Ritter Sport Museum
I love Germany. I love the food, I love the culture, and I love the chocolate! After taking Hubby to Germany a few years ago, we decided that it was time for the kids to explore this part of their heritage. We knew that we would be seeing and learning a lot about history and architecture through our excursion with Trafalgar Tours (The Best of Germany). So while staying for a few days in my Oma’s hometown of Stuttgart, we decided to treat the kids to a children’s chocolate-making class at the Ritter Sport Museum.
Have you ever tried Ritter Sport chocolate? These square chocolate bars come in a variety of flavours and can be found in most supermarkets these days. When I was growing up, however, you couldn’t get them in Canada.
I used to look forward to the parcels sent from my German relatives, containing all kinds of treats… including Ritter chocolate! Maybe it’s nostalgia, but I still get excited when I see those squares!
The History of Ritter Sport Chocolate
In 1912 Alfred and Clara Ritter founded a chocolate factory in Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt. However, it wasn’t until 1932, that the chocolate brand known today as Ritter’s Sport Schokolade, was launched.
At this time, Clara suggested creating a chocolate bar that would fit into any sports jacket pocket without breaking, but that also weighed the same as a normal bar. And so the infamous square bar was born!
The square shape is not only part of the company’s branding, but also its slogan – ‘Quadratisch. Praktisch. Gut,’ or in English, ‘Quality. Chocolate. Squared.’
During the 1970s, Ritter packaging become more vibrant, with a unique colour assigned to each flavour. These bright colours are now part of the company’s branding recognition. But the biggest advance in packaging came with the unique snap-open pack, called the ‘Knick-Pack’.
This clever (and patented) packaging allows consumers to fold the bar on a designated line. This easily opens the wrapper, while leaving a piece of chocolate broken off and ready to eat.
Getting to the Ritter Sport Museum
Located in Waldenbuch, the chocolate museum is approximately a 30-minute drive south of Stuttgart. Since we did not have a vehicle during our stay, we took public transit.
Germany’s extensive transit network makes it super easy to plan your route. Our trip took about an hour by transit from downtown Stuttgart. There is also plenty of free parking at the museum.
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Ritter Sport Museum
Once you arrive at the Ritter Sport Museum, you will find two separate areas. The first is the art gallery. Founded by co-owner, Marli Hoppe-Ritter, Museum Ritter has rotating exhibits dedicated solely to geometric abstract art! Although it was quite interesting, it was not what we were there to see.
Across the mezzanine, is the chocolate museum! Although quite small and unassuming, it was awesome! The exhibit takes you through the history of Ritter, the chocolate-making process, as well as why they decided on their uniquely square shape. For a chocoholic such as myself, I was fascinated!
Even the way the small sample bars are dispensed for guests is impressive and entertaining. Each of us made sure to take a turn… as much for the entertainment value as for the small chocolate!
The museum is free to enter, and will only take you about an hour and a half to enjoy the exhibit.
Children’s Chocolate-Making Class
But we weren’t there strictly for the exhibit. There was a children’s chocolate-making class to attend! The classes themselves are pre-booked online at a cost of 7 Euros per child, for a 75-minute class.
But there’s a catch – no adults allowed! Only kids between the ages of 7-18 are allowed in the classroom.
Seeing as Mr. Bump and Miss Somersault only have a limited understanding of the German language, I was able to speak to the instructors prior to the start of class to advise them.
No problem at all! A couple of the staff spoke fluent English, much to the relief of not only our kids but a few others in the class as well.
The kids were taken into the classroom where they were taught about the chocolate-making process. They were then allowed to choose the type of chocolate they wanted to make (milk, dark, or white) as well as the mix-ins needed to create their custom Ritter Sport Bars.
Miss Somersault chose milk chocolate with freeze-dried raspberries, while Mr. Bump opted to put sprinkles into his. The chocolate is then poured into moulds by the kids, and placed into the refrigerator.
