Toblerone is a Swiss chocolate bar brand.
It is known for its distinctive shape, a series of joined triangular prisms.
It is a subsidiary of Mondelēz International, Inc., formerly Kraft Foods (not to be confused with Kraft Foods Group.). Kraft acquired Toblerone from owner Jacobs Suchard in 1990.
Toblerone was created by Emil Baumann & Theodor Tobler (1876–1941) in Bern, Switzerland, in 1908.
The story begins with Jean Tobler, a chocolatier based in Bern. He first opened his own confectionery shop in 1868 and, business was so good, he was able to open up his own chocolate factory in Bern in 1899. One year later, the elderly Jean passed on the reins of the family business to Theodor, his son.
Only eight years later and Theodor’s tinkering with different recipes and designs bore a glorious result. Mixing chocolate, honey, nougat and almonds, and setting it in a distinctive triangular shape, Tobler gave
life to the Toblerone – a name that mixes Tobler and torrone, which is Italian for ‘nougat’.
Legend has it that the majestic Matterhorn, Switzerland’s most famous mountain peak, inspired the Toblers to fashion their chocolate this way. However, according to Theodor’s sons, the triangular shape originates from a pyramid shape that dancers at the Folies Bergères created as the finale of a show that Theodor saw.
At 4,478 meters (14,692 feet) above sea level, the Matterhorn is the 12th highest summit in the Alps. The pyramid shaped colossus of a mountain, which is very difficult to climb, is said to be the most-photographed mountain in the world.
Some early advertisements for Tobler chocolate appeared in the international languages Esperanto and Ido.
Theodor Tobler applied for a patent for the Toblerone manufacturing process in Bern in 1909. The Toblerone brand was trademarked in 1909, at the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property in Bern.
The image of the Matterhorn first appeared on Toblerone chocolate bars in 1960.
Toblerone is a featured attraction at the New York World-s Fair in 1964 and than at the Expo in Montreal, Quebec, Canada three years later.
The Tobler company was independent for many years. In 1970, it merged with Suchard, the makers of Milka, to become Interfood. After the Tobler & Suchard merger it was decided to create a new and single source for marketing & exporting the various products manufactured by both companies worldwide, Multifood. Max E. Baumann, the son of Emil Baumann, was made director of this new division. Tobler & Suchard companies merged with the Jacobs coffee company in 1982 to create Jacobs Tobler & Suchard. Mondelēz (Kraft Foods Inc at that time) acquired the majority of Jacobs Suchard, including Toblerone, in 1990.
In 2008 Toblerone celebrated its 100th anniversary.
Available in many different sizes, the largest Toblerone bar on the market weighs 4.5 kgs and is 80 cm long although, as part of the brand’s 100th anniversary celebrations, special bars weighing over 100 kgs were made.
Today, Toblerone is produced in many different varieties, including fruit and nut, white chocolate and honeycomb.
A similar product is the Croatian product Kolumbo, made by factory Kraš from Zagreb. This chocolate is also composed of pyramids of hazelnuts and honey. Kraš was producing Toblerone under license during the 1970s and 1980s.
Another comparable product is Mahony, produced by the company Chocolat-Frey AG in Switzerland.
In July 2017, in response to Toblerone’s 2016 reduction in size, UK variety store chain Poundland launched its own version of Toblerone called “Twin Peaks”, which is larger than the modified Toblerone bar.
The distinct pyramidal shape of the bar lent its name to the Toblerone line, a series of anti-tank emplacements prevalent in Switzerland’s border areas.
The interior of the Tobler factory in Switzerland was the location where the title sequence of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was filmed. However, the majority of the film was produced in West Germany.
Toblerones were seen in episodes of the British World War Two spy drama Secret Army, with them being traded on the black market.
In 1995, it was revealed that the Swedish politician Mona Sahlin had misused her government-issued credit card for unauthorised purchases. Because she had bought, among many other more expensive items, two bars of Toblerone, pro-Sahlin journalists attempted to downplay her abuse of parliamentary financial privileges as the “Toblerone affair”. These attempts were ultimately unsuccessful, and Sahlin was forced to step down as a candidate for the post as Prime Minister. She returned to politics in 1998.
A triangular set of student residences on the Oxford Road, Manchester, for students of the University of Manchester built circa 1975 and resembling the chocolate bar are known as the Toblerones.
The largest-sized Toblerone in production is featured as a running gag in the 2017 Netflix series Neo Yokio.