SWISS Drops Controversial Chocolate Supplier

Filed Under: Swiss

SWISS is known for offering free chocolate to all passengers. Their primary agreement is with Chocolate Frey, which supplies 17 million pieces of chocolate to the airline every year.

However, for premium passengers, SWISS distributes Läderach pralines through a partnership that they’ve had for about 10 years. Well, SWISS is dropping the brand — apparently the decision was made in November 2019, and you can expect to no longer see the chocolates on SWISS flights as of April 2020.

What’s the cause of this change? Controversial comments from the CEO of Läderach, Johannes Läderach. The CEO is a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage and abortion.

He’s a member of the group “Christianity for Today,” which his father is the president of. The group also opposes sex before marriage, pornography, and Harry Potter, natch.

But don’t worry, folks, he insists he’s not homophobic, because he has gay employees and doesn’t ask them about it:

“I understand it if people value a woman’s right to choose more than an unborn child’s right to life. But I ask for understanding for my opinion. I’m allowed to have a different opinion.

No one at Läderach is homophobic – neither the management nor the staff. We have homosexuals working for us. We don’t ask about it. Läderach has a zero-tolerance policy regarding discrimination.”

This comes to mind:

The chocolate company’s head of marketing confirmed that the decision was made due to negative coverage of the chocolate company, while a SWISS spokesperson didn’t go into detail, other than saying that factors when choosing suppliers include “the quality, various economic factors and the brand fit.”

Swiss magazine Beobachter claims headlines like “Chocolate king fights against abortion and homosexuals” were too much for the airline to ignore, noting that this is “clearly too much for the airline, which has many gay crew members.” I’d say it goes way beyond that…

Kudos, SWISS!

  1. OMG. I thought they dropped Frey when I saw the headline. Thankfully they’re keeping that great chocolate. I really like Frey’s chocolates.

  2. Why cant he have that opinion? Why is it only ok to be pro-gay, not anti-gay? Last time I checked we live in a free nation.

  3. Very much in favor of abortion rights/gay rights/pornography/sex/atheism. But I couldn’t care less that somebody has the opposite opinion about any of them, and very much against the idea of thought crimes. Tolerance is a two way street.

  4. As a socially conscious traveler (and Gay Jew) who expenses a lot of full fare flights on LX15, thanks for the laugh and reassurance I’m spending money on the right vendor.

  5. @Lucky – I’m curious as to what personal religious or political views are out of bounds for a CEO in your mind. For instance, you applaud the dropping of this chocolate company because their CEO is a Christian whose religious beliefs lead him to oppose abortion and all sexual activity outside of a heterosexual marriage (while not allowing those beliefs to interfere with the way they hire or treat their employees) however you will give your money to airlines whose owner’s Muslim beliefs lead them not only to oppose abortion and sexual activity outside of heterosexual marriage, but who also imprison or even put people to death for such “offenses.” How do we live in a pluralistic society and world while still trying to live in a consistent way with what we believe?

  6. So, we are back in the times where you couldnt say you are gay without having consequences for yourself, just the other way around this time?

  7. It’s incredibly delicious chocolate, but there are better places to buy Swiss chocolate without funding zealots like this guy. Very glad to see this move, SWISS!

  8. Love it! But they also need to drop their agreement with Chocolate Frey. Their company culture is even more toxic.

  9. Thanks for the reporting! Can’t understand in this day and age. Switzerland has had legal prostitution since 1942. Also, since 1942, they have allowed assisted Suicide and even have “Suicide Tours” where people can travel to Switzerland to kill themselves, legally. The Swiss Protestant Church supports Gay Marriage.

  10. Stop this BS. The guy does not approve same sex marriage and abortion. It is his view and he has the right to have his view. Now, if you don’t agree with his view you also have the right to not buy his products. Simple as that. We are now living on a culture where everyone feels like a victim. Just live your lives, support the companies that you agree with their culture and move on. BTW, like the corporate culture or not, Läderach produces one of the best chocolates money can buy.

  11. I’m so glad that Lucky refuses to do business with any airline or country that is not fully supportive of LGBTQ and reproductive rights.