While the bars are cooling, the kids are given the opportunity to custom-design their packaging.
At this point, parents are invited back into the classroom for photo ops and to see the finished product. The kids absolutely loved the experience! They also loved devouring their creations on the ride home!
Ritter Sport Chocolate – What is Your Favourite Flavour?
By now, I’m sure many of you are asking yourself, is Ritter Sport chocolate good?? YES!! It’s soooo good! And with so many flavours to choose from, it’s hard not to find one… or six… that you love! So just how many flavours are there?
According to their website, currently, there are 29 regular flavours, 3 vegan options, and 2 lactose-free (as well as gluten-free) options to choose from! My favourites, if I HAVE to choose, would be the chocolates that included nuts or mocha flavour, as well as the lemon-flavoured bars or the ones with crispy bits.
In addition to their regular line-up of flavours, Ritter also carries 4 plain bars made from four different varieties of cocoa beans. These bars, although plain, give you the choice of different intensities of cocoa flavour. They range from a cocoa percentage of 55% to 81%, with varying degrees of bitterness.
So where does Ritter get their varieties of cocoa beans from? Since 2018 they have been purchasing 100% certified sustainable cocoa from Peru, Ghana and Nicaragua. In fact, Ritter Sport is actually quite an environmentally conscious business!
They use fully recyclable packaging (they are currently experimenting with paper packaging), and actually generate the electricity needed to run their factory, by way of green sources.
Shopping Spree at the Chocolate Store
Our fabulous day at the Ritter Sport Museum was not over yet though! Attached to the museum is the Ritter Sport SchokoShop Outlet. We are talking wall-to-wall chocolate!
Hubby, who takes being a chocoholic to a whole new level, literally shrieked with delight when the shop doors opened. I’ve never seen the kids, including Miss Sunshine, scatter so fast!
The chocolate outlet was a lot of fun to visit! I think I spent the most amount of time looking at the colourful displays, and debating how I was ever going to decide what flavours to go home with!
A couple of hours later… yes, you read that right… HOURS… we left the store with Hubby clicking his heels and on a chocolate high. We had purchased one full-sized bar of EVERY flavour in the store (I believe it was 44 bars)… including bars from their not-yet-released collection of “concept” flavours.
YES, there is a whole room set aside with not-yet-released flavours! The packaging is plain, with just basic ingredients and nutrition information, but the price is lower too! How could we resist??
We also left with a variety pack of mini bars, as some flavours were not available in the regular-sized bar. But chocolate wasn’t the only thing we were after. We also purchased a variety of non-edible Ritter souvenirs, such as magnets and a notebook.
My favourite purchase, however, was a cube-shaped cooler bag. This really came in handy to carry the loot in. Of course, we were now left pondering, how to get all that chocolate back to Canada!!
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Ritter Sport Museum – FAQs
Just a few quick facts about the Ritter Sport Museum or the Ritter Chocolate in general, that we did not already cover.
Yes! From the chocolate-making class to the cool exhibits and of course, the chocolate shop, the Ritter Sport Museum is definitely worth a visit.
Admission to the Ritter Sport Museum in Waldenbuch is free.
Ritter Sport chocolate is made from 100% certified sustainably sourced cocoa and carries the Rainforest Alliance seal. According to Rainforest Alliance / UTZ Cocoa and Fairtrade programs, Ritter Sport’s entire product range has contained cocoa from 100% certified sustainable sources since 2018.
For certain flavours, YES! The milk chocolate with raisins soaked in rum and chopped hazelnuts contains alcohol!
I think it’s safe to say, we
are chocolate addicts had an amazing experience at the Ritter Sport Museum! The children’s chocolate-making class was a HUGE success! Hopefully, the chocolate we purchased will last longer than the case of Goo-Goos we brought home from Nashville… but that’s another story!
What is your favourite flavour of Ritter Sport? If you haven’t tried one… what are you waiting for!?
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