1. Home
  2. Traditional know-how
histoire chocolat villars depuis1901 - Traditional know-how

The Villars story

Since 1901, Villars has been a story of traditions renewed by permanent creation. A story of passion for the dairy and cocoa farming regions, for chocolate-making know-how and time enough to do it right. A story of an outstanding brand encountering the discerning consumer. Villars, pure Swiss chocolate the heart of Fribourg and the home of traditional dairy farming.

montagne - Traditional know-how

Villars is everyday Switzerland

Whilst travelling the Swiss roads or railways, who hasn’t seen the famous Villars cows that built the reputation of the factory? The Villars cow, which was the official emblem of the brand for several decades, symbolises the Fribourg roots of the factory. Designed in 1906 by Martin Peikert, an artist from Zug, the cow with the playful eyes contemplates passing traffic, sure of the quality of her milk. More than a century later, this dairy cow and its Swiss milk remain at the centre of our story.

Villars, a profoundly human history

In 1901 Wilhelm Kaiser, a 28-year old man from Bern, founded the company Chocolat Villars in Villars-sur-Glâne, in the Canton of Fribourg. An intrepid visionary, the young Wilhelm laid the foundations of the factory, still in use today, as is its artisanal process – chocolate made under one roof from start to finish, from the selection and roasting of the beans to the conching and moulding of the chocolate. A fully mastered artisanal process in the same place, from the selection and roasting of the beans to the conching and molding of the chocolate. An ability to choose his own route, for the benefit of his clients, by refusing the cartels of the time. And a constant desire to innovate, with the first liqueur chocolates in 1935. Such was Wilhelm Kaiser, an incorrigible entrepreneur championing Villars, pure Swiss chocolate. Such was Wilhelm Kaiser, an incorrigible entrepreneur championing Villars, pure Swiss chocolate.

The history of Villars in key dates

Histoire 1901 - Traditional know-how
Wilhelm Kaiser founds Chocolat Villars in Villars-Sur-Glâne, the Canton of Fribourg.
Histoire 1904 - Traditional know-how

The winning combination of quality and creativity makes Villars the exclusive supplier of European royal courts.

Histoire 1928 - Traditional know-how

The Villars cow appears for the first time and becomes the emblem of the factory.

Histoire 1935 - Traditional know-how
Chocolat Villars creates a world first with its liqueur chocolates in tablet shape, called Larmes de Kirsch, the beginning of an ongoing range of new flavours.
Histoire 1969 - Traditional know-how
The famous Perrier Tête au Choco takes its place in the Villars family of chocolates.
Histoire 1995 - Traditional know-how
Acquisition of Villars by Savencia Group.
Histoire 2001 - Traditional know-how

The factory revisits an old family recipe that becomes the Chocolat au Lait à l’Ancienne.

Histoire 2003 - Traditional know-how
The exclusive Villars Maître Chocolatier shop opens in the centre of Fribourg. In 2007, constantly inspired by the exceptional dairy producing region, the factory creates its ultra fresh “bonbons de chocolats” with crème de Gruyère.
Histoire 2009 - Traditional know-how
Launch of the first stevia chocolate bar
Histoire 2013 - Traditional know-how

Faithful to its Fribourg roots, Villars Maître Chocolatier moves to a more modern site.

Histoire 2015 - Traditional know-how
Villars create the Pure Range, with different chocolate variations on Swiss milk.
Histoire 2016 - Traditional know-how
Planning ahead for the new 2017 “Swissness” legislation, Villars Maître Chocolatier took the initiative to strengthen the transparency and traceability of all its Swiss ingredients.
Histoire 2017 1 - Traditional know-how
Launch of two product ranges symbolising all of Switzerland’s expertise and perfectly embodying the Villars strategy: Les Pures Liqueurs Suisses (Pure Swiss liqueurs).
Histoire 2017 2 - Traditional know-how
and les Laits Suisses (Swiss milk creations).
Histoire 2017 STEVIA - Traditional know-how
Launch of a new chocolate bar: Swiss Milk no added sugar and reduced lactose content with Stevia.
1 Site de Marque 2021 Histoire Images V1 25.06.21 01 - Traditional know-how

Launch of a new range comprising 8 varieties of Villars coffees combining Arabica and Robusta origins.
Balanced blends, with specific aromatic profiles, to meet the expectations of all coffee lovers, individuals or professionals.

