THE light and airy SPONGE CAKE

These sweet ambassadors from Bern are the edible counterpart to the Bernese heraldic animal and – just like the former town guard – the «protectors» of the city of Bern. Read on to learn about the slightly tongue in cheek history of the Bernese almond bear.

The origin of the Bernese almond bear dates back to the year 1596, as ....

... the inspiration for the creation of the Bernese almond bear was the traditional relief decoration which shows the bears dancing around the hour bell of the Church of the Holy Ghost (Heiliggeistkirche), cast in the year 1596. The symbol of parading bears, which symbolises the former town guard, is also found at the Zytgloggenturm.

However at that time of course no almond bears were being made. Not even at the time of our next milestone, as we make a leap in time from the end of the Middle Ages to the time of the French Revolution, when ...

... in 1798 French revolutionary forces invaded Switzerland. There was little resistance, Bern alone tried to resist the occupation. The Bernese troops were decisively defeated in March 1798 at the Battle of Grauholz. The French Revolutionary Army soldiers christened the three living Bernese bears in the Bear Pit with the names of patricians and led them in a humiliating triumphal procession through a defeated Bern. In 1798 when the French led the bears out of Bern, they did not yet know that these would become an export hit almost 200 years later ...


... because 191 years later, and this much is known already, the first Bernese almond bear was produced. But one by one, and this continued up until the late 19th century, then ...

... for the first time metal molds were used and were filled with chocolate. Around 1870 Friedrich Anton Reiche founded a factory for plating tin in Dresden. Reiche's chocolate molds are some of the most famous in the world and today are collector's items. Looking at order books from the years 1906 to 1914 it is clear that all the big confectionery manufacturers were customers of Anton Reiche – e.g. Lindt, Suchard and Tobler in Switzerland.

The actual concept of the Bernese almond bear dates back to Anton Reiche's first chocolate bear mold from the year 1914, because ...

... when 75 years later the baker's Glatz Confiseur AG, celebrated their 125th company anniversary in 1989, they naturally wanted to create a new and very special product to celebrate this occasion. At the same time they came across these old chocolate bear molds and the master confectioner's brilliant idea was to fill these molds with a cake mixture instead of chocolate and subsequently to bake them.

Mandelbaerliformen Generation

The bakers and confectioners at Glatz created – under the leadership of master confectioner Peter Kollöffel – the light and airy Bernese almond bears, which are now available in 12 flavours : original vanilla (gluten and lactose free available too), chocolate, Irish cream, cappuccino, blueberry, pistachio, honey, coconut, chestnut, strawberry and Christmas cinnamon.

Over the years not only the flavours of the almond bears have been continuously refined, but also the bear molds have been adapted and optimised, until we now have today's almond bear shape.



A few milestones in the history of the 'Mandelbärli'

1914 The first bear mold was produced by Anton Reiche.
1989 The Glatz confectioners, under the leadership of Master Confectioner Peter Kollöffel , develop the Bernese almond bear for the Glatz anniversary.
1999 The first custom-branded trolley bus (Line 12) in the City of Bern - Mandelbärli Express- passes through the centre of Bern's old town every day, so almond bears are advertised for a whole year.
2002 Almond bears were for sale as officially licensed EXPO 02 baked goods.
2013 Formation of Berner Mandelbärli AG


Find out here where you can buy freshly-baked Bernese almond bears. Of course it is also possible to order them directly from our e-shop.

Business clients who want to buy our Bernese almond bears can directly order them on account by sending a mail to dietro fattura.

Almond bears can be found in various places. Of course in all the Glatz stores, from our colleagues at Bäckerei Reinhard and in Coop in the Bern region as well as these locations in the city of Bern: Globus, Loeb, Zytglogge kiosk, Bärli kiosk. Would you like them to be sent directly to you? Then order from the comfort of your home from the «Mandelbärli-Shop».



Our popular Bernese almond bears make a great gift. Are you looking for a customised and exclusive present for your customers, employees or business partner? Or do you need a cute and delicious ambassador for your company logo?

Design our almond bears according to your wish. This is the standard offer for companies:

Minimum order: 100 pieces

Delivery time: minimum 2 weeks after receiving your order.

We would be happy to advise you about other possibilities. Please contact us on the following number +41 31 300 41 41 or by email:



Mandi findet Freunde

MANDI findet Freunde

24 pages, illustrated, bound
ISBN 978-3-033-05526-1
CHF 20.50

This children's book is available in every Beck Glatz Bakery/Confectionery store and in 'Chinderbuechlade Bern'.

Website Mandi


Please don't hesitate to contact us. If you have any questions or wish to place a large order, our team are ready to assist you.

+41 31 300 41 41
Berner Mandelbärli AG
Weyermannsstrasse 24
3000 Berne 5

Loading Content ...