  12. I abhor any sort of intolerance. But who really cares about these wackos? If I really looked around I’d find that the majority of what I do is affected by people who harbor intolerances or who say stupid things.

  13. I hope Swiss never sources their jet fuel from Saudi Arabia. Perhaps it is only “abhorrent” for Christians to oppose homosexuality and abortion, but not muslims?

  14. Good for Swiss! And shame on Läderach. There’s only two things I hate in this world: people who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and the Dutch.

  15. @Alan

    Isn’t your comment that of intolerance? And without the full story versus “soundbites” why do you make an intolerant decision to not like these “wackos”. We all have people in our lives (hopefully) that have different opinions than our own. Unless we know for sure that his company or he himself practices discriminatory actions, he is entitled to his opinion. For example, I personally am against abortion. But that MY belief. I do not discriminate against those that think differently and it has never ended my friendships with the multiple couples I know that have chosen to have one.

    @William – Well said

  16. The thing that I’m most concerned about the chocolate industry is that most of the cacoa beans are grown in West Africa, but many farm workers don’t make a living wage.

  17. This is easy for Lucky to do, there is no price to pay…no cost involved. Now, he would not come out against the Muslims because there could be a price to pay. The Christian church is widely attacked as there is no cost, attack the Muslims and you may incur a cost i.e. Charlie Hebdo.

    OMAAT becomes more irrelevant by the day.

  18. Did the CEO use his company to project his personal beliefs? If not then a corporation should not face backlash. In a free society, an individual can believe whatever they want unless they force it onto others.

  19. SWISS management have no balls to stand up to these virtue-signalling morons. I look down on hypocrites who argue for their own ‘diverse’ opinions, but don’t extend that same courtesy to others. This gay man disapproves.

  20. Läderach the chocolatier is a closely held family company. Läderach the family uses their money to advance regressive causes that are in diametric opposition to the values Swiss holds as a company that supports LGBT rights. This is not cancel culture, thought crime, or punishing a CEO for their personal beliefs. This is Swiss saying we don’t want to maintain a large contract funding these activities.

  21. @BrewerSEA

    So does this mean that you think Swiss should cut their interline agreement with Saudia then? And LH group should stop flying to RUH?

    Since Saudia is a closely held government company. And Saudia Arabia the country uses their money to advance regressive causes that are in diametric opposition to the values Swiss holds as a company that supports LGBT rights?

  22. We’re confronted every day by things like this…Hobby Lobby anyone? In the end we’re lucky to live in countries (many of us anyway) that we can live and believe and worship and act according to our own wills. In the end I try to worry about the kind of person I am vs being overly concerned how I’m affected by those around me, whether good or bad effect.

  23. @richard – you’re exactly right, I should not have used an intolerant term like Wackos. This guy has his right to express himself however he wants and I shouldn’t judge him because I disagree with him. Thank you for bringing that up, I can do better than my previous statement.

  24. Just because a person believes in traditional Christian values and one doesn’t trumpet how great being born gay is doesn’t make him or her anti gay anymore than someone not believing in religion or Christianity makes him or her anti Christian or anti religion. Are Muslims anti Christian just because they don’t believe or support all Christian tenets, no. They have their own beliefs.

    Swiss provides commercial flights over public airspace and using I assume some public airports (at least publicly funded). The management of Swiss should be fired and the Swiss sued for discriminating against Christians. Company management needs to stop kowtowing to 10% of the population at the expense of religious freedom.

  25. Yes, because social justice starts with the little chocolates they serve you in business class. (side-eye)

    I appreciate the CEO’s response, because work and social life are supposed to be separate. Let your hard work make you indispensable.

  26. To everyone saying he is entitled to his own opinions and stances on social issues: Sure and no one’s denying it.

    But at the same time, you have to realize that everytime you buy a product, you are supporting people behind that product. Your money go to their pockets and since it’s their money, they can do anything they want with it. When “doing what they want with their money” turns out to be financing activities that go against your rights, let alone your safety, it’s natural to be upset and to make a decision to no longer feed your money to those people. I will not finance my own prosecution, thank you.

