New Toblerone design loses Matterhorn logo due to ‘Swiss’ rules


Toblerone, the chocolate bar known for its signature triangular peaks, is losing the Matterhorn mountain from its logo after going against strict “Swissness” marketing rules.

Future Toblerone packaging will instead feature a generic mountain design, after the chocolate bar’s US owner Mondelez decided to move some production to the Slovakian capital Bratislava starting this year.

“The packaging redesign introduces a modernized and streamlined mountain logo that complements the geometric and triangular aesthetic,” a Mondelez spokesperson told Swiss newspaper Aargauer Zeitung. Toblerone’s distinctively shaped boxes will also be changed to: “Based in Switzerland”, instead of “from Switzerland”.

Under “Swiss” legislation, which came into effect in Switzerland in 2017, companies must demonstrate that their products are sufficiently “Swiss” to claim that label – which has long been associated with prestigious products such as Swiss watches.

Swiss officials at the time cited studies showing that a Swiss association can add as much as 20 percent to a product’s price tag, or even more for luxury items. The label was “highly coveted and abused,” officials at home and abroad said in a way that tarnished its credibility.

Now, food products must source at least 80 percent of their raw materials from Switzerland to qualify as Swiss-made — or 100 percent in the case of milk and dairy products. (Cocoa is an exception, as it falls into the category of natural products that cannot be sourced locally.)

Mondelez did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the brand change.

The fate of a bear depicted climbing the iconic mountain in the current logo remains unknown. (The bear is partially hidden in the logo, and some customers were apparently surprised to learn of its existence.) Bern, the Swiss city where the Toblers first opened a sweet shop in 1868, is known as the “City of Bears”.

The company’s website states that the unique triangular shape of the more than 100-year-old chocolate bar was inspired by the mountainous homeland of Swiss chocolatier Theodor Tobler, specifically the 14,690-foot Matterhorn, one of the most famous mountains in the Alps.

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The highest mountain in Slovakia – where Toblerone production is shifting – Gerlachovsky stit, is only 2,500 meters high. Bratislava is also called ‘Beauty on the Danube’.

It’s not the first time that Toblerone’s iconic peaks have been caught up in a hotly debated political debate. In 2016, the British government was asked to explain why Mondelez had widened the distance between the chocolate and nougat peaks: was it Brexit? As it turned out, no. The weight reduction of the bars had been planned for a long time and because of the rising price of some ingredients, the company said at the time.

Switzerland is not the only country concerned about ensuring the authenticity of its products. French producers have fought for years to protect the Champagne name from being used by foreign producers – a feud that has resurfaced in Russia in 2021.

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 of the Gruyère region of Switzerland and France.






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