Swissness Act Makes Swissless Toblerone

Swissness Act Makes Swissless Toblerone


For a people bent on projecting whimsicality—cuckoo clocks and Heidi, anyone?—the Swiss are sure coming down hard on former Alpine ambassador product, Toblerone. The triangular bars of chocolate-honey-nougat-amazingness have fallen recently fallen afoul of Switzerland’s “Swissness Act.” This 2017 law requires companies who claim their products are Swiss-made through labelling to meet strict standards of in-country manufacture. Mondelez International, the American (!) company that owns Toblerone, is moving the majority of the chocolate brand’s manufacturing to Slovakia this summer. In response, the Swiss government is stripping Toblerone’s packaging of its most iconic image: the Matterhorn.

“Those regulations aim to protect the credibility and value of the coveted Swiss label, its government explains, citing studies that show the value added by the Swiss branding can represent as much as 20% of the sale price for certain products — and up to 50% for luxury goods — compared to those from other places.

When it comes to food products specifically, at least 80% of raw materials must come from Switzerland, and 100% for milk and dairy. The essential processing must also be done inside the country, with few exceptions (and Toblerone chocolate is evidently not one of them). […]

The company has yet to unveil its new design, but says it will still pay homage to its Alpine roots with ‘a modernized and streamlined mountain logo that is consistent with the geometric and triangular aesthetic.’

It will also keep its ‘famous hidden bear,’ a tribute to the bar’s birthplace of Bern, which you can see if you look closely at the shadows of the Matterhorn.”

Mondelez seems to be leaning into the regulation, stating that they look forward to refreshing the design in ways that echo the chocolate’s Swiss heritage, but don’t claim it to be current. And confectionados will be thrilled to hear that they aren’t touching the recipe! I don’t know about you, but I’ll gladly take a cosmetic overhaul over reformulating the best part of a golden-age Swiss Chalet Festive Special any day.