Toblerone

Last updated

Toblerone
Toblerone logo22.png
Toblerone 3362.jpg
Product type Chocolate bar
Owner Mondelēz International (U.S.)
CountrySwitzerland
Introduced1908;116 years ago (1908)
Related brands List of Kraft brands
Previous owners
  • Kraft Foods Inc.
    (1990–2012)
  • Jacobs Suchard AG
    (1982–90)
  • Interfood S.A.
    (1970–82)
  • Tobler
    (1908–70)
Website toblerone.co.uk

Toblerone ( /ˈtblərn/ TOH-blər-ohn, German: [tobləˈroːnə] ) is a Swiss chocolate brand [1] owned by Mondelez International (originally Kraft Foods). It is produced in Bern, Switzerland. [2] Toblerone is known for its distinctive shape as a series of joined triangular prisms and lettering engraved in the chocolate.

Contents

The company was independent from 1899 until 1970, then merged with Suchard, then with Jacobs as Jacobs Suchard, then acquired by Kraft Foods, then by Mondelez International in 2012. [3]

History

Theodor Tobler created the bar and its packaging. Theodor Tobler.jpg
Theodor Tobler created the bar and its packaging.

The Tobler chocolate factory was founded in 1899 by Emil Baumann (1880–1960) & Theodor Tobler (1876–1941) in Bern. [4] At the time, the Swiss chocolate industry was expanding dramatically as recently invented milk chocolate became widespread. In 1908, Emil Baumann, the cousin of Theodor Tobler, created the unique recipe consisting of milk chocolate including white nougat, almonds, and honey. Theodor Tobler came up with the distinctive triangular shape and packaging. The product's name is a combination of Tobler's name and the Italian word torrone (a type of nougat). [5] [6] [7]

The Matterhorn in the Alps served as inspiration for the bar shape. Matterhorn Square.jpg
The Matterhorn in the Alps served as inspiration for the bar shape.

The triangular shape of the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps/Italian Alps is commonly believed to have given Theodor Tobler his inspiration for the shape of Toblerone. However, according to Theodor's sons, the triangular shape originates from a pyramid shape that dancers at the Folies Bergères created as the finale of a show that Theodor saw. [8] Another source of inspiration could have been the similar triangular packaging of the Delta Peter brand. [9] Nevertheless, a silhouette of the Matterhorn appears on the modern Toblerone packaging, as seen in the photo above right. An outline of a bear, the symbol of Bern, is also depicted on the mountain on the packaging.

Theodor Tobler applied for a patent for the Toblerone manufacturing process in Bern in 1909. [8] The Toblerone brand was trademarked the same year, at the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property in Bern. [10] Albert Einstein, who was working at the institute as a clerk, might have been involved in the patenting. Toblerone was thus the first patented milk chocolate bar. [11] It is probably also one of the oldest candy bars using milk chocolate, although not the very first one; the Branche, another iconic product of the Swiss chocolate industry, had been launched a few years earlier. [12]

A Toblerone version made of dark chocolate was launched in 1969. A white version was launched in 1973. [13]

Some early advertisements for Tobler chocolate appeared in the international languages Esperanto [14] and Ido. [15]

The Tobler company was independent for many years. In 1970, it merged with Suchard, the makers of Milka, to become Interfood. After the Tobler & Suchard merger it was decided to create a new and single source for marketing & exporting the various products manufactured by both companies worldwide, Multifood. Max E. Baumann, the son of Emil Baumann, was made director of this new division. Tobler & Suchard companies merged with the Jacobs coffee company in 1982 to create Jacobs Tobler & Suchard. Kraft Foods Inc acquired the majority of Jacobs Suchard, including Toblerone, in 1990; in 2012, it was spun off (alongside several other brands) to Mondelēz.

Sizes and variants

Bar sizes range from ten centimetres to nearly one metre, all similarly proportioned. According to Schott's Food & Drink Miscellany the sizes and number of peaks for Toblerones are as follows:

1920s advertisement Toblerone Cardineaux anzeigen 3 2 2 emaille.jpg
1920s advertisement
Advertising in the 1960s included the production of a model Volkswagen Type 2 by Corgi Toys, featuring Toblerone designs on its side panels. Volkswagen Typ2 von Corgi Toys hergestellt mit Toberlone-Schilder.JPG
Advertising in the 1960s included the production of a model Volkswagen Type 2 by Corgi Toys, featuring Toblerone designs on its side panels.
Toblerone ice cream Toblerone ice-cream, Oldenburg (2018) 02.jpg
Toblerone ice cream
Toblerone displays in Hong Kong HK Sheung Wan Fook Sing Court Parkn Shop product Toblerone Nov-2012.JPG
Toblerone displays in Hong Kong
Size(g)TinyMini35 g50 g75 g100 g150 g200 g360 g750 g4.5 kg
Size(oz)1.2 oz1.7 oz2.6 oz3.5 oz5.3 oz7.0 oz12.7 oz26.5 oz159 oz
Peaks338111112910111712

