Matterhorn disappears from Toblerone chocolate, and Slovakia is behind it

The iconic Alpine mountain Matterhorn image will soon disappear from Toblerone chocolate packaging, as the American manufacturer Mondelez will soon move part of its production to Slovakia, and Swiss law does not allow the use of national symbols of the Alpine country in marketing.

Last year, Mondelez announced that it would move part of its Toblerone production to Bratislava in 2023. The Matterhorn on the famous logo of the chocolate bar with pieces of almonds and honey will therefore be replaced by a more general representation of the Alpine peak.

“The new packaging design is a modernized and simplified mountain logo that aligns with the geometric and triangular aesthetic,” a Mondelez spokesperson told the Aargauer Zeitung. Toblerone packaging will now say “founded in Switzerland” rather than “from Switzerland.”

The “Swissness” law

The “Swissness” law, passed in 2017, sets out criteria for using Swiss national symbols, including the Swiss cross, on food, industrial products, and services. To state “made in Switzerland” on food, 80 percent of the ingredients must come from Switzerland and the majority of the production. For dairy and milk-based products, however, it must be 100 percent. Some ingredients that cannot be grown in Switzerland, such as cocoa, are exempt.

Studies have shown that some products labeled “made in Switzerland” sell for 20 percent more than comparable goods from other origins, with the selling price of luxury goods increasing by up to 50 percent, The Guardian reported.

Toblerone chocolate has been made in the Swiss capital Bern, whose symbol is the bear hidden in the image of the Matterhorn on the bar’s wrapper, since 1908. The name of the delicacy is a combination of the surname of the bar’s inventor, Theodor Tobler, and the word torrent, which refers to a nougat confection with roasted almonds eaten in south-western Europe, especially at Christmas.

The Matterhorn is located on the border between Switzerland and Italy in the Wallis Alps and, at 4,478 meters above sea level, is the seventh-highest peak in the Alps. It towers above Zermatt in Switzerland and Breuil-Cervinia in Italy.

Matterhorn comes from the German words matte (mountain meadow) and horn (horn). In addition to the German name Matterhorn, the mountain has its Italian name, Monte Cervino, and, due to its proximity to France, its French name, Mont Cervin or Le Cervin.