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 packages stripped of the candy’s Matterhorn mountain peak image went on sale.
Pastry chefs Modelez International say they have had to change the design to avoid breaking new Swiss laws restricting the use of images evoking the likeness of the country.
The company will be limited in the symbolism it can use, as it will move some of its production from Switzerland to Slovakia by the end of the year.
To comply with Swiss laws, the distinctive Matterhorn peak was removed from the package and replaced with a generic mountain top.
The new box displays a modernized logo with a generic mountain and “established in Switzerland” instead of “Swiss milk chocolate” and “from Switzerland.”
The old Toblerone logo with the iconic Matterhorn mountain, located in the Swiss Alps
Images reviewed by customers online showed that the brand made other significant changes as well.
In addition to the blatant omission of the 14,692-foot (4,478-m) Swiss Alps mountain Matterhorn, the packaging now says “established in Switzerland,” instead of “of Switzerland.”
The “Law of Switzerland”, introduced in 2017, strictly controls the use of Swiss flags, insignia, names and images.
Food can only be marketed as ‘Swiss-made’, if 80 percent of the raw ingredients are homegrown and most of it is made in the country.
A spokesperson for US candy giants Mondelez said: “The packaging redesign features a streamlined, modernized mountain logo that aligns with the geometric and triangular aesthetic.”
Company officials added that they do not believe the design change will affect sales.
However, the rebranding triggered users on social media after images of the new logo, which recently appeared on 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 notice the bear is gone, a small detail that is easily overlooked.”
Another user named Susanne Albrecht said: ‘That’s right! Where Switzerland appears, the content must also be from Switzerland.
‘I won’t have to buy any 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.
Its characteristic triangular shape has been legally protected since 1909.
The silhouette of the Matterhorn was added much later, in 1970.
The signature logo (L) was inspired by the Matterhorn mountain between Italy and Switzerland (R)
The new brand shows a modern and reduced case without the traditional Swiss symbolism
The new branding shows the Toblerone bars without the iconic Swiss logo due to trademark restrictions imposed by the ‘Swissness Act’
The aim of the revised “Swissness” law was “to prevent the dilution of the country’s reputation for high-quality products.”
It was initially supported by Swiss farms and watchmakers who were facing competition from low-cost manufacturers.
In 2016, the Swiss expert on economic policy, Isabelle Schluep, warned that the 2017 Law could put companies at a disadvantage, increasing costs and red tape and eliminating jobs.
Nestlé was forced to put Swiss labels on some of its food products.
According to the rule, at least 80% of the raw materials used in food products must be produced in Switzerland.
For industrial products, 60% of manufacturing costs must occur in the country.