Revolution at Toblerone. From 2023, the famous chocolate whose triangular bars recall the peaks of the Alps will no longer be produced exclusively in Switzerland.
Toblerone intends to open a production line in Slovakia at the end of 2023 “to meet growing demand”, indicated the American agri-food giant Mondelez International, owner of the Swiss brand, in an email to AFP, confirming information from FRS, the 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.
The mention “Switzerland” removed from the packaging
“We are currently increasing our production capacity”, specifies Mondelez, insisting on the fact 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 manufactures Milka and Suchard chocolate bars, will “unlock a significant capacity” of production at the Bern site, which will eventually make it possible to “manufacture millions of bars additional”.
With the opening of this production line in Slovakia, the brand can no longer be stamped “Swiss milk chocolate”. “For legal reasons, the changes we are making to our manufacturing require us to adjust our packaging to comply with Swiss legislation, including removing the wording ‘Swiss’ from the front of the packaging,” said the brand to AFP.
Unhappy Swiss consumers
In Switzerland, the news left a bitter taste for some consumers, unhappy to see a piece of national production going abroad, especially for this brand which cultivates its Swiss roots. On its packaging, Toblerone affixes the famous Mount Matterhorn, recognizable by its pyramidal shape, and the bear of Bern, in reference to the coat of arms of the city. “It doesn’t matter, there are enough good Swiss chocolates made in Switzerland not to have to eat supposedly Swiss foreign chocolate”, consoled a surfer in the comments left on the site of the Swiss newspaper The morning.
The daily Time drew up a list of the emblematic products of the Alpine country which, too, are no longer manufactured exclusively in Switzerland, citing Sugus sweets, Ovaltine or Milka chocolate whose cow remains Swiss, “but not the chocolate “, its tablets being manufactured in” a dozen European countries “but also” in Brazil “.
Toblerone manufactures 7 billion chocolate bars a year, with 97% of production exported to 120 countries.