/ 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
Guest
Rob C. says:
12 November 2016

Just one more attempt to separate people from their money whilst giving them a BAD deal .I will not be affected as luckily I consume very little of their product, but I believe that a boycott would be a wake up call for the company .

Guest

I agree with those saying the company is showing contempt for it’s customers, and think the bar looks ridiculous with the shape change. They could easily have left the shape the same whilst making the bars shorter, and simply marketed them as ‘new size’ Toblerone bars priced at ‘only’ £x.

The shrinkage in the size of everything has been going on long before Brexit, so to try and blame that for it merely tries to pass the buck, and misses the point IMO – which is that the suppliers are trying to bring in changes by stealth, and they all know that if their straight sided cans somehow end up with one end skinnier than the other, their tub of sweets shrinks or gains angles, their chocolate bars or individually packed biscuits suddenly have more packaging than product, or their triangular bar ends up looking like it needs a good orthodontist – the competition are playing the same sneaky game, so there is little to choose from between them in the end.

Guest
Big Bad John says:
13 November 2016

The Toblerone business is another example of big business swindles. A few years ago Robinsons reduced their bottles of orange barley water from 1 litre to 850 ml (I think) for the same price without alerting customers to their dirty trick. Yes, I know businesses are there to make profits, but swizzes like the Toblerone example alas seem to be the norm.

Guest

Price rises are a fact of life due to rising material costs or greed. But if we don’t complain now about underhand practises by manufacturing companies trying to con us, can you just imagine how much worse it could all get? We may look back on these days in a few years and think what great bargains we were getting now.

Guest

Hello everyone, I thought this would be an interesting addition to this discussion – for those of your who will be looking to buy chocolate selection packs soon then you need to keep an eye out for cost as well as weight to compare value for money.

New Which? research compared prices of different sized versions of chocolate box brands and found the pack sizes varied so much that comparing prices was quite difficult. The cheapest boxes tended to be the larger ones and we found that you could pay almost double the price per 100g for smaller packs. More info here: http://www.which.co.uk/news/2016/11/asda-cheapest-for-christmas-chocolate-456429/

Guest
jed bailey says:
14 November 2016

Chocolate used to be a luxury product and if lots of customers consider Toblerone an occasional buy, the company could be on dangerous ground. Brand attributes of luxury indulgence and treat don’t live well with meanness , penny-pinching and deceit. This diminishing of the brand allied with physically changing its shape could commercially backfire as the customer is constantly reminded that the procuct is diminished both physically and sentimentally. I would put my money on a period of declining sales of the diminished product followed by a relaunch of “original ” Tobelrone -at a higher price of course.

Guest
Richard says:
14 November 2016

Simple answer. Dip your ordinary chocolate in a little honey, close your eyes and chew – problem solved re taste. Re price – simple again – don’t buy it.

Guest
Richard Buchanan says:
15 November 2016

Just stop buying the products.

Guest

It’s just chocolate. Not very good chocolate at that. In the grand scheme of things, it is just another example of companies wanting to make more profit by ripping off everyone else.