Toblerone has become the latest product to suffer shrinkage by its manufacturer in a bid to save the pennies. But do you feel short-changed?
Bar humbug! For chocoholics, Christmas 2016 is already shaping up to be a bit, well, miserable.
First came the news that tins of Quality Street would be missing its veteran Toffee Deluxe this year, then Terry’s Chocolate Orange fans noticed that their favourite chocolate stocking filler had shrunk by 18g.
And now that iconic prism-shaped bar of nougat, honey and almond-infused Swiss chocolatey goodness has gone the same way. Yes, I’m talking about Toblerone – the one gift that’s impossible to wrap but will always find its way under the Christmas tree in my household.
Not content with shrinking Terry’s Chocolate Oranges and Cadbury’s Creme Eggs or changing the shape of Dairy Milk, manufacturers Mondelēz has now interfered with the appearance of Toblerone bars sold in the UK.
You won’t notice it from the size of the packaging – yes, the packaging has stayed the same – but open up what were its 170g and 400g bars and you’ll spot the difference.
In an effort to reduce the weight to 150g and 360g, respectively – a move it puts down to the rising price of ingredients – Mondelēz has increased the space between the triangle chunks dramatically.
— James Melville (@JamesMelville) November 8, 2016
And I, like many others who have taken to websites like Reddit, really very much do mind the gap.
Not … reduce the amount of chocolate but still package it in the same box at the same price. Because guess what?! We noticed! #toblerone
— Allyson Thurber (@allythurber) November 8, 2016
Mondelēz did announce the change on its Facebook page on 15 October, explaining:
‘…Like many other companies, we are experiencing higher costs for numerous ingredients. 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, from the wider range of available Toblerone products.’
Despite prior notice for its customers to explain its decision to shrink the Toblerone, many consumers have been asking why, if it needed to tweak the weight, it didn’t just make the bar shorter.
Sign of the times?
Although a spokeswoman for Mondelēz acknowledged that the foreign exchange rate against the pound wasn’t currently favourable, she did state that: ‘This change wasn’t done as a result of Brexit’.
But with the Bank Of England warning in September that food retailers would be ‘re-engineering’ products in an effort to maintain pre-Brexit prices and keep ‘highly price-sensitive’ customers happy – not to mention Walkers, Birds Eye and Unilever all raising their prices – I can’t help but wonder whether there will be more changes in shapes, sizes and ingredients of our favourite foods in the not-too-distant future.
So, do you feel that Mondelēz has been Scrooge-like in changing UK-bound bars of Toblerone? What do you think about product changes and price increases?