    On the other hand, I will gladly support companies such as Swiss that do care about their CSR and footprint they left in the world.

  27. Evidently we live in a world that if one has a controversial Idea they must be discriminated for it. I personally don’t support gay marriage or abortion…so what? I still appreciate Lucky’s blog and have no interest in ever discriminating against him or anyone because of my personal beliefs. America was built on the idea of independent thinking, you can hold your own convictions unless you are actively discriminating against someone else. This is ridiculous.

  28. I vote for freedom of thoughts and values. It is completely ok to like and dislike, that is a human nature. Has ever been and will be. LH F 4:0 LX F now my 2020 flights.

  29. As a straight white Christian male, I am getting tired of this PC BS

    And for all you Trump haters, this is why he will be re-elected.

    We are fed up

  30. Get a grip people. There’s a world of difference between anti-gay beliefs that can lead to legislation that persecutes or discriminates against gay people and being against anti-gay beliefs and not buying someones chocolates. Being intolerant against things that have nothing to do with you should never be tolerated. Against same sex marriage; don’t marry someone of the same sex. Don’t believe in abortion; don’t have one. Only have sex within your marriage.
    There was a time when Christians supported slavery and lynching so there is that.

  31. “As a straight white Christian male, I am getting tired of this PC BS”

    Triggered much, snowflake?!

    Are you feeling besieged? Are you feeling all that “economic anxiety” (code for “racist”). Are you tired of all those people of color taking your jobs?

    Suck it up, buttercup.

    “You can’t stop progress!”
    Bill Heslop (Murial’s dad)
    -Muriel’s Wedding

  32. I wonder…Does Lucky (or anyone else exclaiming kudos to SWISS) use the Middle Eastern airlines or fly to the Middle East where gays are stoned or hanged? Probably…But I guess it’s OK for mileage runs.

  33. @David- Trump is going to be re-elected because a Swiss airline decided to stop doing business with a Swiss company? Uhm, okay?

  34. @David (assuming you are serious)
    As a straight white agnostic male, I can see conundrums in the PC movement (as many pointed out in relation to Lucky flying on airlines whose owners discriminate). But to be tired of it after a few years is pretty petty, given how long minorities and those of anything other than straight sexual orientation have suffered through discrimination.

    And sure, I can agree that Trump may be re-elected because a pro-life, anti-homosexual culture is still pretty prevalent in our society. Does that make it ok? Personally I think no.

  35. Lmfao, the dude openly said he has no problem with employing gays. He may not like gays(which he has a right to. I don’t like tons of things Ben supports, yet I mostly like his blog and had a very sweet conversation with him in LA, and in general look up to the guy) yet he doesn’t discriminate, which is all that matters.
    Also, it’s always interesting to hear that sort of stuff of stuff from a lifelong promoter of Qatar Airways. I suppose people behind supposedly bad things are only worth cancelling when they don’t give you a good business class seat.

  36. So people aren’t entitled to express their opposing views anymore? Ah, must be all part of “tolerance and diversity“ our snowflakes are constantly insisting on.
    What a pathetic age we are all living in.

  37. “Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction.” Not sure of this applies in Switzerland but ot definitely applies here in the US but unfortunately the snowflake generation skipped that class at school. As long as he did not disrespected anyone he should have the freedom to express his opinion the same way people with different opinions have the right to not buy chocolates from his company.

  38. Swiss man who sells Chocolate and doesn’t want babies murdered- bad.
    Pretty much every middle east airline funded by a government that murders and jails homosexuals- we’ll let it slide.

    lol wtf

  39. @pafunco
    Ummmmmm that’s exactly what Swiss Air is doing. They don’t like what they have to say so they’re no longer buying their products. You seem to have miss that soooo.

    Personal opinion is one thing but when you want to do business in a free market you better believe there are unspoken rules to abide by.

  40. This post is the perfect microcosm of modern day liberalism – where they are more concerned about patting themselves on the back than actually fighting for principles they ostensibly hold dear.

    “Bravo SWISS for not serving wrongthink chocolates anymore! Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to go write my 82nd Emirates trip report!”

