Tobler-moan, will Brexit topple Mondelez?

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British lovers of Toblerone, the distinctive chocolate with jagged peaks, have been angered by a move to space out the peaks in order to cut costs, a measure being implemented here in the UK by Mondelez International a subsidiary of Kraft as initially reported by Reuters UK.

The cost-saving measure effectively reducing the weight of the beloved bar from 170g to 150g was pushed forward by the conglomerate it claims, as a response to an increase in commodity prices further exacerbated by the recent plummeting of the pound following the Brexit referendum.

Sugar SBc1 has increased by 45 percent this year with milk prices rising, boosted by a pick-up in demand and tighter supplies in the EU. Cocoa prices CCc2 have been weaker this year but remain comparatively high after hitting a more than four-year peak late last year.

“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, 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).“ the Toblerone spokeswoman said.

However this has met with negative social media sentiment on the rise from the humorous to the degrading as exemplified by Nicholas Barker in his tweet, “This must be up there with the dumbest corporate decisions of all time, You have a somewhat premium chocolate bar which is very well known for its distinctive shape, and to save money you change the shape? Now you have a premium-priced product that looks like a weird knock-off of itself….Shame on you, Mondelez.” Michale Tat, Twitter.



  img3 img2 img1 150g and 170g bars of Toblerone chocolate are illustrated in Loughborough, Britain, November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Darren Staples150g and 170g bars of Toblerone chocolate are illustrated in Loughborough, Britain, November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Darren Staplesimg4famous-tweet-gareth-wyn-daviesmikeholdenfunnypicture-jpg


The move has galvanised an already frustrated audience who have seen similar reductions in weights for Yorkie, Cadbury’s crème egg and Wispa. Cadbury which is owned by Mondelez, is thought by consumers to be “selling out” to Americans.


However, once the furore has died down, will this really affect sales long term?

Whilst the costs of cocoa and sugar may affect a brand’s profitability, sales ultimately rely on brand affinity, and this in the long term can be costlier than the ingredients that make up the bar.


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