Toblerone chocolate will no longer be produced exclusively in Switzerland

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published on Friday, June 24, 2022 at 10:00 p.m.

Toblerone chocolate, whose triangular bars are reminiscent of the peaks of the Alps, will no longer be produced exclusively in Switzerland from 2023, forcing the mention “Switzerland” to be removed from its packaging.

Toblerone intends to open a production line in Slovakia by the end of 2023 “to meet growing demand,” US agri-food giant Mondelez International, owner of the Swiss brand, told AFP in an email, confirming information from SRF. German-speaking Swiss radio-television.

Until now, the chocolate of the Swiss brand, born in 1908 in the chocolate workshops of the Tobler family, is produced exclusively in Bern, in the heart of the Alpine country.

“We are currently increasing our production capacity,” specifies Mondelez, insisting that the brand also continues to invest in its factory in Bern, “the homeland of Toblerone.”

But the launch of a production line in Slovakia, where Mondelez also makes Milka and Suchard chocolate bars, will “unlock significant production capacity” at the Bern site, eventually making it possible to “manufacture millions of additional bars.”

However, with the opening of this production line in Slovakia, the brand can no longer bear the “Swiss milk chocolate” stamp, German-speaking Swiss radio and television noted.

“For legal reasons, the changes we are making to our manufacturing require us to adjust our packaging to comply with Swiss law and, in particular, remove the +Suiza+ mention from the front of the packaging,” the brand confirmed to AFP.

In Switzerland, the news left a bitter taste in some consumers, unhappy that a piece of national production was going abroad, especially for this brand that cultivates its Swiss roots. On its packaging, Toblerone places the famous Mount Matterhorn, recognizable by its pyramidal shape, and the bear of Bern, in reference to the city’s coat of arms.

“It doesn’t matter, there are enough good Swiss chocolates made in Switzerland that you don’t have to eat supposedly Swiss foreign chocolate,” comforted a netizen in comments left on the site of Swiss daily Le Matin.

The newspaper Le Temps, for its part, drew up a list of the emblematic products of the Alpine country which, moreover, are no longer made exclusively in Switzerland, citing Sugus sweets, Ovaltine or Milka chocolate whose cow is still Swiss, “but not the chocolate”. , its tablets are manufactured in “a dozen European countries” but also “in Brazil”.

In practice, will the fact that Toblerone bars are no longer 100% Swiss influence consumer choices in the future? “For export, I don’t think it will play a role, at least not for its current consumers,” said Tobias Schlager, professor of marketing at the University of Lausanne’s Faculty of Business Studies.

The brand reaches different consumer segments, he ponders, explaining that “some like Toblerone for its flavor, others for its shape, others for its packaging, and some because it is Swiss.”

If there was an impact, “it will be quite weak and will not last”, he judges however.

Toblerone manufactures 7 billion chocolate bars a year, with 97% of production exported to 120 countries.

Airport duty-free shops are one of the preferred distribution channels for the brand, which sells a Toblerone bar “every two seconds,” Mondelez told AFP.

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