It’s Tobler-GONE: First Toblerone bars go on sale without iconic Matterhorn image to comply with Swiss law
Iconic chocolate brand Toblerone is facing fury after new packaging went on sale stripped of the candy’s Matterhorn mountaintop image.
Pastry makers Modelez International say they have had to change the design to avoid breaking new Swiss laws that restrict the use of images that evoke the country’s likeness.
The company will be limited in the symbolism they can use as they move some of their production from Switzerland to Slovakia by the end of the year.
To comply with Swiss law, the signature Matterhorn peak has been removed from the pack and replaced with a generic mountain peak.
The new box shows a modernized logo with a generic mountain and “based in Switzerland” instead of “Swiss milk chocolate” and “from Switzerland”
The old Toblerone logo depicting the iconic Matterhorn mountain, located in the Swiss Alps
Images viewed online by customers showed that the brand had made a number of other significant changes as well.
In addition to the blatant omission of the Swiss Alps’ 14,692 ft (4,478 m) Matterhorn mountain, the packaging now reads “established in Switzerland” instead of “from Switzerland.”
The “Swissness Act” – introduced in 2017 – strictly regulates the use of Swiss flags, badges, names and images.
Food can only be marketed as “made in Switzerland,” if 80 percent of raw ingredients are homegrown and most of it is made in the country.
A spokesperson for US candy giants Mondelez said: “The packaging redesign introduces a modernized and streamlined mountain logo that complements the geometric and triangular aesthetic.”
Company officials added that they do not believe the design change will affect sales.
However, the rebrand triggered users on social media after images of the new logo, which recently appeared in supermarkets in Switzerland, were shared online.
Facebook user Yantar D’yavol said, “It’s not just about the mountain, if you look closely you’ll see the bear is gone, a small detail that’s easily overlooked.”
Another user named Susanne Albrecht said, “That’s right! Where Switzerland is on it, the content must also come from Switzerland.
“I don’t need to buy more in the future!”
Then user Michael Skorjanc commented, “This is really an extreme concern!!”
The Toblerone chocolate bar was invented in 1908 by chocolatiers Theodor Tobler and Emil Baumann.
The distinctive triangular shape has been legally protected since 1909.
The silhouette of the Matterhorn was added much later, in 1970.
The signature logo (L) is inspired by the Matterhorn mountain between Italy and Switzerland (R)
New branding shows a slimmed-down, modern box without the traditional Swiss symbolism
New branding shows Toblerone bars without the iconic Swiss logo due to branding restrictions imposed by the ‘Swissness Act’
The purpose of the revised “Swiss” law was to “prevent dilution of the country’s reputation for high-quality goods.”
It was initially supported by Swiss farms and watchmakers who faced competition from cheaper manufacturers.
In 2016 the Swiss economic policy expert, Isabelle Schluep, warned that the 2017 law could put businesses at a disadvantage, increasing costs and bureaucracy and eliminating jobs.
Nestle was forced to drop Swiss labels on some of its food products.
At least 80% of the raw materials used in food products must be produced in Switzerland as a rule.
For industrial products, 60% of the production costs must take place in the country.