Toblerone to drop Matterhorn from packaging due to ‘Swissness’ laws

Toblerone chocolate bars with a representation of the Matterhorn mountain (back) and of a generic mountain (front) in Geneva. The Swiss Matterhorn peak will be removed when some of the chocolate’s production is moved from Switzerland to Slovakia and replaced by a more generic mountain under strict “Swissness” rules.

Fabrice Coffrini | Afp | Getty Images

Toblerone chocolate packaging will no longer feature Switzerland’s iconic Matterhorn mountain, as its U.S. owner Mondelez moves some production to Slovakia later this year.

The company will also remove a reference to Toblerone being “Swiss chocolate,” instead declaring it, “Established in Switzerland in 1908.”

It’s due to Swiss legislation, in force since 2017, which requires any product using “Swissness” to advertise a product or service to meet a set of origin criteria. Milk-based products must be made exclusively in the country.

Lawmakers say it is a way to protect the prestige associated with a Swiss-made product. Marks of “Swissness” can include the flag, references to cities such as Geneva, or in this case the famed mountain in the Alps known for its neat pyramid shape.

Mondelez confirmed it is changing its packaging due to Swiss legislation as it moves some production overseas.

A Swiss flag flies near Matterhorn mountain on January 7, 2022 near Zermatt, Switzerland.

Sean Gallup | Getty Images News | Getty Images

It said the redesigned bar features a “modernised and streamlined mountain logo that is consistent with the geometric and triangular aesthetic,” and retains the subtle outline of a bear on the face of the mountain. Bern, the administrative capital of Switzerland, features a bear on its coat of arms.

Mondelez is also tweaking the Toblerone font and brand logo and including the signature of the distinctive nougat, almond and honey-filled chocolate’s founder, Theodor Tobler.

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Mondelez said Toblerone bars would continue to be produced in Switzerland and that it had invested in its Bern factory to increase production of its 100g bars by 90 million a year.

The changes coming this year, it said in a statement provided to CNBC, will help it meet increased demand and “strengthen the Toblerone brand for the future.”