For the yearly Toblerone Schoggifest, a special oversized bar is created to celebrate the bar's anniversary. The bar's weight represents the years of Toblerone, with the first bar in 2008 weighing 100 kg. [16]

Since the 1970s, other variants of Toblerone have been produced. These include:

Plain chocolate
In a yellow triangular box (1969)
Dark chocolate
In a black triangular box
White chocolate
In a white triangular box (1973)
Milk chocolate Mint Crisp
In a white/green triangular box (1985)
Snowtop
Editions with white chocolate peaks, also in a white/silver triangular box
Filled editions
Milk chocolate with a white chocolate centre (blue triangular box)
OneByOne
Individually wrapped triangular chunks
Toblerone Pralines
Released in 1997, a single peaked version in the distinctive beige packaging
Fruit & Nut
In 2007 with a half purple triangular cardboard box
Honeycomb crisp
With a half white box with honeycomb pieces pictured on it (2009)
Crunchy Salted Almond
With honey and almond nougat and salted caramelised almonds
Berner Bär
500g milk chocolate bar, with a relief portrait of the Bernese Bear and the Coat of arms of Bern on its face. The only non-triangular Toblerone. [17]
Toblerone Tobelle
Toblerone thins in a beige triangular box:
Crispy Coconut
With honey and almond nougat and coconut
Golden Caramel
Caramel with honey and almond nougat
Tobler Truffles
Limited edition, with personalizable box (2022)

2016 size changes

In 2016, the 400g and 170g bars in the United Kingdom were modified to have two peaks removed and larger gaps between the peaks, which reduced the cost of making the bars by cutting the weight by about 10%, to 360g and 150g, while retaining the same package size and retail price. Other sizes were unaffected. The change was not well received, [18] [19] [20] with one MSP calling for "government action" by the Scottish Parliament over the change. [21] In 2018 the bar reverted to its original shape, and the 170g/150g bar was replaced by a 200g bar. [22]

Manufacturing

In the past it was manufactured in other locations including Bedford in England, and Dundee in Scotland from the 1930s up to 1969. [23] In the 1970s and 1980s, it was manufactured under licence in Yugoslavia by Kraš in Zagreb (now in Croatia).[ citation needed ]

Producer Mondelez planned to start additional limited production from the end of 2023 in a Slovak factory [24] (known formerly as Figaro) in Bratislava. Swiss rules introduced in 2017 mandate that indicators of Swiss provenance such as packaging stating "Swiss" and showing images typical of Switzerland may not be used, so the bars will be labelled "created in Switzerland", and the image of the Swiss Matterhorn will be replaced by a "modernised and streamlined mountain logo that aligns with the geometric and triangular aesthetic". [25]

Ingredients in a traditional Toblerone bar include sugar, whole milk powder, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, honey (3%), milk fat, almonds (1.6%), emulsifier (Soya Lecithin), egg white, flavouring, cocoa solids (28%) and milk solids (14%). [26]

Similar products

By 1920, the popular Toblerone recipe already faced competition from other manufacturers, for instance from another Swiss manufacturer, Cailler, who launched the Chocmel tablet that year. [27] Another comparable chocolate made in Switzerland (in this case both for the ingredients and shape) is Mahony, produced by Frey. [28] [29]

A similar product is the Croatian product Kolumbo, made by factory Kraš from Zagreb. This chocolate is also composed of pyramids of hazelnuts and honey. Kraš was producing Toblerone under licence during the 1970s and 1980s.[ citation needed ]

In July 2017, in response to Toblerone's 2016 reduction in size, UK variety store chain Poundland launched its own version of Toblerone called "Twin Peaks", which is larger than the modified Toblerone bar. [30]

Cultural impact

Moss-covered anti-tank pyramids, commonly referred to as "Toblerones" Serine01.JPG
Moss-covered anti-tank pyramids, commonly referred to as "Toblerones"

The distinct pyramidal shape of the bar lent its name to the Toblerone line, a series of anti-tank emplacements from World War II era, prevalent in Switzerland's border areas. [31] [32] [33]

The interior of the Tobler factory in Switzerland was the location where the title sequence of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was filmed. However, the majority of the film was produced in West Germany. [34]

UK comedy character Alan Partridge battled a longstanding addiction to Toblerones, which became a running gag of his TV series. [35]

