Customers rage as Toblerone changes shape of chocolate bar to cut costs
The makers of Toblerone face a mountain of fury after making a controversial change to its distinctive triangular chocolate chunks.
Mondelez International has increased the gap between the peaks as a cost-saving measure to reduce the weight of its bars.
The company, which also owns Cadbury, said the move was down to the rise in the cost of ingredients.
But some consumers have described the move as "the wrong decision" and said the bigger spaces looked "stupid".
In a statement on the Toblerone Facebook page, the company said: "We had to make a decision between changing the shape of the bar, and raising the price.
"We chose to change the shape to keep the product affordable for our customers, and it enables us to keep offering a great value product. We had to make a decision between changing the look of the bars or raising their price."
Toblerone fan Dan Rickwood said: "Hi Toblerone, I am one of your biggest fans and love your chocolate, but I bought a 150g toblerone earlier only to be left upset disappointed and a little distressed!
"In fact I felt cheated on a tad in the way that they are now spaced out so much loosing out on toblerone goodness, I'm upset toblerone I'm sorry but I really am."
Stephen Mason said: "Toblerone is all about the triangle. Why couldn't you just loose a triangle at the end or make the triangles smaller?
"I'm afraid that this is going the way of Cadbury Creme Egg and off my seasonal treat list as I will forever be disappointed."
The move has resulted in the weight of the 400g bars being reduced to 360g and the 170g bars to 150g, while the size of the packaging has remained the same.
Lee Yarker said: "Fair enough reducing the weight of the bar, but why the big gap in between segments? Looks stupid imo [in my opinion], could have just made the bar shorter and kept the original design."
Philip Joseph wrote: "It was the wrong decision. It looks like a really underhanded thing to do.
"You buy a bar expecting a normal bar and it looks like you are getting half the chocolate."
Cathy White added: "It looks dreadful. Think you should've reduced the length and kept the chunky triangles."
US company Mondelez said that "like many other companies, we are experiencing higher costs for numerous ingredients".
It added: "We carry these costs for as long as possible, but to ensure Toblerone remains on-shelf, is affordable and retains the triangular shape, we have had to reduce the weight of just two of our bars in the UK, from the wider range of available Toblerone products."
Other food manufacturers have previously announced rises in their product prices, blaming the falling value of the pound following the UK's decision to leave the EU.
A spokeswoman for Mondelez acknowledged that the foreign exchange rate was currently "not favourable", but added: "This change wasn't done as a result of Brexit."
Mondelez has faced a wave of criticism for "messing" with much-loved Cadbury's products.
Consumers have complained about Daily Milk bars being given rounded edges, bars shrinking, the axing of Cadbury chocolate coins, Bournville chocolate disappearing from the Heroes tub, sultanas in Fruit & Nut bars and axing the company's traditional Christmas chocolate gift to pensioners.
Perhaps the biggest controversy surrounded the 2015 decision to replace Dairy Milk in its recipe for Cadbury's Creme Eggs with cheaper chocolate.