To an extent, Switzerland is all about chocolate and watches. But this small country of 8 million people boasts a disproportionate number of influential brands.
In addition, the tagline "Made in Switzerland" is probably one of the most respected signs of quality and precision. In order to be smarter than a fifth-grader, the following are five brands you should recognize and (hopefully) associate with Switzerland:
They are hands down the most precise, stylish, and affordable watches! If you didn't guess, the name Swatch was formed from the words "Swiss" and "watch"...
You might have noticed that this Swiss company has outgrown its origins as a baby formula provider. In fact, you might be consuming some of their goods on a daily basis: Nescafé and Taster's Choice coffee, Perrier water, Dreyer's and Häagen-Dazs ice-cream, Thomy mustard, or Butterfinger and Nerds candies.
BONUS: Toll House is a brand of cookies and brownies marketed by Nestlé. It is named for the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts, where Ruth Graves Wakefield is credited with inventing the chocolate chip cookie by mistake in the 1930s in a nearby Rhode Island town.
Ruth Graves approached Nestlé after the popularity of her cookies skyrocketed. The price that Nestlé paid her for the recipe was a lifetime supply of chocolate. So this Swiss company actually owns the rights to the cookies and the recipe! (via Listverse)
Every Swiss man has at least one. And for over a century, the maker of the official Swiss Army Knife has taken advantage of what the Swiss flag stands for (see above). Also, Wenger, one of the subsidiaries of Victorinox, is more popular in the US as they sell army knives and travel accessories in outlets such as Target and Officemax.
If you asked 100 people what comes to mind when they hear Switzerland, 99 would respond with chocolate! Right? With roots in the 19th century, today's Lindt chocolate still has that same sweetness and creamy consistency... Sorry if I teased you too much! But it's just so yummy...
Now on to the brands that are either way too specific to Switzerland or simply damaging to the country's image. Assuming that you are a global citizen, I do not believe that you should be expected to know any of these Swiss brands. But you deserve extra credit if you actually do.
Although it might sound strange, this soda pop is actually made of milk serum. How appropriate for Switzerland's favorite beverage, right? Rivella has tried to expand its market past the Swiss borders but has largely failed...
Read more about Rivella's cult status in 7 Swiss sodas you need to try.
"Just one more spoonful of this delicious powder before I call it quits..." This is a frequent thought among the many Swiss who regularly consume Ovomaltine mixed with cold or hot milk. Originally a type of hot chocolate as rations for Swiss soldiers, the brand now offers a plethora of products.
Ovo Sport is a chocolate-covered Ovomaltine candy bar. Lately, Ovomaltine cookies have hit the shelves, proving that the malt extract tastes delicious in any shape or form.
Since its launch in 1904, Ovomaltine has expanded globally to about 100 countries. Outside of Switzerland, the brand is usually called Ovaltine. This name first appeared in 1917 when Ovaltine production started in the US.
Looking for anything? They have it at MIGROS. Lately, I have even seen a kind of OREO cookie knock-off, which might catapult this Swiss grocery chain to the brands you should know!
Established in 1925, the once humble little Zürich store which counted 16 employees has since grown into one of Switzerland's largest enterprises, the largest supermarket chain, and the largest employer. Still, it's contained to Switzerland and Turkey only.
Mövenpick Ice Cream
The Swiss would rather keep Mövenpick a secret because this Nestlé brand makes some of the best ice creams in the world! On any given day, Swiss and others who were let in on the secret will line up at Mövenpick outlets to buy a few scoops of pure delicacy. So keep this a secret and do not tell your friends, because we would not want these lines to get any longer...
In case you're interested, read more about Swiss brands in this interesting article by Brand Channel! We have also covered Swiss brands as part of our review of LOGOBOOK.