/ Food & Drink

Will the Toblerone change leave you with a sour taste this Christmas?

Toblerone

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.

Shape changer

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.

And I, like many others who have taken to websites like Reddit, really very much do mind the gap. 

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?

Comments
Member

What was once Swiss chocolate is now swizz chocolate.

Look at the unit price for Toblerone and compare it with the unit prices for other confectionery. That will always show if companies are playing silly games with prices. It would be good if pack sizes always stayed the same but that seems unlikely to happen.

Member

I don’t know about Toblerone but have you noticed how the contents of Nestle’s ‘Quality Street’ has shrunk? I still have a container (unopened) from last Xmas (2015) which states 795g net 820g inc. wraps. I just bought a Cadbury’s ‘Roses’ container which has 729g net 745g inc. wraps.

Member

Hi Michael, thanks for sharing this – do you have a photo of this that you can share with us? If you do please send it through to conversation.comments@which.co.uk

Member

Are Quality Street and Roses directly comparable?

Its a disgrace 🙂

Member

We knew where we were with a pound of chocolates, didn’t we? Now it’s anybody’s guess what you’re getting.

Member

I don’t know what’s happened to my post about boxes and tins, in response to MICHAELGAMBLE’s comment. I suppose it was a bit off-topic. 🙂

Member

I remember reading it Wavechange so I looked for it under your comments list.

You posted it under a different Conversation called “Which retro treats do you miss?”.

This is it : “I have just been given one of these octagonal Quality Street plastic containers, marked 726g and 750g including wraps. I ask friends to keep tins and boxes for me to store stuff in the garage. Maybe the octagonal boxes used to be square but Nestle has been cutting corners.

You win the Fudge Supreme.

Member

Thank you John. I looked there too but did not go down far enough, which may say something about the number of posts I have made recently. 🙁

One of the great unsolved mysteries is why so many useful storage boxes are not quite square. Now that is off-topic.