Just how Swiss is your Swiss chocolate? One would think that’s purely a hypothetical question but it turns out there’s actually some legitimate criteria for that designation. As it turns out, if you don’t follow this criteria, you may be in trouble with the government of Switzerland itself. Such is the case of the famous Toblerone chocolate bar ,and some recent changes made by the company that owns the candy, Mondelez International. Now the unique chocolate treat has to undergo some changes to avoid violating Swiss law.
Some countries have certain mandates in order to emphasize elements of their culture, support their own population, or protect their image. For example Canadian radio mandates that a certain percentage of all music played between 6:00 am to 6:00 pm must be from Canadian artists. As for Switzerland, they passed a law in 2017 that states that in order for something to be promoted as “Swiss,” it must have at least four-fifths of its raw material coming from Switzerland. Additionally, the processing that gives it the “essential characteristics” must be performed in Switzerland.
Well this wasn’t an issue for Toblerone initially since the chocolate was produced in the Swiss capital of Bern. But, as is often the case, outsourcing helps companies make things cheaper and that’s exactly what Mondelez International wanted to do. As the company begins to outsource production to Slovakia, the chocolate will fail to meet the standards necessary to have it be considered “Swiss.” Therefore, the company is going to be making some changes to the product to avoid violating Swiss law.
If you’re worried the shape of the bar is going to be changing, you can alleviate those fears. The distinctive triangular shape of the product will remain intact. Instead, elements of the packing will be changing. For starters, the Swiss flag is gone. The obviously concern in this case is that continuing to carry the Swiss flag could insinuate that the product is legitimately Swiss. The other major change will be the removal of the image of the Matterhorn; one of the most famous mountains in the world and located in Switzerland.
As Mondelez spokeswoman, Livia Kolmitz put it, ““The redesign of the packaging introduces a modernized and streamlined mountain logo that is consistent with the geometric and triangular aesthetic.” By “modernized and streamlined” they basically mean, “Yeah we couldn’t use the Matterhorn anymore, so we just drew our own mountain on it.” But hey, whatever corporate spin you have to put on it to make it through your day; go for it.
Frankly, the should’ve just dropped the mountain altogether and gone with the whole, pyramid and Eye of Providence, just to mess with conspiracy theorists. Illuminati confirmed, Toblerone!