Poundland has been forced to delay the launch of what appears to be a copycat chocolate bar, provoking the ire of Toblerone.
The budget retailer originally announced plans to launch Twin Peaks, its own distinctive double-peaked chocolate bar, at the beginning of July. Switzerland’s Toblerone took exception and has since sent a legal letter to the discount superstore. The dispute puts the introduction of Twin Peaks on hold.
Poundland’s take on the triangular classic reportedly weighs 30g more than the Toblerone original, pitting it as a potential rival and possibly threatening the Swiss chocolatier's foothold in discount stores.
Whilst packaging for the new bar closely resembles that of its more luxurious counterpart, Twin Peaks reportedly takes its inspiration from The Wrekin hill in Shropshire while the shape of Toblerone is widely believed to be based on the Matterhorn mountain. Manufacturing also differs: Poundland’s version is made in Birmingham. Toblerone, though owned by US confectionery Mondelez, is made in Switzerland.
The row comes on the back of Toblerone's decision last year to increase the gap between its triangles and reduce the weight of the chocolate bars in response to rising commodity prices.
Mondelez exports Toblerone to about 120 countries around the world, with its main sales channel being duty-free outlets, but a surge particularly in sugar prices has ramped costs up for the manufacturers.
Poundland has yet to provide a new launch date. A spokesperson for Poundland said, “Twin Peaks is still in development”.
The companies trading director Barry Williams told The Telegraph that “Poundland shoppers are savvy” and that the changes to the Toblerone bar last year “didn’t go unnoticed”.
He said that Poundland is responding to a need to create a “new £1 alternative” and that it’s important to have chocolate bar with “a British taste, and with all the spaces in the right places”.