Return of the Toblerone missing peaks prompts media spotlight

One of the biggest headlines within the confectionery sector for the past week has been news of a return for Toblerone in a larger format, which has gained broad media attention.

Perhaps more than anything, the move by Mondelēz International to develop the bar in a 200g format after downsizing the much-loved bars from 170g to 150g two years ago, demonstrates the consumer power of social media.

Fans of the brand were quick to make their feelings known on the issue on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with many seemingly unhappy at the move – which prompted an online petition for its re-instatement at its original size.

The distinctive peaks of its design were part of its charm, which was clearly a winning formula for the company, which cited the rising costs of ingredients as the decision for making its prized product smaller.

So, it was perhaps inevitable that alternative brands would attempt to fill the apparent gap in the market – with Poundland producing its Twin Peaks bars, which were legally considered too close to the original Toblerone.

The case resulted in several months of negotiations, before the discount retailer agree to cease production of the bars, which it claimed had been developed directly as a result of the reduction in size of the classic confectionery treat. It highlights a wider issue of ‘shrinkflation’ which at the last count saw more than 2,000 products over the past five years being reduced in size.

While this issue is largely being driven by commercial concerns, the increasing health agenda with Public Health England’s call for a 20% reduction in sugar by 2020 across food products including confectionery, has meant manufacturers are paying close attention to portion sizes.

As for Toblerone, Mondelēz said at the time that its move to shrink its bars was never a long-term plan.

Consequently, It is bringing back a larger bar at a higher price point, reportedly at just over £3, which is definitely a bold move, but one they are likely to have done their research on.

Only time will tell whether the new format can expect to succeed, but you can be sure that users of social media will not be shy in voicing their opinions on the matter.

What do you think of the move? Let me know at nbarston@bellpublishing.com or via social media at @confectionprod

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