In the year 1879, Rodolphe Lindt, the son of a pharmacist and master confectioner, purchased two fire-damaged factories near Berne, Switzerland, and a few outdated machines.
Up until 1879, chocolate was mostly consumed as a drink. The word “chocolate” comes from the Aztec word, “Xocolatl”, which ironically means “bitter water”.
Upon advice from his brother August Lindt, about extracting the extra liquid in the chocolate paste, Rodolphe Lindt goes onto "invent" his "Conche“ and produces his famous “chocolat fondant”: the world’s first melting chocolate.
It is told the conching secret was an accidental discovery: one Friday night after months of testing, Rodolphe left his factory without turning off the conching machine. It churned all night and all through the weekend. The chocolate Lindt found on Monday was delicately smooth and tasted like it never had before. Chocolate was changed forever.
With this invention, Rodolphe Lindt was the first chocolatier ever to taste and then produce chocolate as we know it today. When he sold his factory in Zurich, he also sold his conching secrets.
The meaning behind the Lindt logo in their own corporate answer goes like this: “The dragon is part of the Lindt family coat of arms. If you look at the logo, you have the nice Lindt written in italic (=flowing melted chocolate) but it can't flow too far away: the dragon is there, watching, making sure everything remains controlled and premium.
Lindt has opened over 410 chocolate cafés and shops all over the world. The cafés' menu mostly focuses on chocolate and desserts. Lindt chocolate cafés also sell handmade chocolates, macaroons, cakes, and ice cream.
On 15 December 2014, 18 people, including eight staff, were held hostage at a Lindt cafe in Sydney, Australia. Three people, including the gunman, died in the incident.
Lindor is a brand Lindt introduced as a chocolate bar in 1949 and later in 1967 in the form of a ball. It is now characterized by a hard chocolate shell and a smooth chocolate filling. The ball or bar is available in an array of flavours, each with a distinctive colour wrapper.
In 2009, Swiss tennis star Roger Federer was named as Lindt's "global brand ambassador", and began appearing in a series of commercials endorsing Lindor.
During the 3rd UK lockdown because of Covid-19, with all chocolate shops shut, Lindt had begun offering virtual tasting sessions (Feb 2021) with LINDT EXCELLENCE chocolatiers. The experiences could be bought online from their website and include a box of chocolates which are delivered, along with details of how to book the one-hour tasting.