1 Site de Marque 2021 Histoire Images V1 25.06.21 02 - Traditional know-how

Launch of an organic, Swiss, fair and gourmet range including 4 milk and dark chocolate recipes without palm oil and without soy lecithin.

1 Site de Marque 2021 Histoire Images V1 25.06.21 03 - Traditional know-how

New graphic identity in full color highlighting affirmed and claimed commitments and a strong anchoring of Swiss origin and premium positioning.

1 Site de Marque 2021 Histoire Images V1 25.06.21 05 - Traditional know-how

Introduction of the new recipe from the Pays de Vaud with cocoa and distinctive notes in the collection of milk chocolates from the Swiss cantons.

1 Site de Marque 2021 Histoire Images V1 25.06.21 07 2 - Traditional know-how

To celebrate its 120th anniversary, Villars is creating, in collaboration with the artist from Friborg, Serge Lowrider, a range of limited edition products as well as a “We love it” mural retracing the brand’s history.

1 Site de Marque 2021 Histoire Images V1 25.06.21 08 1 - Traditional know-how

Launch of a delicious range of 7 couverture chocolates intended for food service professionals, pastry chefs and restaurateurs.

savoir faire lait villars - Traditional know-how

Milk, Switzerland’s white gold

Located in an exceptional dairy basin in the heart of the meadows of the Swiss Alps, Villars Maître Chocolatier exclusively collects Swiss milk of incomparable quality and purity.

Its collection basin extends from Neuchâtel to Bern via Friborg. Four main breeds of cows are at work in these regions: the Simmental, the Brown Swiss, the Brown Spotted or Swiss Fleckvieh and the Holstein which has replaced the famous Fribourg black and white spotted breed. These farms practice the traditional method of breeding: balanced food – hay and fresh grass -, grazing in accordance with natural rhythms, daily contact with the animals and preservation of the environment in the plain and the mountains.

The quality and variety of herbs on which the cows feed and the purity of their environment thus explain the unique taste and smoothness of Swiss milk.

It is the marriage of this PURE Swiss milk and selected cocoa beans, sublimated by the know-how of the Maîtres Chocolatiers de Villars which is found in all the finesse of Villars chocolates.

savoir faire feves - Traditional know-how

Cocoa beans, the origin of the taste

From Oceania, Africa and South America, our beans are selected for their quality and typicity.

Notes of bananas or red fruits in Madagascar, touch of coconut in Ivory Coast or grilled dried fruits in Ghana, flavors of cinnamon spices in Ecuador, each terroir gives the beans a specific aroma that the Maîtres Chocolatiers de Villars select and assemble for original creations.

In the Villars factory in Friborg, the beans are roasted batch by batch and are adapted to each origin, to extract the best aromas. The cocoa beans are then carefully refined until they become a soft paste. It will then remain to concher this dough for a long time, to stir it to refine the texture and reveal all the aromas and smoothness.

savoir faire ingredients - Traditional know-how

Ingredients, source of wealth

The careful selection of natural ingredients at the source is part of the development of lasting relationships with our suppliers, favoring the local origin of products.

The 100% Swiss sugar from beets, grown exclusively in the Swiss region, meets sustainability criteria:

  • short distribution channel
  • intelligent waste recycling

The liqueurs come from the best distilleries in Switzerland and around the world . For example, apricot and Williams pear liqueur from Valais, kirsch from Zug, absinthe from Val de Travers embellish Villars chocolates with their particular flavor.

Beyond Switzerland, the Maîtres Chocolatiers de Villars travel the world in search of the best marriages. Roman hazelnuts, Candied oranges from Italy or Nougat from Montélimar sublimate the range of flavors of Villars chocolates.