The Peak of Switzerland

  • 01st May 2015
Toblerone Matterhorn


Renowned worldwide for its spectacular Alps, Switzerland has other peaks to be proud of, namely its savoured triangular icon – TOBLERONE chocolate. More than 100 years since the recognisable confectionary was introduced, it is still possibly the most patriotic chocolate and one of Bern’s most lucrative worldwide exports.


TOBLERONE is certainly proud of its birthplace. Its packaging and product design combines several emblems of its home country. First, of course, there is the shape of TOBLERONE. It represents the jagged silhouette of Switzerland’s alpine landscape, stylised and always present in the shape of its triangular chocolate peaks. The second and tallest emblem is the world-famous Matterhorn, appearing on every package of TOBLERONE. Look closely enough and you’ll also notice a third emblemintegrated into the depiction of the Matterhorn. It is a bear: the heraldic symbol of the Canton of Bern.

From humble beginnings, the empire began at the base of the mountain with local confectioner Jean Tobler. In 1899, at the urging of his son Theodor, he decided to make the leap from master confectioner to factory owner, and set up a factory on his country estate.

The first Tobler chocolates were produced with around 50 employees.“Chocolat Tobler,” as this factory soon came to be known, grew fast, expanded several times, and – with a continually growing workforce –became the largest industrial operation in the city. Initially, the highly-desired chocolate was made almost entirely by hand. In the roasting house, the chief roaster alone with his good nose and expertise about the characteristics of cocoa, determined when the beans had reached the optimum degree of roasting and could be removed from the bricked-in roasting drums heated over a charcoal fire. After cooling and “shaping,” the TOBLERONE was pressed individually into aluminium foil in a process and then wrapped in the cream-coloured packaging with its famous red lettering

Theodor Tobler’s original “big gamble”, and the foundation for its success, was marketing. At a time when the advertising industry was arguably still in its infancy, Tobler was convinced of the effectiveness of a sound marketing strategy and used all means at his disposal to make his products known. Tobler patented the “Method for producing a New Kind of Chocolate” with the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, and the TOBLERONE brand name was registered that same year. TOBLERONE, the triangle-shaped honey-nougat chocolate bar – soon became the symbol of Switzerland throughout the world.

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