Family Business & Values

What motivates us.

History

The story of our chocolate’s success from 1912 to today.

1912 - 1932

1912

The founding year of the company

Alfred Eugen Ritter and Clara Ritter, née Göttle founded the chocolate and confectionery factory at Innere Moltkestraße in the Stuttgart district of Bad Cannstatt and the first cornerstone for RITTER SPORT's chocolate history was laid - this was where the first "Ritter" chocolates were made and sold.

1926

The company's first lorry

The company now has 80 employees. The threshold is crossed from manual production to industrialized operation. The company's first lorry is purchased.

1930

Moving to Waldenbuch

The lack of space in Bad Cannstatt does not allow the company to further develop, so the company moves to idyllic Waldenbuch. Skilled, experienced employees commute each day by bus between Bad Cannstatt and Waldenbuch.

1932

Invention of the chocolate square

The chocolate square is launched under the name "Ritter’s Sport Chocolate". Clara Ritter's proposal to produce a square chocolate bar quickly meets with approval in the family.
"Let's make a chocolate bar that fits in everyone's jacket pocket without breaking and weighs the same as a normal long bar."
The range also includes long bars, boxes of chocolates, Easter and Christmas items.

1950 - 1970

1950

The cocoa is flowing once again

For the first time after the war, chocolate is no longer rationed. The company restarts production.

1952

A generation change

The company founder, Alfred Eugen Ritter, dies aged 66. His son, Alfred Otto Ritter, takes over the reins of the business.

1960

The square conquers South Germany.

Alfred Otto Ritter decides to focus on the chocolate square. Many items, such as seasonal items, long bars, boxes of chocolates and hollow chocolate figures are gradually removed from the product range. A cornerstone is laid for the successful development of the RITTER SPORT brand. The square is presented in a chocolate-brown cellophane wrapper with the prominent RITTER SPORT logo.

1970

The whole of Germany goes square

An important year for the family business: The company receives national recognition. The launch of the innovative RITTER SPORT Yoghurt, the first yoghurt chocolate, and the premiere of the federal television advert bring about a national breakthrough. The RITTER SPORT brand's memorable slogan "Quality. Chocolate. Squared." was off to a triumphant start.

1974 - 1982

1974

True colours

A revolution in the chocolate market: the entrepreneur Alfred Otto Ritter makes a bold decision and introduces the "Colorful Palette". Each variety is assigned a cheerful, characteristic color. The advertising posters also refer to the recent introduction of color television: "Everything is becoming more colorful, more cheerful, more modern, more active – including chocolate." Another building block of the brand is created.

1976

The invention of the snap-open pack

"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 a characterizing feature of the brand.

1978

The third generation

The company, which was managed by Alfred Otto Ritter's wife Marta after his death, passes on to the third generation of the family. Alfred Theodor Ritter and his sister Marli Hoppe-Ritter are members of the company's Advisory Board.

1982

Small is beautiful

The range is expanded to include 100g squares: RITTER SPORT mini arrives on the market.

1990 - 2002

1990

Taking responsibility

RITTER SPORT founds the agroforestry project CACAONICA in Nicaragua. It supports the local small farmers to sustainably cultivate cocoa which will improve the living conditions of the families dependent on agriculture and, at the same time, reduces the destruction of the rainforest.

1991

Protecting the environment

RITTER SPORT carries out its first life cycle assessment for sales packaging and switches from composite materials to fully recyclable RITTER SPORT single-material packaging made of polypropylene.

1996

Organized environmental protection

RITTER SPORT is the first company in the confectionery industry to successfully participate in the Eco Management and Audit Scheme. In doing so, the company has implemented environmental protection as part of a comprehensive management system.

2002

RITTER SPORT's own power station

The RITTER SPORT block-type thermal power station is connected to the grid: this produces approx. 30 % of the company's electricity and covers approx. 70% of its heat demand. A particularly environmentally friendly aspect is that thermal energy is a desired "waste product" of electricity generation and is used for heating. This combined heat and electricity system allows RITTER SPORT to save approx. 12 million kWh of primary energy each year (this equates to approx. 1 million liters of fuel oil) and reduces its annual CO2 emissions by approx. 6,800 tons.

2004 - 2008

2004

From Waldenbuch into the great wide world

RITTER SPORT is also enjoyed abroad, with the chocolate square catering to the taste of people in over 70 countries. And yet another novelty: RITTER SPORT creates the smallest square, the chocolate cube, in 6 delicious varieties.

2005

At the top

Alfred Theodor Ritter, the grandson of the company founder, takes over the chair of the company and continues the family tradition. In autumn the new RITTER MUSEUM and the extended RITTER SPORT ChocoShop open their gates to visitors under one roof, right next to the company grounds.

2006

Large squares

The Classic Alpine Milk, Yoghurt, Whole Hazelnuts and Praline can now be enjoyed in a whole new dimension - 250g squares.

2008

Another milestone: RITTER SPORT Organic

New – delicious – organic: In April 2008, four new tasty organic chocolate varieties were added to the RITTER SPORT range: Milk Chocolate 35%, Chopped Almonds, Raisin + Cashew and Dark Chocolate (50%) or Fine Extra Dark Chocolate (73%) 60% using the best ingredients from controlled organic farming and delicious recipes typical of RITTER SPORT.

2010 - 2014

2010

Opening of COLOURFUL CHOCOWORLD in Berlin

Since January 2010, there is a new sight to visit in Berlin. And a very tasty one at that: the COLOURFUL CHOCOWORLD of RITTER SPORT. Visitors can expect a unique and diverse program all about RITTER SPORT chocolate. Chocolate lovers young and old can try out delights, find out facts and be creative to their hearts' content on an area of almost 10000 square metre.

2012

Ritter celebrates its 100th anniversary

The family business from Waldenbuch has now been established for 100 years. In order for everyone in Germany to join in the celebrations and not just the locals, the family business comes up with something special: the Colorful ChocoTour, a spectacular Choco Experience that makes all the fascinating aspects of chocolate come alive and visits a total of 19 cities in Germany between March and September 2012. RITTER SPORT also expresses its thanks to all chocolate lovers by offering tasty anniversary products and a great anniversary competition.

2012

Our first Farm

RITTER SPORT buys land in Nicaragua and becomes involved in the sustainable cultivation of cocoa. One of the largest cocoa cultivation areas in the world is developed. The first harvest is expected in 2017.

2013

Fun, games and chocolate

RITTER SPORT opens the Colorful ChocoHouse at Ravensburger Spieleland, with its own shop, chocolate factory and the history of the square chocolate bar.

2014

The first pop-up store

The first RITTER SPORT pop-up store is opened for four months in Hamburg.

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