The makers of Toblerone bars introduced the controversial gap in the wake of the 2016 EU referendum. ©PA Images
The makers of Toblerone bars introduced the controversial gap in the wake of the 2016 EU referendum. ©PA Images

Toblerone U-turns on controversial gap

23 July 2018

When the makers of the Toblerone bar introduced gaps between its distinctive chocolate triangles just before Christmas 2016, it sparked outcry among consumers.

But now, the iconic Swiss chocolate bar is reverting to its original shape, says manufacturer Mondelez International.

The controversial gaps will be narrowed and the weight increased from 150g to 200g for the newest edition of the bar, the US-based company confirmed on Friday.

However, consumers’ celebrations may be cut short, as one retail source told The Guardian that the 33% increase in size could be accompanied by a 200% price hike to £3.07, meaning that UK retailer Poundland will no longer stock the bar.

“We're always reviewing our range to make sure we provide great quality Swiss chocolate in formats we know our fans love. 
150g Toblerone is no longer being manufactured and therefore availability of the bar depends on how much stock an individual retailer is carrying.

Asked why they made the change, a spokesperson for Mondelez said: “We're always reviewing our range to make sure we provide great quality Swiss chocolate in formats we know our fans love.”

“150g Toblerone is no longer being manufactured and therefore availability of the bar depends on how much stock an individual retailer is carrying,” they added.

The 150g bar was downsized from 170g in 2016 to “ensure Toblerone remains on-shelf, is affordable and retains the triangular shape,” said a company Facebook post, in a move which sought to combat a weak pound and higher production costs in the wake of the UK EU referendum.

Separately, a report has claimed that safety checks on perishable food could be suspended to reduce the effects of border delays in the case of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

Researchers said a government advisor told them about plans to “suspend food controls” should waiting times at the border increase.

The report, by think tank Food Research Collaboration, warned that such a “cavalier” approach to food safety might prompt other EU countries to block exports from the UK.

It said: “In recent months, we have learned from a senior government advisor that plans are being prepared to ‘suspend food controls’ if there are any delays to imports of perishable foods at our borders.

“If the UK were to suspend food safety controls, others might block exports from a country taking such a cavalier approach to public health. It would go completely against all the protestations of commitment to high consumer and health standards. Yet this appears to be what DEFRA [Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] envisages.”

The report follows warnings from the dairy industry, Jaguar Land Rover and Airbus about the effects of increased waiting times at the border after leaving the EU.

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