    This post reads like Leo Dicaprio flying a private plane to go accept his award for fighting climate change

  41. @Rob: +1.

    Clickbait article. Which we all repeatedly fall for, myself included. Controversy sells.

    Signed, a traditional Roman Catholic

  42. @No name I 100% agree @david literally no one cares that you are a straight white Christian male. Stop making a persecution complex for yourself.

  43. This is pathetic. Why is the political left so attached to their moral high horse? I think anyone is within their rights to hold personal convictions that don’t impinge on the freedom of others to make their own decisions. This idea that opposing ideas can make us feel threatened is sickening. No kudos for Swiss. Cowards.

  44. @Rob: +1

    “Kudos, SWISS!” for not serving one of the best chocolates in the world because the owner is against same sex marriage and abortion. BUT, I love showering and drinking Krug at 30,000 ft on Emirates and Etihad which are subsidized by a Government that punishes people for being gay.

  45. Chances are many of these bleeding hearts will either have flown or will fly the ME3 at some stage. Hypocrisy much?????????????????????

  46. “I’m so glad that Lucky refuses to do business with any airline or country that is not fully supportive of LGBTQ and reproductive rights.”

    It’s amazing how aborting unborn babies/children somehow equates to ‘reproductive rights’. Abortion is gruesome, like stabbing a bunch of almost-ready-to-hatch chicken eggs with a steak knife. Reproductive freedom, yay!

  47. Liberal intolerance strikes again. I’m gay but I think this guy is entitled to his opinions. These cancel culture people preach diversity but demand ideological uniformity: it’s a fascist state they’re really after. But hey, sjw’ism keeps corporatism going, so it’s all good for the c-suite!

  48. Bro.

    You fly on Qatar Airways. They are state-owned. Qatar imprisons people for homosexuality and uses slave labor.

    And you’re butthurt over CHOCOLATES.

  49. freedom of speech should apply to everyone even if it’s the politically incorrect way of thinking, but here we are today where everyone is pro free speech so long as you agree with only one side of the argument, I’ll just sit back and watch the comments section

  50. Me: Boy, I bet the comments will be an absolute cesspool full of cowards who believe that it’s somehow hypocritical to not tolerate intolerance and that we all need to support people’s hatred of our fellow man because of ummm…?

    Me after reading the comments: Jesus it’s worse than I thought.

  51. Even though the aricle generated some civil and inteligent responses, it is clear from many of the other responses that “Hate Springs Eternal” and it probably always will.

  52. Why not, as a Title:

    “Swiss changes lanes on Hershey Highway, drops controverrsial chocolate supplier”

    NOW THAT’s “Click Bait”!!!!

    (Note: Since we’re identifying…straight, jew, parent, not politically active, PPL(!)—but I only fly alone…don’t give a “poop bomb” re: other’s lifestyles/opinions/choices—live & let be).

  53. So let me get this straight. You really seem to like QR. You’ll fly with them whenever you get the chance. But as the Qatari government continues to execute gay people for their sexuality, you don’t really bat an eye.
    Meanwhile, it’s absolutely disgusting when the CEO of a chocolate company has personal and religious beliefs that are different to those of San Francisco social justice warriors, and despite that chocolate being amazing, SWISS must drop it immediately.

    I really like your blog, Lucky, and I actually support legalizing gay marriage, but I really don’t agree with the content of this post.

  54. Thing about freedom of speech is that its not Just speech in this case. Sure, you are free to say stuff. At the same time you are not allowed to limit the rights of others. Human rights cases are always about balances between the rights. The right one has to his family life and integrety of his body outweight freedom of speech. Even more so when the opinion is ‘you cant have something because my book says so’. That’s not so much An opinion as activly denying other people stuff. Add in that they are appearntly using family funds to stride for this…

    The link to Saudi’s and others are interesting. I do get that its hypocritical to drop chocolade for something whole countries do. One could make a case you should not go to or buy from Them. I’d argue that that’s whataboutism. Swiss Chocolate guys discriminating is okey because arabs do it. Accordering to that logic basicly all discriminating is okey because we dont hang guys. We also shouldnt use Saudi Arabië as the bar and try to be better then that.

