From the Washington Post:
"Toblerone, the chocolate bar known for its distinctive triangular peaks, is losing the Matterhorn mountain from its logo after falling afoul of strict marketing rules on 'Swissness.'
"Future Toblerone wrappers will feature a generic mountain design instead, after the chocolate bar’s American owner, Mondelez, decided to shift some production to the Slovakian capital of Bratislava this year.
"The packaging redesign 'introduces a modernized and streamlined mountain logo that aligns with the geometric and triangular aesthetic,' a Mondelez spokesperson said in a statement. Toblerone’s distinctively shaped boxes will also be changed to read: 'Established in Switzerland,' rather than 'of Switzerland.'
"Under the 'Swissness' legislation, which came into force in Switzerland in 2017, businesses have to show their products are sufficiently 'Swiss' to claim that label and to use national symbols of Switzerland. Swissness has long been associated with prestige products such as Swiss watches."
The Post also writes that "Switzerland is not the only country concerned about safeguarding the authenticity of its products. French producers fought for years to protect the name Champagne from being used by foreign producers — a spat that reared up again in 2021 in Russia."
However, there are holes in the trend: "A U.S. appeals court last week ruled that the name 'Gruyere' is a common term for cheese made in America and can be used for producers outside of the Gruyère region of Switzerland and France."
- KC's View:
This seems entirely fair to me. One ought not be able to say that a product is from Switzerland if it is being made elsewhere, or with ingredients not from Switzerland.
Same goes for products described as "made in the USA," or any other country.
We had a story yesterday about how US regulators are toughening their rules about what products can say they are "made in the USA," and I think that's a good thing. To fudge the facts is to lie to consumers.
I had an MNB reader yesterday who responded to that story by writing, "Who the hell cares where the cows are from?" My answer to that is a) a lot of people do, and b) regardless, companies should not be allowed to deceive their customers.
Transparency requires trackability, and demands accountability.