Toblerone chocolate bars have lost their Swiss status and must now erase the iconic Matterhorn from its packaging. Although the triangle-shaped chocolate bars have been touted as "Swiss-made" since 1908, when it was created in Bern, the country of Switzerland says the now U.S.-made product — which seems to favor the bottom line over authenticity — is no longer Swiss enough and has thus been demoted.
Mondelez International, the U.S. company that owns Toblerone, is shifting part of its production to Slovakia starting in July, in a move announced last year aimed at cutting costs.
That appears to violate Switzerland's "Swissness Act," which since 2017 has required products to meet certain criteria in order to use Swiss symbols (like the Swiss cross) or call themselves Swiss-made.
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).
Although for the most part the nougat, almond, and honey chocolate bars will still be partially produced in Switzerland, the company will have to change more than just its design. The product's wording, "of Switzerland," is also getting the boot and will change to "established in Switzerland."
The company hasn't yet released its more Swissless design, but says its "famous hidden bear" did make the cut and will still be included.