    Sorry for the spelling, have not figured this phone out yet.

  55. Confused about this news. Flew SWISS First 5 times in past 2 years only offered Sprungli chocolate. Never saw Laderach chocolate. In business I remember getting Lindt & Sprüngli chocolate. Is this is a true story? On short haul only the Frey (Migros) chocolate both in eco and business

  56. Good to know which chocolate to buy and which airline to avoid. This is another time when you tolerate limiting The freedom of speech and thinking.

  57. To everybody who argues “freedom of speech”: It allows you to say pretty much anything you want without being prosecuted for it, however, it doesn’t protect you from the consequences on how other people might react to it.

    It’s a shame because Läderach is one, if not the best chocolate company in Switzerland.

  58. So if you believe in traditional Christian values you now can expect to be driven out of the public square and from business.

    Well if it wasn’t clear enough already it is now.

    There is no plurality anymore just complete intolerance. Guess people now need to pick sides. The lukewarm Christian majority need to come off the fence.

  59. Swissair still fly to Saudi which oppress gay and woman, and Lucky praises their behavior? Typical double standards.

  60. @Yreal: “At the same time you are not allowed to limit the rights of others.”
    Absolutely. There doesn’t seem to be specificity as to whether this chocolate company or the “Christianity Today” group donated to causes that would take it to that level. Believing homosexuality is wrong in and of itself is different than actively discriminating or trying to limit rights. Albeit it quickly leads down that path.

  61. They only serve Läderach as the “sorry” of special occasion gift (see luckys review of Swiss First), so only minor area affected. Main supplier for premium cabin was always sprüngli to my knowledge. The whole Läderach thing started out as local news here and now even reaches the avgeek blogs, quite cool to see (as I generally support Swiss’ move).

  62. So many comments, so many projections…

    First, Lucky didn’t boycott SWISS before the change of chocolates and, as far as I know, didn’t threaten to not fly them unless the chocolatier was changed! So the whole point about not flying the middle eastern airlines is moot.

    Second, freedom of speech is not the issue at all, this change of chocolates didn’t muzzle or change the views of the Läderach CEO.

    Third, SWISS exercised an inherent right to switch chocolatiers – a decision based on their own commercial self interest. The fact that this decision aligns with some of the people’s views on this blog is completely incidental.

    Fourth, if you disagree with the SWISS decision, then you simply exercise your own inherent right to fly someone else.

    Personally, I think it’s not very smart of *any* company to use their business to espouse political or social views if they do not want to experience ramifications of promoting those views. I boycott companies that make a point of co-mingling their business with the political/social views of their leadership where those views are anathema to my own.

    I’m a perfectly happy straight, white, agnostic male that doesn’t shop at Chick-fil-a, Hobby Lobby or any local business that is stupid enough to hang political signs outside their establishments!

  63. @Creditian. Swissair doesn’t exist anymore since 2001 and Swiss does not fly to saudia arabia – but to be fair their mother LH does.

  64. So, if someone has an opinion that runs counter to political correctness, it is “controversial” and they are to be smited? Their livelihoods erased?

    Yeah, as someone said above: what ever happened to tolerance?

  65. Businesses face a difficult situation when their owners express beliefs outside the mainstream. While I absolutely support the CEO’s right to an opinion, it is perfectly understandable that his customers would want to steer clear of controversy. Boycotts are a thing because most people dislike seeing the profits from their custom flow through to organizations that advocate for views they disagree with.

    To be honest, Lucky, I think it is a bit difficult to square your (entirely understandable) praise for SWISS’s boycott of this chocolate company while you often fly the ME3 and offer glowing reviews of these companies which support regimes far more damaging to their minority and female populations than a ranting Swiss chocolatier. I know you’ve addressed this in previous posts, but I rather agree with other comments that your tone here comes across as a bit hypocritical, and could be better explained.

  66. Why is it whenever there’s blowback about air nozzles or hot towels or whatever, Lucky wades into the comments to defend his opinion.
    But for matters of more import, like this, when he’s called a hypocrite, he’s silent?
    It’s been addressed and acknowledged that he hates confrontation, but clarification of his position would be valuable, no?

