‘Chocolate snow’ fell on town in Switzerland last week - here’s why

So-called ‘chocolate snow’ fell on Olten (a town in Switzerland located between Zurich and Basel) after a malfunction in a nearby Lindt factory caused drops of cocoa to fall from the sky (Photo: Ciwoa/Shutterstock)

A Swiss town recently experienced ‘snowfall’ during summer - but not the kind you might be expecting.

Sign up to our GlasgowWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

So-called ‘chocolate snow’ fell on Olten (a town in Switzerland located between Zurich and Basel) after a malfunction in a nearby Lindt factory caused drops of cocoa to fall from the sky.

What happened?

The Lindt & Spruengli company, which produces confectionery goods, experienced a malfunction of a cooling ventilation system on a cocoa nib line.

The company confirmed local reports on Tuesday 18 August that there was a minor defect in the cooling ventilation for a line for roasted “cocoa nibs” in its factory last week. The nibs, which are fragments of crushed cocoa beans, are the basis of chocolate.

The malfunction caused the cocoa to become airborne, and, combined with strong winds, covered parts of the town located close to the factory, leaving a fine dusting of cocoa.

Offer to pay for cleaning

The chocolate manufacturer, Lindt & Spruengli, has publicly acknowledged the issue and offered to pay for any necessary cleaning that is required.

The company said that one car was lightly coated, but that it hasn’t yet been taken up on the offer to pay for any cleaning needed.

Olten’s Twitter account posted a picture of the cocoa covering the top of the car, writing, “Cocoa rain in the Olten industrial quarter: the ventilation system is to blame.”

The ventilation system has now been repaired and chocolate production has been able to continue.