- Title: Tobler-moan: UK fans bare sweet teeth over scaled-down chocolate bar
- Date: 8th November 2016
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (NOVEMBER 8, 2016) (REUTERS) 150 GRAMS AND 360 GRAMS TOBLERONE BARS ON TABLE VARIOUS OF DESIGN DETAIL OF TOBLERONE BAR (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD FIRST ECONOMIST, JEREMY COOK, SAYING: "I mean things costs more now in the UK and will continue to cost more because we don't make Toblerones here in the UK and if we want to continue to bring them in from abroad, then we're going to have to pay more for them as a result of that devalued pound. It's not going to be just Toblerones or Marmite, we saw it with Apple computers, for example...yes my iPhone is going to cost more." 150 GRAMS TOBLERONE BAR VARIOUS OF TOBLERONE BAR BEING UNWRAPPED (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNNAMED MAN AND WOMAN, SAYING: MAN: "Absolute joke, it's an absolute joke." WOMAN: "He's a Toblerone fan." MAN: "I'm a Toblerone fan...Well they're trying to give us less for the same money. I'd rather they made it shorter but keep the shape the same." (SOUNDBITE) (English) TWO UNNAMED WOMEN, SAYING: WOMAN ON RIGHT: "No I think the original is always best." WOMAN ON LEFT: "They must never touch, we don't fiddle with things." WOMAN ON RIGHT: "When you have perfection, keep it that way. Just make it shorter." WOMAN ON LEFT: "Add 2p on to the price, we'll never know, just don't touch things, it's like fiddling with recipes, you can't do it. Right?" (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNNAMED WOMAN, SAYING: "I don't know how to feel about it because that's simply design, but it's a bit deceptive too, I mean with the longer bits [gaps]. I guess if I was going to be a traditionalist, I would want this one in a shorter box to compensate." REPORTER: But if it tastes the same, does it matter? "No, of course it doesn't matter." VARIOUS OF NEW TOBLERONE BAR
- Embargoed: 23rd November 2016 15:29
- Keywords: Toblerone chocolate Britain price inflation Mondelez International
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Company News Markets,Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA00157L49XJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: British fans of Toblerone chocolate bars have bared their sweet teeth over a cost-cutting move to space out the distinctive jagged peaks on versions of the Swiss treat sold in the UK.
The scaled-down version was prompted by higher commodity prices and had nothing to do with the British pound's plunge in value since Britons voted in June to exit the European Union, manufacturer Mondelez International said.
All the same, a Tobler-moan broke out on social media in Britain as it was the third case in a month in which UK brands have taken steps - including hefty price rises - to offset higher costs for their products in the wake of the Brexit vote.
People in Canary Wharf commented on the change, calling it "an absolute joke", "deceptive" and called on Toblerone not to "fiddle with things".
Mondelez reduced the weight of a version of Toblerone sold to British discounter Poundland to 150 grams from 170 grams by spacing its triangular chocolate peaks out more widely.
Another altered version, lightened to 360 grams from 400 grams, is sold in stores other than Poundland, a Toblerone spokeswoman said.
While denying that the reductions were related to any consequences of Brexit, Mondelez said on Tuesday that Toblerone bars would continue to be sold elsewhere without changes.
"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," the Toblerone spokeswoman said.
"We carry these costs for as long as possible, but to ensure Toblerone remains on shelf, is affordable and retains the iconic shape we all know and love, we have had to reduce the weight of this particular bar (for the UK market)."
Mondelez exports Toblerone to 120 countries from a Swiss plant in Bern. Its main sales channel is duty-free outlets.
Sugar prices have risen about 45 percent this year.
Milk prices have also started to rise, boosted by a pick-up in demand and tighter supplies in the EU. Cocoa prices have been weaker this year but remain comparatively high after hitting a more than four-year peak late last year.
Economists believe that sterling's slump since the June vote - it is down about 19 percent against the dollar and 16 percent against the euro - will lead to higher prices in Britain despite fierce competition between supermarkets.
Unilever was the first to move with an attempt to impose 10 percent rises on a host of big brands like savory spread Marmite, Pot Noodle and Magnum ice cream last month, triggering a dispute with supermarket group Tesco.
A bag of Britain's biggest-selling potato chips is set to rise by 10 percent after maker Walkers said this week the sterling slump had pushed up manufacturing costs.
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