In 1995, it was revealed that the Swedish politician Mona Sahlin had misused her government-issued credit card for unauthorised purchases. Because she had bought, among many other more expensive items, two bars of Toblerone, pro-Sahlin journalists attempted to downplay her abuse of parliamentary financial privileges as the "Toblerone affair", but Sahlin was nevertheless forced to step down as a Prime Ministerial candidate. She returned to politics in 1998. [36]

A triangular set of residences for students of the University of Manchester on the Oxford Road, Manchester, England, built in about 1975 are known as the Toblerones. [37] [38]

The largest-sized Toblerone in production [39] is used as a running gag in the 2017 Netflix series Neo Yokio . [40]

See also

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References

  1. "Brand Family". Mondelezinternational.com. Archived from the original on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  2. "Toblerone FAQs". toblerone.co.uk. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  3. Cadbury Moves to Fend Off a Hostile Bid by Kraft Foods at The New York Times, 14 December 2009
  4. "Tobler". Historical Dictionary of Switzerland (in French). 18 December 2013. [His son Theodor entered the business in 1894 and in 1899 set up a chocolate factory, whose products were very successful.]
  5. "Toblerone - How it all began - 1900 The First Toblerone" . Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  6. "TOBLERONE - Questions et Réponses". Toblerone.ch (in French). Archived from the original on 14 December 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  7. "La marque suisse: Toblerone - Toutes Taxes Comprises - TV - Play RTS - Radio Télévision Suisse". Rts.ch (in French). 30 April 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  8. 1 2 "Toblerone - Chocolate - Our Secret" . Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  9. Gilomen, Hans-Jörg (2001). Innovationen: Voraussetzungen und Folgen, Antriebskräfte und Widerstände [Innovations: prerequisites and consequences, driving forces and resistance] (in German). Chronos. p. 146. ISBN   9783034005180. [Presumably since the beginning of the 1890s, milk chocolate was also sold in small, triangular portions in pressed powder form and a triangular packaging under the name "Delta Peter" - a forerunner of the Toblerone launched by Theodor Tobler in 1908!]
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  11. Chrystal, Paul (2021). Rowntrees: The Early History. Pen & Sword Books. p. 62. ISBN   9781526778925. Prudently, Theodor Tobler and his then company, Tobler AG, applied for a patent in 1909 in Bern to cover the manufacture and shape of the bar, and Toblerone thus became the first patented milk chocolate bar. The official who gave the authorising signature was one Albert Einstein who was working in the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property in Bern at the time.
  12. Meo, Carlo (2012). Design marketing. Innovare cambiando i significati del consumo (in Italian). Milan: Gruppo 24 Ore. p. 53. ISBN   9788863454413. Nasce così una delle aziende che hanno fatto la storia e la fortuna del cioccolato [...] le leggendarie Branches (1904)[Thus was born one of the companies that made the history and fortune of chocolate [...] the legendary Branches (1904)]
  13. Chrystal, Paul (2013). Chocolate: The British Chocolate Industry. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 68. ISBN   9780747810742. Dark Toblerone was launched in 1969 with White Toblerone following in 1973.
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  20. "Higher costs take bite out of Toblerone, shrinking UK bars". Sydney Morning Herald. 9 November 2016.
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  27. Salzmann, Claudia. "Dreieckige Ikone aus der Länggasse". Der Bund . Retrieved 1 April 2023. 1920: In 120 Ländern erhältlich, Tobler führt Kleinformate ein. Nestle und andere handeln Kopien wie Costarone, Salvirone, Tamborine und Chocmel.[1920: Available in 120 countries, Tobler introduces small formats. Nestle and others sell copies such as Costarone, Salvirone, Tamborine and Chocmel.]
  28. "Toblerone maintains peak performance". Confectionery Production. 26 July 2019. The product has encountered rivals during its 111 year history, including a similar Kolumbo bar in Croatia, and Swiss company Chocolate Frey's triangular Mahony bars.
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  30. Selwood, Daniel. "Poundland unveils Twin Peaks, a Toblerone-style chocolate bar," The Grocer, 19 June 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2017.
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  34. "Willy Wonka Movie Trivia". 4 March 2015.
  35. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qa8-Sno_cuw
  36. Svensson, Britta (5 January 2007). "Nej det handlade inte bara om Toblerone..." (in Swedish). Expressen. Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2007.
  37. "University of Manchester". The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Earth Edition. 16 October 2006. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  38. "The Whitworth Park Residencel". Our Manchester - Manchester History Net. Archived from the original on 3 November 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  39. Frank, Allegra (25 September 2017). "New York's big Toblerone is real, to the internet's delight". Polygon. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  40. Bryan, Scott (27 September 2017). "There's A Huge Obsession With Toblerones In Netflix's 'New York' And It's Sparked A Weird Meme". BuzzFeed.

Bibliography