“The packaging redesign introduces a modernized and streamlined mountain logo that aligns with the geometric and triangular aesthetic,” a Mondelez spokesperson told Swiss newspaper Aargauer Zeitung. Distinctly shaped Toblerone boxes will also be changed to read: “Established in Switzerland” rather than “of Switzerland”.
Under “Swissness” legislation, which came into force in Switzerland in 2017, companies must show that their products are sufficiently “Swiss” to claim this label – which has long been associated with prestige products such as Swiss watches.
Swiss officials at the time cite studies showing that a Swiss association can add up to 20% to the price of a product, or even more for luxury items. The label had been “highly coveted and misused”, officials at home and abroad said in ways that damaged its credibility.
From now on, food products must obtain at least 80% of their raw materials from Switzerland to be qualified as Swiss made – or 100% in the case of milk and dairy products. (Cocoa is an exception, as it falls into the category of natural elements that cannot be produced locally.)
Mondelez did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the rebranding.
The fate of a bear depicted climbing the iconic mountain in the current logo remains unknown. (The bear is partially concealed in the logo, and some customers were apparently surprised to learn of its existence.) Bern, the Swiss city where the Toblers first opened a confectionery in 1868, is known as the “City of Bears.”
The company’s website says the 100-plus-year-old chocolate bar’s unique triangular shape was inspired by Swiss chocolatier Theodor Tobler’s mountainous homeland, specifically the 14,690-foot Matterhorn, one of the world’s highest mountains. best known in the Alps.
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The highest mountain in Slovakia – where Toblerone production moves – Gerlachovsky stit, is only 8,711 feet. Bratislava is sometimes called “the beauty on the Danube”.
This isn’t the first time Toblerone’s iconic picks have been caught up in a vexed political debate. In 2016, the UK government was asked to explain why Mondelez widened the spacing between chocolate and nougat peaks: Was it Brexit? It turned out not. The weight reduction of the bars was long planned and due to the rising price of certain ingredients, the company said at the time.
Switzerland is not the only country concerned with preserving the authenticity of its products. French producers have fought for years to prevent the name Champagne from being used by foreign producers – a spat that resurfaced in 2021 in Russia.
A US appeals court ruled last week that the name “Gruyère” is a common term for cheese made in America and can be used for producers outside the Gruyère region of Switzerland and France.