Failure Case Study: Toblerone - Responding to the downsizing disaster

Failure Case Study: Toblerone - Responding to the downsizing disaster

Failure Case Study: Toblerone - Responding to the downsizing disaster


Chocolate brand Toblerone faced widespread UK consumer criticism and ridicule when it downsized and redesigned its signature product in 2017 as a cost-control measure. This negativity persisted, leading to a relaunch in July 2018 of the original look but with an increased weight and price.

Downsizing products while retaining previous price points in the face of factors such as rising ingredients/input prices is a widespread trend, but one that continues to draw consumer ire, especially in the case of high-profile brands in categories such as confectionery, where consumer attachment can be high and resistant to change.


  • Toblerone‚Äôs redesign was misjudged in terms of giving fuel to consumer reactions to both getting less for their money and a product aesthetic that drew attention to the diminished volume and encouraged derision.
  • Product design, especially when iconic in status , can be a sacred cow for consumers. Making changes to that in pursuit of cost-saving or consumer price stability may be the wrong course of action, when consumers may be more favorable to pricing increase and design continuity, especially if they perceive a product as premium.
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