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Toblerone chocolate is well-known for its distinctive packaging and its prism shape (triangular prism or pentahedron). For you trivia buffs, here’s a tidbit: People think the triangular shape of the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps is what gave Theodor Tobler his inspiration for the shape of Toblerone. However, according to Theodor’s sons, the triangular shape originates from a pyramid shape that dancers at the Folies Bergères created as the finale of a show that Theodor saw.

Positive Themes

The biggest positive theme is “great flavors,” as it was with Lindt chocolate, and again, consumers singled out many of them as favorites, but especially white and dark chocolate.

  • “GREAT CHOCOLATE” 2009-11-15 . By Beverly J. Scott (Ankeny, Iowa) . Toblerone is the best chocolate I have ever eaten. The bits of almond and honey add a unique texture to the product and I am so impressed with the flavor of this chocolate that I am giving bars of TOBLERONE away as Christmas gifts. This Swiss milk chocolate is fabulous and they also have bars of White Chocolate and Dark Chocolate that are as delicous as the Swiss Milk Chocolate. (source)
  • My favorite company that produces candy is Toblerone. It is a chocolate producer, and I like the white flavored chocolate the most. What’s your favorite company that produces candy like chocolate, hard candy, soft candy or ice cream? (source)

Either of these foods alone sounds fine, but together?

  • I’m sleeping and eating and resting a lot … when I’m not studying. I hereby declare that my favourite food at present is FISH SOUP and TOBLERONE DARK CHOCOLATE. They are awesome things. Fish soup is good because it is healthy/non-fattening, does good to my throat and tasty! (source)

The “delicious” theme found with Lindt is repeated here, and posters expressed their opinion that Toblerone is the best Swiss chocolate (there’s stiff competition for that title).

  • Is eating Toblerone milk chocolate and waiting for my driver.Hmm tonight wasnt so bad after all :D S/n: Toblerone is the best dam milk chocolate the Swiss have ever made. (source)

The “uniquely shaped” theme is mentioned here as a positive.

  • We’ve all enjoyed the wonderful and uniquely shaped Swiss chocolates from Toblerone – originally created by Theodor Tobler and Emil Baumann in Bern, Switzerland in 1908. But it’s not only their chocolates which are distinctive. The logo is quite brilliant too. (source)

Negative Themes

The two most common negative themes are both a bit of a surprise: Unhealthy and Difficult to Eat.

Some consumers say it “hurts the mouth,” which must be due to the combination of the triangular prism shape and the nougat pieces in the chocolate.

  • toblerone is painfull choclate!! if u bite it it hurts the roof of your mouth!! (source)

Another sub-theme of Unhealthy is “increases weight.” Hmm, it is chocolate, after all. That’s like criticizing champagne for making you tipsy.

  • I think eating toblerone chocolate is not a good idea for my hips…but it’s the only thing that’s keepin me happy even jst temporarily :(. (source)

“Bad for teeth” and “bad for diabetes” fall into the same category. These criticisms would be true for any product with sugar.

  • FF Follow @Leedslass09 on your phone  But eat too much Toblerone  She’ll say your teeth are at risk She’s Leeds and she’s Swiss. (source)

Several of the Difficult to Eat posts refer to the large-size Toblerone, whose pieces are indeed a challenge to eat. This post contains the Difficult to Eat theme but that opinion is more than offset by praise for the chocolate.

  • In fact, if you can avoid gobbling the bar and really savor it slowly, the honey flavor stands out and grabs your taste buds. Overall, the taste is sweet enough (but not cloying) and satisfying, and I can often make a 50 gram bar last several sittings. What not to wear: I recommend not wearing white pants when you eat a Toblerone, because tiny crumbles of chocolate tend to break off during eating and the miniature chocolate avalanche always ends up on my clothing.

Here in one short tweet we once again see the combination of “expensive but worth it.” So is that a negative?

  • toblerone was so great and expensive. (source)

Insights

I’ve eaten Toblerone many times and understand the “difficult to eat” comment. But … it’s not that difficult. True, the larger bars exacerbate the problem, but the quality of the chocolate makes up for it.

The triangular prism shape is so distinctively Toblerone and such a part of its identity that changing it is out of the question. The company is clearly aware of the difficult-to-eat “problem,” and has a fun challenge on its website where fans submit their techniques for tackling a Toblerone. Smart way to turn a bug into a feature, as software developers say.

Toblerone’s unusual shape and the fact that it includes honey and almond nougat chunks in its most popular product means it’s not for everybody. But in a crowded segment, those attributes make it distinctive and help create a fan community, whose members have contributed content that makes the Toblerone site lively and fun.

One completely anecdotal observation is that, although there are six different Toblerone products on the website (Dark, Honeycomb Crisp, Fruit & Nut, etc.) I typically see only their flagship product, Toblerone Milk, in stores. So I did a very small field survey: On my Saturday morning grocery shopping trip to my local supermarket (Nob Hill), I saw a very small display for Toblerone in the candy section with only the Milk and Fruit & Nut bars. In sharp contrast, right next to the Toblerone display were nine different flavors of Lindt chocolate bars and six different boxes of Lindt truffles—and three more boxes in a larger size. Maybe competition for shelf space is so fierce here that Toblerone can’t get stores to carry more of their product line, or maybe it’s a decision based on the American palate, but other brands (like Lindt) get way more shelf space (based on my one-store survey) and offer a range of flavors that apparently broadens their customer base. Maybe Toblerone can find a way to get more of their products in stores, thereby giving consumers more choices within the Toblerone product family. Using Netnography as a tool will certainly help.