Our Partners Sprüngli: Easter Bunny Created with Passion
Easter is the next seasonal highlight for Sprüngli. Very soon, the Zurich confectioner's window display will once again be decorated with sweet Easter creations; and for CEO Tomas Prenosil, Nico the bunny is a wonderful example of how innovation can ensure lasting success for a traditional product.
This year is the third Easter for Nico, Confiserie Sprüngli's, Easter bunny. Created in 2015, the chocolate bunny was joined by two little siblings in 2016, one flavored with raspberry and one with mocha and hazelnut. In 2017, mocha will be replaced by caramel. "Caramel is very popular at the moment," reveals Tomas Prenosil, CEO of Sprüngli. Although, in times of constant change, it is important to celebrate what has stood the test of time, the traditional company based in Zurich is moving with the times.
Innovation is reflected not only in the flavor variations, but also in the many stages of development that Nico had to go through. Our only expectation of an Easter bunny, according to Prenosil, is that it should be a bunny made out of chocolate. But there is more to it than this simple specification. The development team looked at how the Sprüngli bunny could be made different to its competitors.
"Everyone cheered each other on"
Initially, the only clear decisions were that Nico should be standing up rather than lying down and that he should look neither naturalistic nor futuristic. Experienced chocolatiers and apprentices used models to create the first designs. Then they tackled details such as posture, facial expression, and the shape of the bunny's ears. "There was a real sense of optimism in the air, everyone cheered each other on," explains Tomas Prenosil. And how have clients taken to the finished bunny, which looks at you over its shoulder in a charming way? "It turns out that we were right to trust our instincts when it came to Nico's final appearance," says Prenosil. "The meticulous care and passion that we invested in his design have paid off." Sprüngli also took a long time to perfect the pink raspberry bunny, which sold surprisingly well for a product made from white chocolate. 90% of Sprüngli's products are made out of dark or milk chocolate.
When it comes to new developments, Sprüngli relies heavily on its own highly qualified employees. This is because its employees come into contact with the client countless times a day at the 22 sales locations. The discussions and observations that Sprüngli's employees pass on contain valuable market information. Sprüngli, of course, also employs marketing experts and Tomas Prenosil sees himself as being "very close to the market." And yet the 51-year-old is aware that: "In the end, our decisions are mostly of an emotional nature. Up to now, we had simply been gifted with the ability to have a feel for the market so that our new ideas stand the test of time."
The Difference Is in the Freshness
Prenosil thinks Nico is "cute." Nevertheless, he doesn't object at all when the ribboned bunny is in for the chop at Easter because of its limited lifespan. Long-lasting manufactured bunnies are produced up to nine months before Easter, but Sprüngli in Dietikon doesn't start working on production until a few weeks before Easter. They only use fresh liquid chocolate according to customized recipes and contain no preservatives. The special editions, such as Nico's aristocratic fellow bunnies, are even poured and painted by hand. "A fresh bunny tastes like nothing else," exclaims Tomas Prenosil enthusiastically. Nico and friends go on sale four weeks before Easter, when anticipation is palpable. The chocolate enthusiast recommends that we: "Eat it quickly!"