It’s raining chocolate: Factory glitch dusts Swiss town in cocoa

Lindt Chocolate Pot de Créme
The Lindt Chocolate Pot de Créme is served at the press review of the Governors Ball that awaited Emmy winners, nominees and industry luminaries in September 2019.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Residents of a Swiss town got a bit of a shock when fine cocoa powder began falling from the sky after the ventilation system at a chocolate factory malfunctioned.

The Lindt & Spruengli company confirmed local reports Tuesday that there was a minor defect in the cooling ventilation for a line of roasted “cocoa nibs” in its factory in Olten, between Zurich and Basel.

The nibs, fragments of crushed cocoa beans, are the basis of chocolate.

Combined with strong winds Friday morning, the powder spread around the immediate vicinity of the factory, leaving a fine cocoa dusting.


The company says one car was lightly, and possibly deliciously, coated. It has offered to pay for any cleaning needed but hasn’t yet been taken up on the offer.

Factory production was able to continue as normal, and the company says the particles were completely harmless to people or the environment.

The ventilation system has now been repaired.