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Candy chaos: Toblerone fans not happy after company changes bar's signature shape

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The new Toblerone chocolate bars weigh 20 grams less. (Reuters)

Chocolate maker Mondelez International Inc. on Tuesday defended its decision in the U.K. to change the shape of a version of its Toblerone chocolate bar—lengthening the gaps between the chocolate “peaks” that slide out of the brand’s familiar triangular packaging.

Mondelez’s move reduced the weight of one of its bars, typically sold at discount retailers here, to 150 grams from 170 grams.

Around the world earlier this year, the East Hanover, N.J., company reduced the weight of a bigger Toblerone bar to 360 grams from 400 grams, but those longer gaps are less noticeable. The recommended prices for both bars have remained the same.

The company blamed the rising cost of “many ingredients” for forcing the changes. Toblerone is produced in Berne, Switzerland, and exported to more than 120 countries. Mondelez said its production costs jumped in Switzerland due to the significant drop of the euro against the Swiss franc in January 2015. Cocoa prices have also risen steadily over the past three years.

Fans on social media have been quick to voice their displeasure.

Other British manufacturers, including Hellmann’s mayonnaise maker Unilever PLC, have raised prices here recently, citing the sharply lower pound following the June 23 vote here to exit the European Union. That has made imported ingredients more expensive.

A spokeswoman said the changes had taken months to implement and were in motion well before the June Brexit vote.

“We carry these costs for as long as possible, but to ensure Toblerone remains on shelf, is affordable and retains the iconic shape we all know and love, we have had to reduce the weight of this particular bar,” said a Mondelez spokesman.

This story originally ran in The Wall Street Journal.