12 Swiss foods you definitely cannot miss

While Switzerland’s national grocers, Migros and Coop, can complete with the best of them in other countries like the England, France, and the US, they do present expats with certain surprises.

Like in other places, the interior layout of Swiss grocery stores has also been designed using science and psychology to entice shoppers to buy more. However, it is more tailored to the Swiss mindset. Visitors will also discover many brands they recognize from their home country, which is only understandable because Nestlé is the worlds largest food company (and it happens to be a Swiss company.)

These Swiss products are loved by locals.

But with all these similarities, there are some products that might leave non-Swiss shoppers scratching their heads. Here are twelve products loved by the Swiss that you may seen in your local shop, in a restaurant, a cookbook, or a Swiss person’s home.

If you are Swiss and are living abroad, I apologize if these pictures make you hungry or a little homesick… But if you do not mind seeing all the delicacies that can be had in Switzerland, also check out our list of things that many Swiss Abroad miss.

Swiss Grocery Products - Thomy
Swiss Grocery Products - Cervelat

Swiss Grocery Products - Maggi
Swiss Grocery Products - Caotina

Swiss Grocery Products - Aromat
Swiss Grocery Products - Café HAG

Swiss Grocery Products - Cream
Swiss Grocery Products - Halb Halb

Swiss Grocery Products - Rivella
Swiss Grocery Products - Le Parfait

Swiss Grocery Products - Cenovis
Swiss Grocery Products - Wacholder

Interested in trying some of these foods? Have you tried some of them? What did you think?

Now, check out 21 Swiss foods you need to try in your lifetime – it’s another one of our Swiss food related “must reads”! Or do you dig Appenzell? We have you covered with our guide to Appenzell foods you must try

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Christian

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13 replies
  1. Melanie
    Melanie says:

    Why I love this article “10 swiss foods you cannot miss” and Newly Swissed in general? Because I can always learn new things, even as a Swiss myself! I’ver never heard of cenovis and 50/50. But I will try it anytime soon, that’s for sure! Thanks for the inspiration :)

    Reply
  2. Diccon
    Diccon says:

    Glad to see that other countries now have good supermarkets too! And they probably sell some of these products – certainly Aromat is available in the UK.

    As for Parfait, for those of us who don’t eat meat, there is a great veggie version (in a green tube). Perfect on toast.

    But you will never persuade me that Rivella is nice. I’ll be sticking to the 50/50. Or cold Caotina, even in winter.

    Reply
  3. Mark
    Mark says:

    You’re absolutely right, Rivella, no matter what color, sucks big time. It’s made with milk serum,
    for God’s sake! My wife gags on it as well. If we Swiss continue drinking this awful stuff,
    we will be doomed, and UBS and Credit Suisse will lose tons of clients (just kidding…). Good thing
    about it: no longer waiting in line at the bank!
    They tried to sell Rivella in the US awhile back (I’m serious!), but it failed miserably on the market.
    Ramseier’s apple juice is my drink of choice when in CH!

    Reply
    • PhilLC
      PhilLC says:

      Rivella is great; if no one told you its made of milk serum you’d not have a clue, unless of course you’re lactose intolerant… :-(

      Reply
  4. Martin
    Martin says:

    May I add some corrections:

    1. The St. Galler Stumpen is NOT a Servelat. It is a similar sausage, but not a Servelat. The Stumpen is larger, has more veal in it and is therefore more subtle. And finally, the Stumpen is not bent at all, but absolutely straight.

    2. I do not know ‘Halb-Halb’, at least not for a long time. This is a “Halbprodukt” by Thurella, that means it is made of pre-produced products. So it is not a fully produced product by Thurella.
    This does not surprise, if you know that however Obi fruit juices were very well known, especially the Obi apple juice, or just obi. In Austria, obi became actually a synonym for apple juice (but produced and supplied by a different and licensed Austrian company).
    Obi stands for “Obstverwertung BIschoffszell”, founded 1906 in Bischoffszell (Thurgau, Switzerland) as a cooperative. Obi juices had been produced by Obi from 1930 to 1998. Then their brands have been bought and produced by the Thurella Cooperative. In the mean time, Thurella Cooperative became integrated into the stock listed Thurella AG. 2010, because of financial problems with the Thurella Group, the production of the formerly original Obi products ‘obi’ (apple juice) and ‘Rittergold’ (apple/fruit cider) has bend cancelled since end of 2010.

    So, I very much doubt that ‘OBI Halb-Halb’ has ever been a Swiss-wide well known product for itself. Actually, this brand is quite new and only known since 2004.

    This of course raises the doubt of not explicitly announced product placement on your site?

    Reply
    • Christian Langenegger
      Christian Langenegger says:

      Dear Martin,

      Thank you for your very detailed comment. Having worked in restaurants in St. Gallen and Appenzell in 2003- 2006 we always served Halb-Halb to children, which is why I listed it as one thing to try. I also lived in Austria and never saw it there, so I was under the impression that it was quite Swiss, and for those coming from outside of Switzerland/Austria/Germany/Liechtenstein might be something interesting to try. Thank you however for the detailed history of OBI and Thurella.

      Your information surrounding the Cervelat and the Stumpen was also very helpful. I must admit, I’m not a fine connoisseur of sausages and when I ate my Stumpen in St. Gallen and Appenzell, I was always under the impression that it was the same as a cervelat. I do however trust that you are right and that there is a difference. In fact, I also found this site (http://www.kulinarischeserbe.ch/product.aspx?id=386) explaining it. Looks like I still have much to learn.

      Lastly, I would like to say that neither this article nor any others on the site are meant to be forums for subliminal product placement. The goal of this post was to highlight some products that people visiting or having just come to Switzerland may not be familiar with.

      Again thank you for reading Newly Swissed and for the time you took to explain the some missing points in this article.

      Best,
      Christian

      Reply
  5. crazyknitter
    crazyknitter says:

    We didn’t have OBI HalbHalb in and around Zurich where I grew up. We could buy Biotta vegetable juice. There is just one thing I miss the most in the UK and that’s bread which deserves to be called bread. Not this awful industrial crap that has about as much body as a ghost.

    Reply
  6. Nikki Moody Halvorson
    Nikki Moody Halvorson says:

    I was an Au Pair in Thurgau 8 years ago. I miss many of these. I can find most of them, but not Rivella. I frequently bake Swiss bread, though it’s not the same with our crap flour and butter. I suppose I’ll just have to make a trip back to visit. I miss the culture and the people more than anything. Lovely country.

    Reply
    • newlyswissed
      newlyswissed says:

      Thank you very much for your comment. Rivella is the one item most requested from abroad – but it can only be had in Switzerland. ^Dimitri

      Reply
      • PhilLC
        PhilLC says:

        Rivella is available in all the countries bordering Switzerland apart from Italy (at least in the regions close to the border, as well as Luxembourg and the Netherlands. In the USA its available to order from The Swiss Bakery, Virginia: Online-Shop and in Australia contact Swiss Goodies, Sydney, swissgoodies@tpg.com.au. Got the info off their website.

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  1. 12 Swiss Foods You Cannot Miss | Newly Swissed - Switzerland Expat Design Lifestyle Blog - Switzerland Winter Magic | Switzerland Winter Magic says:

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  2. 12 Swiss Foods You Cannot Miss | Newly Swissed - Switzerland Expat Design Lifestyle Blog | switzerland | Scoop.it says:

    […] Few countries have grocery shops that can compete with Switzerland’s two top grocers: Coop and Migros. Their selection and display make it hard for some newcomers to adjust, especially because some of the Swiss products may be confusing…  […]

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