  67. Agreeing with many of the posters here, it’s ironic that those who insist on and demand tolerance are themselves often intolerant of those who hold other (especially conservative) beliefs/values. The tables are definitely turned.

  68. I‘m very happy Swiss finally did that step. My own (much smaller) company stopped buying (and gifting) Läderach products once we found out where the money goes, about two years ago. Swiss took much longer to react, but finally did the same step. Much appreciated anyways.

  69. It is refreshing to see so many standup to the attempts by the left to chill speech they dislike. As a Christian I agree with his values. I also agree that would be wrong to fire employees engaged in sin. The only possible exception would be that if he fired ALL sinners. But, that would mean firing everyone. The bottom line is this executive is not persecuting anyone, he simply has a different viewpoint. It used to be that the left supported that, though I have long suspected that was reserved then, as it is now, for those views with which they agree.

  70. Why don’t Republicans support capitalism when it hurts their butt? Swiss made a business decision. It did not punish anybody. It did not want to associate with a company whose CEO it disagrees with. Doesn’t Swiss have the right to buy chocolates from any company it wishes?

  71. Well sh*t. Laderach is my favorite! And they are just in the process of opening their first USA store in New York! I ordered Laderach shipped over from Switzerland for family for Christmas presents two past two years ever since I visited Laderach in Zurich.

    Why do all the companies that make the best stuff have to hate us gays? I’ve only recently been about to eat Chik-Fil-A again. I guess now Laderach is the new veal and foie gras – so delicious, but so much guilt…

  72. I am highly amused by the number of commenters who have appointed themselves as Laderach’s personal defenders. For some reason they think that the CEO of a $2 billion company is some simple soul who just happened to speak his mind and is now being persecuted by deviant leftists. Newsflash: this guy is a shrewd businessman who will have evaluated the possibility of “reputational damage” before he carried out his campaigning activities, as he does before making any announcement or business decision. And likewise, Swiss presumably considered the costs and benefits of this decision and will have to answer to their shareholders.

  73. This is the free market in action, people! It’s what all you right-wingers love! When it’s Hobby Lobby pushing its owners religious beliefs on their employees, then that’s their right and customers are welcome to shop elsewhere if they don’t like it. Yet when the shoe is on the other foot, suddenly it’s wah, wah, wah, discrimination, etc, etc. You’re all sounding like a bunch of whiny SJWs on Tumblr.

  74. @Andy, it is not so much a case of needing to personally defend a chocolate company head. I’m more concerned about the sourcing of any given chocolate actually, and have not checked into that. But the bigger picture here is the culture and pattern of a given philosophy enforcing conformity of belief by pressuring third party companies to cease doing business with those they (those of the philosophy) disagree with, in an effort to force them to conform. It happens on both sides, but right now, and in this case, it is especially prevalent among the woke and left activists to whose agenda all must adhere or else. It’s interesting that commenters have several times highlighted a couple of companies which have resisted conforming completely. It’s because they can only identify a couple. The vast majority, and Swiss being the most recent example, have quite fully capitulated when told what they need to do. My earlier comment about Ben’s hypocrisy was censored, so maybe this one will be too.

  75. @lucky it’s a shame you’re so bigoted against Christian beliefs. I’ll now support websites that don’t harbor or support such intolerance and hate for opposing viewpoint. I pray for you, but I’ve got to limit exposure and support of such a backwards, small minded website.

  76. The “tolerant” angry mob strikes again. These people need Jesus to heal the overwhelming hate in their hearts.

    Hey Ben Schlappig, maybe the eco-warrior SJWs would have interest that you fly 400,000 miles per year and are unnecessarily accelerating the climate emergency. Plus the fact that you brag about flying first class shows your white male privilege. Shall we cancel you out? I’m sure the AOC crowd could humble you pretty quickly.

  77. I live by this principle…. I may not agree with your opinion or views on things, but I respect and defend your right to have them. None of us are perfect and we are all entitled to our opinions. Boycott corporations don’t boycott them. its your decision.

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