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By Silke Koltrowitz
ZURICH (Reuters) -Toblerone maker Mondelez will shift some production of its triangular chocolate bars to Slovakia from Switzerland at the end of next year, losing the "Swiss" attribute on its packaging in the process.
"From the end of 2023, we'll add a limited Toblerone production in Slovakia," Mondelez spokeswoman Livia Kolmitz said in an emailed statement on Thursday, confirming a report by Swiss broadcaster SRF.
Food companies are facing high cost inflation, but Kolmitz did not connect the move to cost pressures, instead citing strong growth which also meant the firm would be increasing capacity at its Swiss production site in Bern.
"Bern is at the heart of the Toblerone story, we'll keep making our best-selling 100-gramme bars there," Kolmitz told Reuters, ruling out job cuts.
Toblerone was first launched in 1908 and has been exclusively produced in Switzerland since the early 1990s.
Under strict Swiss labelling rules, chocolate made abroad cannot be called "Swiss", and Mondelez will thus have to remove this reference.
"We'll relaunch the Toblerone packaging from this summer, saying the brand was 'established in Switzerland'", Kolmitz said, pointing to the brand's British website https://www.toblerone.co.uk/en for an idea of what the new packaging would look like.
(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and David Evans)