Oh, a bar of Toblerone! It has been quite a while since I got a bite of the bitterly sweet treat. Never mind. It was not mine for the taking. Perhaps a gift from someone to someone he adored. Ever since I started making my own chocolate bar, I took my eyes off from brands not as bitter and pure as mine.
It turned out the bar was for all. It traveled from one hand to another until I got a piece. Thanks to generous sponsor. I was not expecting it so I considered myself lucky. There where so many people in the gathering. The chance of it reaching my hand was very low. It was like a lottery.
It could be a came back gift (pasalubong). When a relative or friend went abroad or out-of-town, it became a tradition to bring back something. It maybe food or thing. Usually, the first. How I wished they brought uncommon thing. Something that we cannot get from nearby grocery store. This brand is so popular and widespread. Anyone can buy it whenever and almost wherever they like.
The shape was different from before. The chocolate brand Toblerone is known for its signature shape. Series of pyramid (some as many as toblerone letters) connected to each other. The connection point or canal serve as breaking point. Snap a piece, eat and save the rest for other or later.
That time was different. The canal was somewhat extended. It seemed a great flood just occurred and ate away the ridges base. The bar had extended breaking point and smaller ridges. I only got a piece, but it was enough to draw conclusion.
I read news regarding this matter from internet sometime ago. Most consumers said, raising the price would be better than making the shape awful. Rather, make it smaller than increasing empty spaces.
As for me. It was awkward looking. A huge quality drop. Price increase is the way to go. However, if they are inclined toward lower market bracket, the decision would be a tough. When the cost of production increased, the manufacturer may increase the selling price, add a filler ingredient, replace the current with cheaper alternative, or, decrease the weight which would also result in size shrink. However, the company, chose to decreased the weight without noticeable change in packaging size. Someone might called it cheating when it was actually not. If the weight was not properly declared, then that is cheating.
They maintained the taste quality. I assumed.
According to speculations, the sudden increase of spaces was due to worldwide deficit in cacao production. A rather straightforward thinking of cacao farmers, cocoa traders and advocate. Price increase, due to low supply and high demand, could be easily justified. Government authorities and NGO’s are using data like this for convincing stakeholders to venture into cacao farming. Replacing some to completely eradicating their current poorly performing crops. Only to find out in the end that they cannot profit much either. Project ends and the support ends. New project is created and the cycle continues.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.