media.
First of all, you should:
- Create a strategy that’s in line with your business strategy. It is very important to have a goal in using social media: What do you want to achieve? Do you want to sell or be well known? How are you selling now and how do you think social media can help you to sell more?
- Know your target. To reach who you want to see your content, it is essential to decide which social media platform you should focus on first. Having excellent marketing material on all social media platforms is a lot of work; as you start out, target only two or three. You also need to ask yourselves some important questions: Who do you want to market to? Where are they? What kind of things do they like? How do they communicate?
- Keep your identity clear. Make sure people know they are dealing with the same company when they see both your digital and printed material. And, because social media is such an important part of your company’s image, it is essential to choose colors, language and style that accurately reflect your company before you even start to post.
2. Don’t face up the negative feedback
Reading and paying attention to your customers’ opinions is fundamental for your company improvement. Also, it is normal if someone isn’t a big fan of your brand and he says something bad. Don’t panic. You may READ IT, take advantage of feedback and try to answer in a very polite way. A good idea would be asking the person to call you or write you with more details about the situation and try to resolve the inconvenient as soon as you can.
This is the perfect opportunity to know what people really think about you or your brand, even you can talk with them and know more about their opinions and ideas. Be sure that you really pay attention to negative feedback because they are honest opinions about the user experiences of a product.
TIP: It’s very difficult to face up to a negative comment if you’re not prepared at all. You should think about all the possible situations and plan how are you going to react.
3. Acting always like a corporation
Remember that you are using Social Media. That means that people expect to talk with people, even if you’re a brand or a company. Actually, people love to talk with real people. So you should add a human touch to be closer to your target. This point is essential if you really want to have a connection with your customers, but it is also pretty hard to do.
The best advice that I could tell you is to create a brand personality; think how your brand could be if it were a person. Talk, write and answer like that person, choosing the perfect words without forgetting punctuation and grammar. People want a sensitive brand which cares about the environment and market situation and in general about the world.
TIP: Customer service starts even before people buy your brand.
4. Using a lot of advertising
It’s not a secret that everyone hates advertising. So please don’t post just information about your brand, that will only cause you to have less followers. Of course, you should post about your brand, products and sales, but not all the time: even if the purpose of your profile is to sell.
Now you should be thinking: what am I supposed to post? Talk about interesting topics related to your market, the environment, things that are happening in your city, identify your team and use phrases that reflect your brand personality. You can start trying to post between 20% or 30% about your products and the rest with different and interesting information for your target audience. It’s not going to be easy at the beginning, but with time you might find the perfect combination.
5. Don’t pay attention to analytics
If you have already done all the steps, you should understand that this is a lot of work. Even though it’s very probable you’ll not benefit if you don’t do this last step. The digital world is moving around analytics. It’s the best and, for me, the most important part of social media. Analytics can change your strategies and help you focus on what you need.
It’s possible to know if your posts are working or not, by just looking at analytics. That’s how you can change things that aren’t doing well or put more effort on topics that are having good results. You’ll be able to know: what kind of information is more interesting for your target? what time is better to post? who is looking at you? and in general, how is your social media working? The advice up to this point is to look at the results of your posts at least two or three times per week, but I really believe that more is better.
Definitely, social media can help you to grow your business. It’s time to work and good luck!