Ritter Sport chocolate celebrates 75th anniversary - Germany

Quadratisch, praktisch, gut

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Katrina
Ritter Sport, the square range of chocolate bars, celebrates 75 years of yum this year. But why is Ritter Sport called Ritter Sport? And why are they always square?
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The Ritter bit is relatively straight forward.
Alfred Ritter and his new wife Clara founded a small shop in Stuttgart-Cannstatt back in 1912 making chocolates. Shortly afterwards they founded the company ALRIKA (Alfred Ritter Cannstatt) and moved to Waldenbuch, a small place between Stuttgart and Tübingen, in 1930. It is still an independent family-run company in fact.
In 1932, Ritter Sport was launched.

Now the Sport bit doesn't have anything to do with actually doing sports. It actually refers to sports jackets.
The typical square chocolate bars were Clara's idea, who wanted to create a chocolate bar that would fit into every jacket pocket without breaking, hence the shape.
The local football team would pop into the store to buy post-match chocolate but the long bars just wouldn't fit into their jacket pockets. Ritter Sport was born.

Alongside Milka, Ritter Sport is Germany's favourite chocolate range, both brands enjoy about 25% of the market.
About 2.5 million bars are produced in their factory daily by the around 800 employees.

One thing many will notice is the standard packaging colours according to type. This came about in the 1970s when Ritter chose to start changing the packaging from the then usual brown or gold towards colourtyping. And the idea caught on with other manufacturers. That's why in most brands blue wrapping is for milk chocolate, green for nut, red for marzipan...

The square shape is actually patented at the German Patent & Trademark Office, rather unusually in fact.
Traditionally geometric shapes are excluded from such protection, unless a brand can prove that the buying public only associates their brand with that particular shape.
After tons of research and consumer tests showing customers square bars, with neutral packaging, no packaging, even with Milka lilac packaging with a cow on it, the public still saw square as equalling Ritter Sport.

Love Ritter Sport? Then why not visit the factory? Or more importantly the Schokoladen? Info here And yes it is true, they really do sell off the broken bars for cheap. Happy chomping!
MonksTown
Mazipan In Zartbitterschockolade has pride of place in my office drawer for those work-crisis moments.

Bad Joke City: Have you heard about the Turkish Ritter Sport?
It smells of garlic and when you break open the package it goes "kanack".
(Was told to me by a Turkish mate so I think it's kind of allowed)
Katrina
Personally I rue Ritter Sport.
Because I lived in Schönaich the next village to Waldenbuch during my work placement in Stuttgart.
Never has so much cheap good chocolate been eaten by one person on Praktikant wages.
My entire diet was broken Ritter Sport bought at the factory shop and beer.
Elfenstar
i just ate half, or 8 squares of Voll-Nuss (a brown package).

i love the peanut butter too (erm, orange wrapping?)
gooner_gal
Their slogan "quatratisch, praktisch, gut" is also one of only very few slogans to be protected unter IP law
bern
Ooooh! I LOVE Ritter Sport. I especially like the marzipan one followed by the alenmilch one. Yum. Could eat the whole damn pack!
Uncle Nick
My favourites include: Rum-Traube-Nuss, Weihnachtstrüffel (Cointreau) and Knusper-Keks, although (sadly) because of diabetes I very rarely eat them.
Eleanor Rigby
Nougat here and they had a rasberry/lemon joghurt white chocolate summer flavour a few years ago that I loved.
Jeeves
I used to ride past the factory quite often. And not because I had to. Mmm the smell of chocolate.
HEM
I make excellent (sounds of trumpet-blowing) Mousse au chocolat using Ritter Sport Halbbitter, eggs & drop of rum...
ian
True Story of Ritter Courage. This really happened to me!

I'd had a good night out on the town in Munich. Quite a few beers. (as you do) and there I was on the S-Bahn platform late-ish at the Hauptbahnhof waiting for the train. Getting the munchies (as you do) I wandered over to the vending machine. Now my, by far, favourite Ritter sport is Knusperkeks! But sadly, the next one up was some dark chocolate thing that's not my thing. In fact, there it was, 3rd one back. A Knusperkeks. Skulking behind a Vollnuss in second place. Never mind. Next time. Stupid system!

The next day I found 3 empty Ritter Sport wrappers in my jacket pocket! I cant think what could have happened!
Hutcho
Ritter Sport is probably the best main stream chocolate over here. Lindt isn't bad, but Milka is just plain awful..
Mariposa
Ritter Sport chocolate is evil! Along with all other chocolate. Once I buy a bar, I cannot say no until it's all gone. I should really just stop buying chocolate!

(But it's so good!)
zard
Knusperkeks is my favorite too. For some reason smaller grocery stores, like the corner Rewe where I usually shop, don't seem to carry Knusperkeks. Given that I usually end up eating the whole bar when i buy one, this is probably a good thing!
I tried the flavor-of-the-year recently -- dark milk chocolate (40% cocoa) -- really good! Thankfully its also not available at my local grocery store! (I got it at Lidl).
I bring Ritter Sport home to my family when I visit , they love it too. Sadly its starting to show up in stores in the US now, so probably it will lose its charm as a souvenir soon.
tahoe
As no one has mentioned it yet, I'm here to speak up on behalf of Pfefferminz. One of the best chocolate mints around. We keep bars in the fridge for after dinner, and it's a mild crisis for my husband when we run out. Yummy...
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