Cocoa prices recently plunged to fresh three-year lows, right around the time Swiss chocolatier Mondalez International announced it was changing the shape of its iconic Toblerone chocolate bar sold in the UK to something profoundly bizarre.
The company’s justification was as follows:
“We had to make a decision between changing the shape of the bar, and raising the price. We chose to change the shape to keep the product affordable for our customers, and it enables us to keep offering a great value product,” it said on its Facebook page.
Mondalez has had a rough week since unveiling the new Toblerone bar. Its stock has plunged about 10%. The social media backlash has been even harder. And surprise, surprise, cocoa prices haven’t recovered. They were down another $53, or 2.1% on Monday.
While Mondalez swore that the new Toblerone shape has nothing to do with Brexit, it certainly makes the perfect metaphor. Its timing also couldn’t be more perfect. After all, the British High Court recently ruled that the EU question must be brought to Parliament for approval before moving forward. Toblerone, like Brexit, is being labeled a disappointment.
In reality, Toblerone isn’t the first chocolate bar to be reduced in size due to rising costs. Mars has also undergone a similar reduction over the years to save on costs. In fact, researchers recently showed that Mars bars have shrunk 28% since the 1990s. When it comes to Toblerone, however, many consumers are asking why Mondalez simply didn’t make the bar smaller.
Still, a reduced Toblerone bar is better than nothing. This is the same outlook many Britons have on the Brexit negotiations. British Prime Minister Theresa May is keen to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty by the end of March. From that moment on, Britain will have just two years to negotiate a new trade deal with the EU. The British leader has made it very clear that she will not let the recent High Court ruling stand in her way.
“If there is no deal when the timer runs out, then we leave the EU with no deal. Thus if May gets any deal at all it would be better than nothing, but it probably won’t be much better than a reduced Toblerone,” John Rentoul of The Independent warned in a recent article.
Based on the latest social media storm, the reduced Toblerone is quite bad. If that’s the benchmark for Brexit, it’ll be a long couple of years.
 Facebook. Toblerone.
 James Vincent (November 8, 2016). “Toblerone swears this perfect metaphor for Brexit has nothing to do with Brexit.” The Verge.
 Lee Boyce (September 18, 2015). “Are chocolate bars smaller, or are you just getting bigger? Research shows Mars Bars have shrunk 28% since 1990s and Yorkies 20% since 1970s launch…” This is Money.
 John Rentoul (November 12, 2016). “The Brexit court case is a huge distraction – what matters is the talks with EU leaders.” The Independent.