What happens when many Swiss brands come together under one roof? I guess such a powerhouse would show the world what perfection really means... And this is the premise of the latest museum in Bern, housed within the walls of the symbolic toll house: The Swiss Brand Museum.
Bern is getting branded!
Opening its doors to the public for the first time in over 150 years, the iconic toll house near the bear pit is going to showcase a multitude of both large and small Swiss brands. The museum will demonstrate how Switzerland has managed to manufacture ideas - even while sleeping.
But even before the launch of the museum, different members of the Swiss parliament have personally chosen products that will be offered for the first time in a Selecta vending machine through April 12:
In order to introduce Bern's latest museum, my editor Dimitri asked me to write about some of my favorite Swiss brands. (I knew I had a difficult task ahead of me.) After all, I have come to like so many Swiss things during the two years I have lived here. On my trips back to India, I would rather bring a few Swiss items instead of stuffing my luggage with Indian goodies...
So, with great difficulty and guilt of omitting a lot of awesome brands, I have come up with my personal list of four Swiss brands I have come to love:
Of course it had to be a chocolate, what else! I do not exactly remember how my love affair with Ragusa began, but it was not too long after I had moved to Switzerland. The praline filling and the hazelnuts are nothing but addiction beyond redemption!
If the Ragusa chocolate manufacturers were to calculate their profit margins since 2013 (when I moved to Switzerland), the graphs would clearly show a steep rise - all thanks to me!
Simply put, Rex peelers are easy to use and they peel to perfection: If it is only the peel that has to be peeled, it will only be the peel that will be peeled - and not the flesh of the fruit.
After all, it is a Swiss innovation so it has to do the job right, right? And thanks to my mom, these peelers have a fan following in India, too. So much so that during her last visit to Switzerland, my mom managed to buy at least 15 of them at Migros.
Bernina Sewing Machines
My life in Switzerland can be divided into two stages: BB ("Before Bernina") and AB ("After Bernina"). This very typical Swiss sewing machine has varieties, complex functions and, of course, differing prices.
Despite owning one of the basic models, I am still discovering new things my Bernina sewing machine can do every other day! It is only up to one's imagination what the latest and best model can do... Hopefully, I will get there soon.
Victorinox Swiss Army Knives
The owners of Victorinox Swiss Army knives range from boyscouts to soldiers, and from presidents to the likes of me.
There was a very interesting advertisement I saw many years ago of a man lost in a jungle. But thankfully, he was there with a Victorinox knife which gets stolen by a chimpanzee. This ad was so catchy and impressive, I always wondered what the hype of Victorinox was all about. And now I know: It apparently takes 450 steps to manunfacture a single knife!
Now, who would not wish to have a masterpiece molded into one small package?
I cannot wrap up this list without special mentions to Aromat (which titilates my taste-buds), Elmex (which keeps my teeth all in one color) and Mammut (which prevents me from becoming an iceberg)!
And yes, how could I forget the array of Swiss cheese enticing me on my shopping trips? Well, there I go again...
- Swiss Brand Museum in Bern, opening April 22, 2015
(Outdoor photographs copyright by Swiss Brand Museum)