Toblerone: Its history and association with air travel!

Toblerone are created and packed in a unique way that they can be noticeable and recognizable from far! They may not be the most fabulous or famous chocolate brand, but they definitely are the unique and iconic ones when it comes to air travel! You will invariably see them in duty-free shops and other areas of airports. But did you ever think how these chocolate brand became associated with air travel and tourism?

Toblerone and air travel

One can see and get Toblerone chocolates in all the airports of the world. One can never miss the wonderful and unique shape of the chocolate bars. They are shaped like a pyramid and wrapped in a golden-yellow foil. Marianne Klimchuk, chair of the Packaging Design department at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology states:

“[Toblerone] represents travel,”

“The type style is like a vintage luggage label. It has authenticity and European cultural heritage. For something that is so dated in history, it feels very fresh.”

Toblerone [Source: CNN]

About the brand Toblerone

The brand name of Toblerone is 112 years old now. But it still gives a lively feel to the consumer. Swiss chocolatier Theodor Tobler invented it in 1908. He had this unique and new idea at that time to fill creamy chocolates with crunchy Italian torrone (honey and nut nougat). And mashing up the name of the owner Tobler with the contents, it became Toblerone.

Food writer and cookbook authorĀ Irvin Lin also grew up like all of us associating Toblerone with travel and an element of exoticism. It was a sort of indulgence for him since he grew up in a Taiwanese-American family in St. Louis with limited resources.

Theodore Tobler [Source: Simple Gears]
He explains:

“It was something I associated with being a child, and that exclusivity of only getting it at the airport. Purchasing a Toblerone was very special for me. My friends’ families would go on vacation and they brought back this chic, European, long triangle-shaped chocolate. I never saw [Toblerones] at a grocery store. I thought you could only get it at the airport or when you were traveling and part of the jet set.”

Toblerone and its self-promotion

The brand has no celebrity spokesperson or ambassador. It has no catchy jingle. Yet it sells well. It is supposedly a luxury chocolate. Marianne states:

“The feeling of luxury and indulgence is where [the brand] hits the mark across cultures. That equates to how a traveler feels when they travel — it’s a treat, and when you travel you are treating yourself.”

One cannot get the same experience of eating the brand bar at home that one gets eating it at the airport. The chocolate packing has the image of Alps on it. People assumed that the triangular shape of the chocolate bar is due to that.

Toblerone at airports [Source: CNN]
But a representative from Toblerone corrects:

“Most people believe the shape is a symbol of the Swiss mountain landscape … but the real story is actually about [how] Mr. Tobler wanted to create something different, going against the norm, a triangle in a world that was square.”

In 2016, the company had tried a redesign to reduce the weight of the bar by increasing the gaps between the triangles. But customers did not like it. Therefore, it returned to its original weight but with a higher price.

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