In late October Toblerone – originally created in Switzerland but now owned by US company Mondelez – announced on Facebook that it would be reducing the weight of its bars sold in the UK, citing higher costs.
“We carry these costs for as long as possible, but to ensure Toblerone remains on-shelf, is affordable and retains the triangular shape, we have had to reduce the weight of just two of our bars in the UK,” it said.
But as the new bars hit the shelves customers took to social media to express their anger – not so much at the lighter weight of the bars, but because in order to reduce the weight the company has altered the distinctive ‘mountain’ shape, creating bigger gaps between the triangles.
“This must be up there with the dumbest corporate decisions of all time,” said on Facebook commenter. “You have a somewhat premium chocolate bar which is very well known for its distinctive shape, and to save money you change the shape? Now you have a premium-priced product that looks like a weird knock-off of itself.”
— Will Buxton (@thebuxtonblog) November 8, 2016
Another disgruntled customer said the bar used to look like the Swiss Alps, “now it’s a bit more Holland”
Many others said they now felt “cheated” since the packaging looks the same but the product inside is different.
“It’s just not the same product. That difficulty of breaking the chocolate, the way it looks before you eat it, the way you count the pieces through the foil. Even if it was half the price I wouldn’t buy it because it’s not a Toblerone,” said another.
By Tuesday morning the topic was trending on Twitter and the ‘most read’ story on BBC news.
— b.b (@Benoo_Brown) November 8, 2016
Some blamed the company's decision on Brexit, after several other food companies have been forced to put up prices following the fall of the pound since the June referendum. But speaking to the BBC a spokesperson for Mondelez denied any link.
— Mark Greenwood (@markcjgreenwood) November 8, 2016
As yet the company hasn't confirmed if changes to the Toblerone bar will also take place in other countries, so for the moment, Brits will just have to visit Switzerland to stock up on their favourite chocolate.