'It's all about the triangle': Consumers hit out at 'terrible' new Toblerone bar
The maker of Toblerone chocolate has changed its distinctive mountain peak shape and made bars lighter because of rising ingredient costs.
Versions of the famous Swiss treat have lost almost 10% in weight and now have longer gaps between the usual tight-knit chocolate alps although the packaging has stayed the same.
The design change was described as looking like a "toothless comb" by consumers on social media, with many lashing out at the alteration of a well-known product.
Garry Cornell wrote on the Toblerone Facebook page: "Terrible decision. The new shape ruins the whole experience.
"Why not keep the shape and have one less triangle? The joy was always in breaking off one triangle at a time."
The change means the 400g bars have fallen to 360g and the 170g bars to 150g.
US company Mondelez International, which produces Toblerone, said the move was needed to ensure it "remains on-shelf" and keeps its "triangular shape".
Mondelez, which also owns Cadbury, has faced criticism for tinkering with famous products such as Dairy Milk bars and Creme Eggs in recent years.
Consumer Stephen Mason posted: "Toblerone is all about the triangle. Why couldn't you just loose a triangle at the end or make the triangles smaller?"
Tony Mathews added: "The shape of the bar may of looked like the Swiss Alps before, now it's a bit more Holland."
Toblerone said in a Facebook statement: "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."
It follows Walkers crisps citing "fluctuating foreign exchange rates" as a reason for a price hike on its products in recent days.
Last month, controversy broke out when food group giant Unilever said it would raise prices because of the drop in Sterling after Brexit.
Robert Haigh, director at consultancy Brand Finance, said the move by Mondelez was "quite risky" and could be seen as "deceptive".
He said: "They don't seem to have the reverence for traditional confectionery that the previous owner did.
"They have tinkered around with some products with mixed success. Creme Egg sales plunged when they changed the recipe, for example.
"Not changing the packaging could be seen as deceptive and we will wait to see whether it has a negative effect.
"Like Marmite, Toblerone has an impact on the cultural consciousness that far outweighs its actual popularity."