Our chocolate history
Quality. Chocolate. Squared.


The history of RITTER SPORT begins where most romance films end: with marriage. The confectioner Alfred Eugen Ritter and Clara Göttle, owner of a confectionery shop, were married in 1912. Together they founded the chocolate and confectionary factory “Alfred Ritter Cannstatt” – the love of good chocolate, therefore, resides in the family.
We invite you to have a look at the most chocolaty milestone of the 20th century!

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Alfred Eugen Ritter
01einleitung_clarag_ttle
Clara Ritter, née Göttle

  • 1912
  • 1932
  • 1952
  • 1970
  • 1978
  • 2002
  • 2005
  • 2007

The year of the company’s foundation

1912_firmengr_ndung
First confectionary factory

The first location for the chocolate and confectionary factory founded by Alfred Eugen Ritter and Clara Ritter, née Göttle, was at Inner Moltkestrasse in Bad Cannstatt.

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Alrika comes on the market

Increasing sales and correspondingly greater production needs required a move to Wilhelmstrasse 16 in Bad Cannstatt. The Ritter family brings its own chocolate brand to the market: Alrika (Alfred Ritter Cannstatt).

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Growing number of employees

Now there are already 40 male and female employees working at the chocolate and confectionary factory “Alfred Ritter Cannstatt”.

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The company’s first lorry

1926_firmenlastwagen
The company’s first lorry

80 people work at the company by now. The threshold from hand production to industrialised operation is crossed. The company’s first lorry is purchased.

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Moving to Waldenbuch

1930_ritterwerk_waldenbuch
The factory in Waldenbuch

Lack of space in Bad Cannstatt prohibits the company from developing further. Despite difficult economic conditions, the company is moved to idyllic Waldenbuch. The employees, who are skilled and trained, are driven by bus between Bad Cannstatt and Waldenbuch.

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Birth of the square

1932_schokoladequadrat
The chocolate square

The chocolate square is launched. Clara Ritter’s proposal to produce a square chocolate bar quickly meets with agreement in the family. Her argument: “We’ll make a chocolate that fits into the pocket of every sports jacket, doesn’t break, and still weighs the same as a normal long bar of chocolate.” The chocolate square is named “Ritter’s Sport Chocolate”. Included in the assortment are long chocolate bars, pralines, and Easter and Christmas articles.

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Turmoils of war in Waldenbuch

With the breakout of World War Two, chocolate production is diminished and has to be fully halted in 1940.

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It continues!

The Alfred Ritter chocolate factory resumes production of different sweets without cocoa.

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Cocoa flows once again

1950_produktionsaufnahme
Resumption of chocolate production

Cocoa is available once again without restriction. The company is able to produce freely.

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A generation change

1952_alfredottoritter
Alfred Otto Ritter

The company founder, Alfred Eugen Ritter, dies at the age of 66 years old. His son Alfred Otto Ritter takes over the reins of the business.

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Record: four tonnes per day!

The business already has over 100 employees. A new production record is achieved: four tonnes of chocolate bars in a single day.

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The end of an era

Company founder Clara Ritter dies at the age of 82 years.

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The square conquers Southern Germany

1960_kinder
Children

Alfred Otto Ritter decides to concentrate on the chocolate square. Many articles such as seasonal items, long chocolate bars, pralines, and hollow chocolate figures are gradually phased out of the programme. In doing this, the foundation is laid for the successful development of the RITTER SPORT brand. The square is now presented in a chocolate-brown cellophane wrapper with the RITTER SPORT logo featured prominently.

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All of Germany goes square

1970_joghurtfrau
The first chocolate made with yoghurt

An important year for the family-owned company: The company acquires national recognition. The introduction of the innovative RITTER SPORT Yoghurt – the first chocolate in Germany made with yoghurt – and the first countrywide television commercial bring about a national breakthrough. The modern, cheery, and singular advertising concept, along with the memorable slogan, “QUALITY. CHOCOLATE. SQUARED.”, underscore what’s special about the RITTER SPORT brand.

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Success in numbers

The turnover threshold of 100m German marks is crossed. The market share among chocolate bars exceeds 10%.

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Everything becomes colourful

A revolution in the chocolate market: Entrepreneur Alfred Otto Ritter makes the courageous decision to introduce a “colourful palette”. Each variety is assigned a cheerful colour to characterise it. Advertising posters make reference, among other things, to the recent introduction of colour television, „Everything is becoming more colourful, more cheerful, more modern, more active – including chocolate.“ Another building block of the brand is created.

