Sneaky size tactics shrinking our chocolate

Aasma Day

Aasma Day

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This month delivered news that shocked the nation and had people questioning the very foundations of their life, while others shook their heads in disbelief wailing: “Why, why, why?!”

No, I’m not talking about the US election results which saw Trumpety Trump win by effectively losing the unpopularity contest, but a topic that is even more controversial and has evoked anger, frustration and downright despair.

I mean of course the devastating debacle of Toblerone bars changing their distinctive shape to cheat customers out of chocolate.

The sneaky tactic of saving costs by having larger gaps between the famous peaks while still bundling the bar into the same sized packaging has even eclipsed the outrage at Donald Trump’s victory.

Interestingly, the makers of the iconic Swiss chocolate haven’t “Blamed It On Brexit” but the rising costs of ingredients.

Toblerones conjure up warm fuzzy memories and recollections of holidays as we always console ourselves on our return home by buying a few bars at the airport duty free.

They’re also the festive treat everyone enjoys unwrapping with their sweet and tasty row of triangular chunky chocolate with honey and almond nougat.

The iconic bars are a family tradition in many households at the jolliest time of the year but now the makers are being accused of ruining Christmas.

I can still remember the excitement I felt as a child when someone bought us a jumbo bar of Toblerone and I feverishly opened it thinking it would contain a huge solid bar, only to disappointedly discover lots of smaller individual bars. (Chocoholics: the good news is you CAN buy jumbo bars of solid Toblerone, but they’re pretty pricy).

Toblerones have been downsized by making the gap between the peaks bigger while craftily keeping the packaging the same size.

The new shaped Toblerones contain less chocolate with 400g bars now weighing 360g and the 170g bar now 150g. So a 150g bar now has nine chocolate peaks instead of 11.

It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase: “Mind the gap.”

Whatever next, making the holes in Polos bigger? Or maybe removing the orange bit out of Jaffa Cakes? How about making the bubbles in Aero bars bigger? Or reducing the number of fingers in a Kit Kat?

I’m not the type of person who is averse to change and I usually roll with the punches. But tampering with Toblerones is a step too far.

2016 has certainly been a year of real upheaval.

Celebrities have been dropping like flies and we’ve lost many famous names including David Bowie, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Caroline Aherne, Victoria Wood and Kenny Baker to name just a few.

Many people are still reeling from Brexit and now we have Donald Trump elected as the next President of the United States of America.

There was a scandal when Tesco temporarily stopped selling Marmite and now we have the final straw with
Toblerone-gate.

We’ve put up with a lot of food fiddling when it comes to sizing over the years. Bags of crisps seem to have shrunk their contents while virtually every chocolate bar has diminished.

Even the “fun size” bars seem so tiny, you can’t have much fun with them as it’s too short-lived.

It’s the sneaky dishonesty I can’t stand. At least putting the price up would be more honourable.

But Toblerone makers aren’t the only ones at it as many bars and sweets have had their shapes “re-engineered”.

Mars bars are smaller than they were in the 90s while Yorkies have shrunk from 70g at their biggest to just 46g.

Dairy Milk changed from a square corner to a rounded one deviously shaving 4g off their weight.

While Cadbury’s Creme Eggs look a lot smaller, they are only 1g less in weight than in the 70s, but the multipacks have been reduced from a six pack to a five pack.

I have lived through confectionary name changes and can recall when Snickers were Marathons and Star Bursts were Opal Fruits.

But don’t mess with the size of my chocolate – it messes with my mind.