Tobler-moan: UK fans bare sweet teeth over scaled-down chocolate bar

Tue Nov 8, 2016 2:00pm EST
 
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ZURICH (Reuters) - British fans of Toblerone chocolate bars have bared their sweet teeth over a cost-cutting move to space out the distinctive jagged peaks on versions of the Swiss treat sold in the UK.

The scaled-down version was prompted by higher commodity prices and had nothing to do with the British pound's plunge in value since Britons voted in June to exit the European Union, manufacturer Mondelez International (MDLZ.O: Quote) said.

All the same, a Tobler-moan broke out on social media in Britain as it was the third case in a month in which UK brands have taken steps - including hefty price rises - to offset higher costs for their products in the wake of the Brexit vote.

"This must be up there with the dumbest corporate decisions of all time," Toblerone customer Michal Tat posted. "You have a somewhat premium chocolate bar which is very well known for its distinctive shape, and to save money you change the shape? Now you have a premium-priced product that looks like a weird knock-off of itself....Shame on you, Mondelez."

"It's not as if people eat Toblerone every day. You could literally double the price and people would still buy it. Fools," posted Nicholas Barker.

Mondelez reduced the weight of a version of Toblerone sold to British discounter Poundland to 150 grams from 170 grams by spacing its triangular chocolate peaks out more widely.

Another altered version, lightened to 360 grams from 400 grams, is sold in stores other than Poundland, a Toblerone spokeswoman said.

While denying that the reductions were related to any consequences of Brexit, Mondelez said on Tuesday that Toblerone bars would continue to be sold elsewhere without changes.

"We always work hard to ensure we offer value for money for our consumers, but like many other companies, unfortunately we are experiencing higher costs for many ingredients," the Toblerone spokeswoman said.   Continued...

 
150g and 170g bars of Toblerone chocolate are illustrated in Loughborough, Britain, November 8, 2016.  REUTERS/Darren Staples