Why Toblerone drops a famous Swiss mountain from its packaging

To avoid violating Swiss law protecting national symbols, Toblerone chocolate will not feature the distinctive Matterhorn mountain peak on its packaging as the brand’s owner transfers some of its products from Switzerland.

Mondelez International, the U.S. maker of Toblerone, said in a statement that it had to adapt its packaging to comply with Swiss law and was making changes to its production to meet increased demand. A spokeswoman said the company will use a new mountain logo that retains the “geometric and triangular aesthetic,” adding that Toblerone bars will continue to be made in Switzerland.

There was a change in packaging Swiss newspaper Aargauer Zeitung previously reportedMondelez said it will start some production in Slovakia in July.

under “SwissBy law, national symbols can only be used to advertise chocolate when the milk in it is sourced exclusively from Switzerland, as well as 80 percent of all other ingredients. For dairy products, the law requires processing and production to take place in Switzerland – the latest version of which came into force in 2017. Exceptions are made for products grown in humid climates, such as cocoa.

David Starkl, who oversees the enforcement of Swiss law for the Swiss government, said Toblerone’s continued inclusion of an image of Switzerland’s iconic Matterhorn on its packaging would be misleading. Country.

He said the aim of the law is to ensure that when consumers buy Swiss chocolate, they know that the chocolate is actually from Switzerland. “If someone uses the Matterhorn, you no longer have any value in Swiss products,” says Mr. Starkill said.

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In addition to removing the Matterhorn, the words on the Toblerone bars should also be changed. Instead of “Switzerland’s Toblerone”, the packaging will say “Founded in Switzerland”. The Toblerone chocolate bar was created in 1908 by Theodor Tobler, whose father owned a candy store in Bern, Switzerland in the 1800s.

Mondelez is betting that the savings it will achieve by moving production to a lower-cost country will outweigh any effect on demand of removing Matterhorn from packaging. But Mr. Starkill said.

“The Swiss people get a bit angry and say, ‘That’s not my chocolate anymore,'” he said. “We’re very passionate about Swiss chocolate, and we’re very proud of it.”

Much of the enforcement work of the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, an agency of Switzerland’s federal administration, focuses on cases in Turkey, India and the United States. The agency’s work is complicated by variations in laws across countries and regions – and its rules cannot be enforced outside of Switzerland.

For example, last year, to the dismay of Swiss officials, a US federal judge sided with US cheese makers and ruled that Gruyere can be produced anywhere, not just in Switzerland and France. (Under Swiss law, Gruyère must be made in the area around Gruyères, Switzerland, which has been producing the cheese since the 12th century.) On Friday, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld this. Decision of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia Gruyère is a general term for many different types of cheese.

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