The famous triangle shaped Swiss chocolate Toblerone has to remove the iconic Matterhorn peak from its packaging after moving some of its production in Slovakia, as Swiss law forbids the use of national symbols for promoting products that are not exclusively made in Switzerland.
Mondelez, the multinational that owns Toblerone, among other well-known brands like Milka, Oreo or Cadbury, said that they are moving part of the production to Bratislava to “respond to increased demand worldwide and to grow our Toblerone brand for the future.”
For legal reasons, the changes we’re making to our manufacturing mean we need to adjust our packaging to comply with Swissness legislation.Mondelez spokesperson told CNN
Besides having to remove the Matterhorn’s jagged silhouette, the company has already removed the claim that the chocolate is Swiss, replacing the “Swiss milk chocolate with honey & almond nougat of Switzerland” with just “established in Switzerland 1908”.
As for the national symbol, instead of the mountain, the new packaging will feature a “distinctive new Toblerone typeface and logo that draw further inspiration from the Toblerone archives and the inclusion of our founder, Tobler’s, signature”, Mondelez told the BBC.
2. Toblerone and the Matterhorn
Toblerone first appeared on the market in 1908, out of the Tobler’s family chocolate factory in Bern. While, at the time, some considered it difficult to eat, Theodor Tobler trusted the mountain shaped chocolate bar, made with Swiss milk, honey and almond nougat, would be a success. By 1919, the company had an annual revenue of over 100 million francs.
In 1920 the Bernese bear was added to the packaging, which many people still miss today, its silhouette being hidden within the mountain. It was only in 1970 that Toblerone added the iconic Matterhorn peak on its packaging, becoming emblematic for the Swiss chocolate.
3. Swissness legislation
According to the country’s “Swissness” legislation, at least 80% of the raw materials used for food products must come from Switzerland, but for milk and dairy products, 100% of the milk must fulfil this requirement. In addition, the processing stage which confers on the product its essential characteristics, such as the processing of milk into cheese, must be carried out in Switzerland. The only exception from this rule is for notably for natural products which cannot be produced in Switzerland because of natural conditions, such as cocoa, or which are not available in sufficient quantity.
The Federal Council’s portal for small and medium sized enterprises explains that the value-added generated by the Swiss brand can represent as much as 20% of the sale price for certain products, up to 50% for luxury items, compared to similar goods from other origins. Thus, the Swissness legislation was introduced in 2017 to protect the value of the Swiss label, which had been much coveted and misused, both nationally and internationally, damaging its credibility.