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 packs went on sale stripped of the sweet’s Matterhorn mountain peak image.
Confectioners Modelez International say they have had to change the design to avoid breaching new Swiss laws restricting the use of imagery that evokes 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 laws, the distinctive Matterhorn peak has been removed from the packet and replaced with a generic mountain top.
The new box shows a modernised logo with a generic mountain and ‘established in Switzerland’ rather than ‘Swiss milk chocolate’ and ‘of Switzerland’
The old Toblerone logo featuring the iconic Matterhorn mountain, located in the Swiss Alps
Images scrutinised by customers online showed that the brand also made some other significant changes.
As well as the glaring omission of the 14,692ft (4,478m) Matterhorn mountain of the Swiss Alps, the packaging now reads ‘established in Switzerland’, rather than ‘of Switzerland’.
The “Swissness Act” – introduced in 2017 – controls strictly the use of Swiss flags, insignia, names and imagery.
Food can be only marketed as ‘made in Switzerland’, if 80 per cent of the raw ingredients are homegrown and most of it is made in the country.
A spokesperson from American sweet giants Mondelez said: ‘The packaging redesign introduces a modernised and streamlined mountain logo that aligns with the geometric and triangular aesthetic.’
Company officials added they do not believe that the change of design affects sales.
However, rebranding triggered users on social media after images of the new logo, which recently made an appearance 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 will notice that the bear is gone, a small detail that is easily overlooked.’
Another user named Susanne Albrecht said: ‘That’s right! Where Switzerland is on it, the content should also be from Switzerland.
‘I won’t have to buy anymore in the future!’
Then user Michael Skorjanc commented: ‘This is really an extreme worry!!’
The Toblerone chocolate bar was invented in 1908 by chocolatiers Theodor Tobler and Emil Baumann.
It is signature triangular shape has been legally protected since 1909.
The Matterhorn’s silhouette was added much later, in 1970.
The signature logo (L) took inspiration from 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 aim of the revised “Swissness” law was to ‘prevent dilution of the country’s reputation for high-quality goods.
It was initially supported by Swiss farms and watchmakers facing competition from lower-cost manufacturers.
In 2016 Swiss economic policy expert, Isabelle Schluep, warned that the 2017 Act could put companies at a disadvantage, increasing costs and bureaucracy and killing jobs.
Nestle were forced to drop Swiss labels on some of its food products.
At least 80% of raw materials used in food products must be produced in Switzerland, per the rule.
For industrial products, 60% of manufacturing costs must occur in the country.