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Birth of the snap-open pack

“Der Trick mit dem Knick, und die Masche mit der Tasche” (“The pack with the snap that’s the packet in the pocket”): The invention of the specially-sealed wrapper with the revolutionary snap-open pack completely sets RITTER SPORT apart from traditional chocolate bars and quickly develops into the brand’s characterising feature.

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The third generation

The company’s leadership, which was initially assumed by Alfred Otto Ritter’s wife Marta, after his death, passes on to the family’s third generation. Alfred Theodor Ritter and his sister Marli Hoppe-Ritter are active in the company’s Advisory Committee.

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Small but fine

1982_minis
The Minis

The product range is expanded to focus on the 100g square. The Mini Chocolate comes onto the market.

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New chairmanship

Alfred Theodor Ritter is appointed Chair of the Advisory Committee.

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The success continues

1987_werbespot
1987 advertising spot

The company now employs 710 male and female employees and generates a turnover of nearly 400m DM. Exports account for 10% of this figure.

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For the sake of the environment

RITTER SPORT carries out the first environmental performance evaluation for sales packaging, and switches from composite materials to fully-recyclable RITTER SPORT single-material packaging made of polypropylene.

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Certified quality

In 1994, a DIN EN ISO 9001-compliant quality management system is certified and introduced, aiming to clearly communicate high-quality claims, both internally and externally.

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Fresh, new varieties

RITTER SPORT successfully introduces the Summer Chocolate with the development of Yoghurt-Lemon and Yoghurt-Orange, summer-light varieties of white chocolate made with yoghurt.

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Organized environmental protection

RITTER SPORT is the first company in the confectionary industry to successfully take part in the Ecological Audit Regulation. In doing so, the company implemented environmental protection at a company level, within the framework of a comprehensive management system.

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Possibly record-breaking

For the first time in its history, RITTER SPORT exceeds the half-billion mark with a turnover of 507m DM. The 100g chocolate bars hold a 22% market share in the food trade.

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Diversity squared

1999_di_t
Assortment of diet varieties

RITTER SPORT’S assortment of squares is expanded. Diet chocolate made with a high-quality sugar substitute, Maltitol, is used in four different diet varieties.

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Chocolate up close

2001_schokoladen
The Chocolate Shop

The “RITTER SPORT Chocolate Shop” Visitors’ Centre opens. It vividly and interactively showcases the production of chocolate as well as RITTER SPORT’S history.

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Our own power plant

2002_blockheizkraftwerk
The combined heating and power station

The RITTER SPORT combined heating-and-power station comes to life, allowing the company to produce approx. 30% of its own electricity and approx. 70% of its own heating needs. It is especially environmentally–friendly: Heat is a deliberate “waste product” of electricity generation that can now be used for heating purposes. Through this system of cogeneration, RITTER SPORT saves approx. 12m kWh of primary energy per year (this corresponds to approx. 1m litres of heating oil) and reduces its CO2 emissions by approx. 6,800 tonnes in the same period.

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Without borders

RITTER SPORT also meets people’s tastes abroad. The chocolate square is now enjoyed in over 70 countries. And yet another novelty, RITTER SPORT creates the smallest square, the chocolate cube, in 6 delicious varieties.

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At the top

As grandson of the company’s founder, Alfred Theodor Ritter takes over the chairmanship of the company and continues the family tradition. Situated under one roof and located next to the company grounds, the new RITTER MUSEUM and the expanded RITTER SPORT chocolate shop open their doors in the autumn to welcome visitors.

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More chocolate

Classic Alpine Milk, Yoghurt, Whole Hazelnuts, and Pralines in 250g squares offer new dimensions in pleasure.

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The Year of Ingredients

In line with RITTER SPORT’s high-quality claims, even our successful varieties are continuously reviewed in order to be improved. In 2007, the fillings of both the Yoghurt and Cappuccino varieties are perfected. Freeze-dried fruit pieces are used for the first time in summer varieties. The switch is made from nature-identical flavourings to 100% natural flavourings.

The best ingredients for the best RITTER SPORT quality. Today and in the future: QUALITY. CHOCOLATE. SQUARED.

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Another milestone: RITTER SPORT Organic

New – delicious – contemporary: Starting in April 2008, RITTER SPORT will be offering a delicious organic chocolate assortment.

Using the best ingredients obtained from supervised organic farming, classic recipes, RITTER SPORT’S complete authority over chocolate matters, and a modern wrapper design, the new chocolate squares will be totally in vogue.

You will find lots of interesting and noteworthy information on the topic of organics, as well as on our new organic chocolate here (in German).

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