Its 400 g bars are now 360 g, while 170 g bars are now 150 g. The weight change was achieved by greater spaces between triangular chocolate pieces.
The company has received criticism and some praise for transparency from some customers on social media.
‘Higher costs for numerous ingredients’
Toblerone said on its Facebook fanpage “…Like many other companies, we are experiencing higher costs for numerous ingredients.
We carry these costs for as long as possible, but to ensure Toblerone remains on-shelf, is affordable and retains the triangular shape, we have had to reduce the weight of just two of our bars in the UK, from the wider range of available Toblerone products.”
Shape change keeps it affordable, says Mondelēz
The Facebook post has drawn over 400 comments with some questioning why the company did not simply rise prices.
“We chose to change the shape to keep the product affordable for our customers, and it enables us to keep offering a great value product,” said Toblerone.
A Mondelēz spokesperson told ConfectioneryNews the firm had received a positive response from consumers for its transparency.
“This is not about Brexit or foreign exchange – this is due to rising ingredients costs (e.g. the increasing price of cocoa),” they said.
Average cocoa prices stood at $2,711 per metric ton in October 2016, according to the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO), 15% lower than October last year and 13% lower than October 2013.
Mondelēz produces Toblerone in Switzerland and the new shape is a UK change only.
“Toblerone is available at Poundland, so it is great value to get a 150 g bar of chocolate for £1 ($1.24),” said the Mondelēz spokesperson.
National press coverage
The weight change has generated coverage in the UK national press including in the Daily Mail, the Guardian and the BBC.
Mondelēz previously drew widespread criticism in the UK last year for changing the recipe for its Cadbury Crème Egg.
Almost 80% of Brits believe chocolate bars have been getting smaller compared to when they were a child, according to a recent poll of 1,000 people in the UK and US by Boom Online Marketing.
However analysis of historic packaging of brands such as Hershey’s Milk Chocolate and Nestlé’s KitKat, show that weight by grams has in many cases remained static or risen.