WHEN TOBLERONE recently made a drastic change to the appearance of its iconic chocolate, netizens voiced their concerns on social media about what had happened to the triangular chocolate bar they loved.

Toblerone minds the gap
Toblerone has introduced limited edition Christmas sleeves made by four Filipino artists — (L-R) Alexis Ventura, Abbey Sy, Valerie Chua, and Tokwa Peñaflorida.

Social media posts went viral online in November about Toblerone’s altered chocolate bars showing them with huge gaps in between the triangular pieces. Some were dismayed, others were confused, and there were people speculating that it had something to do with the United States elections or even “Brexit.”

In an official statement released by Toblerone Philippines which coincided with their Christmas blank packs launch on Nov. 15, the chocolate company addressed the concerns on the change.

“We always work hard to ensure we offer value for money for our consumers, but like many other companies, unfortunately we are experiencing higher costs for many ingredients,” it stated. “We carry these costs for as long as possible, but to ensure Toblerone remains on the shelf, is affordable and retains the iconic shape we all know and love [the changes were made]”

The chocolate company said the change has affected the weight in two of its bars — the 400 gram bar was reduced to 360 grams, and the 170 gram bar, which is sold only in United Kingdom, is now 150 grams.

“Our bars remain unchanged. Needless to say that the special recipe of Toblerone stays the same as loved by millions of consumers around the globe,” the statement said.

Toblerone Philippines also clarified that the picture circulating on the Internet was that of the chocolate bar that is only sold in the UK.

“We were surprised that so many people are so concerned with our brand. We were excited to see that there are a lot of Toblerone enthusiasts,” said Toblerone Philippines brand manager Arlene B. Amante in an interview with BusinessWorld. “Our Toblerone bars are produced in Bern, Switzerland, and exported to 120 countries. But it’s still the same recipe — the same Swiss chocolate we all love.”

The prices for all other Toblerone bars remain the same. The 100 gram bar still has a suggested retail price of P100, while the 200 gram bar still has an SRP of P202.

“We always work hard to ensure our products continue to offer value for money for our consumers. However, we can’t speculate on future business decisions. Our number one priority is making sure that Toblerone remains one of the best value and most delicious Swiss chocolate products on the market,” the official statement concluded.

Toblerone minds the gap
Toblerone Christmas Sleeves by Solenn Heussaff — Red (Milk Chocolate).

For Christmas, Toblerone is focusing on Filipinos’ interest in customization by encouraging everyone to put their creative twist on its iconic triangular sleeves for its chocolate bars.

Toblerone released Christmas blank packs where customers can design the sleeves of their own chosen bars which come in milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and milk chocolate with crunchy almonds variants. Christmas stations will also be set up in leading malls in Metro Manila such as SM Megamall, SM North EDSA, and SM Mall of Asia, from Dec. 1 to 25, where customers can create their personalized art packs.

In addition, tech-savvy chocolate lovers can digitally design their own Toblerone sleeves through a microsite, www.tobleroneph.com, and these custom-designed sleeves can be printed out at any Toblerone pop-up Christmas station.

“We’re launching our biggest, boldest, most imaginative ever campaign for Toblerone — our Toblerone blank packs,” Ms. Amante said. “As you know, we had our bold and imaginative campaigns in the past pertaining to personalization, but we were thinking [of] something even bolder and even more imaginative.”

For those who are not that creative, Toblerone has introduced limited edition Christmas sleeves made by four Filipino artists — Alexis Ventura, Abbey Sy, Valerie Chua, and Tokwa Peñaflorida — together with its newest celebrity ambassador, actress Solenn Heusaff, whose two designs are featured for the campaign.

“It is all about a brand that stands for being bold and imaginative. We always want to be in touch and in sync with the consumers and Toblerone has always been a brand for gifting in the country,” Ms. Amante said. “Consumers here, they want to be a bit thoughtful in their gifting and that’s the avenue that we provided with our customization, and this year we really leveled it.”

Toblerone’s limited edition Christmas art packs are available in select Toblerone pop-up Christmas stations. All Toblerone flavors are available in 100 grams (P100), 200 grams (P202), and 400 grams (P400) sizes. To know more, like Toblerone on Facebook (www.facebook.com/tobleronepilipinas) and follow @toblerone_ph on Twitter and Instagram. — Camille Anne M. Arcilla