Toblerone Drops Signature Design Due to ‘Swissness’ Regulations

As a result of shifting some production to Slovakia, the producers of Toblerone are removing images of the Matterhorn and the Swiss flag from the packaging of the milk-chocolate confection.

Mondelez International of Deerfield, Illinois, which owns the Swiss-born brand, said on Monday that it is changing the packaging of Toblerone products to meet strict rules in Switzerland about how products can get the coveted “Swissness” label, which is seen by some as a quality standard.

“The redesign of the package introduces an updated and simplified mountain emblem that is compatible with the geometric and triangular concept,” Livia Kolmitz, a spokeswoman for Mondelez, wrote in an email.

(AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

In June, the business revealed plans to outsource the production of some Toblerone chocolates to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, where wages and the cost of living are considerably lower than in wealthy, pricey Switzerland.

The packaging modification affects 35- and 50-gram (1.2- and 1.8-ounce) bars manufactured in Slovakia: According to the corporation, larger, 100-gram “tablets” will continue to be produced in Bern, Switzerland.

In 2017, legislation on the “Swissness” of products was enacted to safeguard the prestige of Swiss manufacturers. Regarding food, two requirements must be satisfied: At least four-fifths of the product’s raw components must come from Switzerland, and the processing that gives the product its “essential features” must occur in Switzerland.

The chocolate bar, composed of honey and almond nougat, is distinguished by its triangle “peak” shape, which conjures a mountain range, and its triangular packaging, offered in dozens of countries and duty-free shops worldwide.

Toblerone has already been manufactured in different nations, particularly towards the end of the twentieth century. The confection was created 115 years ago by Swiss confectioner Theodor Tobler, whose family name was combined with the Italian term for nougat, “torrone.”

Mondelez has previously encountered resistance to its alterations to Toblerone. Many years ago, a decision to increase the distance between the chocolate peaks by reducing the weight of the bars while maintaining the same price — a practice known as “shrinkflation” — sparked controversy in Britain, where the modification had the most significant impact.