Toblerone bars, sold in over 100 countries, can no longer be called Swiss chocolate because the brand’s US owner is moving some production out of Switzerland.
The peak-shaped treat made with honey and almond nougat will also lose the iconic Matterhorn mountain from its packaging after Mondelez (MDLZ), which makes Toblerone, decided to shift some manufacturing to the Slovakian capital of Bratislava.
“For legal reasons, the changes we’re making to our manufacturing mean we need to adjust our packaging to comply with Swissness legislation. We have removed our Swissness claim from the front of the Toblerone pack and changed our description ‘of Switzerland’ to ‘established in’,” a Mondelez spokesperson told CNN.
Under Switzerland’s Swissness Act, which passed in 2017, national symbols and the Swiss cross are not permitted on products that don’t meet “Swissness” criteria.
The act requires food products claiming to be “Swiss-made” to be produced with 80% of their raw materials sourced from Switzerland, increasing to 100% for milk and dairy products. Essential processing must be also be done in the country, with exceptions for natural products that cannot be sourced from Switzerland, such as cocoa.
Mondelez’s new packaging includes “a distinctive new Toblerone typeface and logo” and the signature of Theodor Tobler, the spokesperson added. Tobler created the chocolate bar in 1908 together with his cousin Emil Baumann, according to the Mondelez website.
“Bern is an important part of our history and will continue to be so for the future,” the spokesperson said.
A Swiss government website for small businesses cites “several studies” showing that the “Swiss brand” can represent as much as 20% of the sale price of certain products, and as much as 50% for luxury items, compared with similar goods from other countries.
The “Swissness” legislation aims to protect the value of the Swiss label, according to the website.