Mama please don’t take my Toblerone away

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

Toblerone (with apologies to the quiet genius Paul Simon and his wonderful song Kodachrome)

When I think back
On all the stuff I bought in duty free
It’s a wonder
I can still spend at all
And though my lack of restraint
May have cost me some
It sure beats shopping in the mall

Toblerone
They give us those nice bright colours
All the red and cream of dancers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day
I got a Moodie Davitt camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama don’t take my Toblerone away

If you took all the chocs I ate
When I was single
And stacked them all together for one night
I know they’d never match
The sweet triangle
Of the Toblerone, so great to bite

Toblerone
They give us those nice bright colours
All the red and cream of dancers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day
I got a Moodie Davitt camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama don’t take my Toblerone away

Mama don’t take my Toblerone away
Mama don’t take my Toblerone away
Mama don’t take my Toblerone away
Mama don’t take my Toblerone
Mama don’t take my Toblerone
Mama don’t take my Toblerone away
Mama please don’t take my Toblerone away

Sometimes getting a year older can actually be fun…

We’ve had some lovely expressions of congratulations (thank you Shiseido especially) on our 15th anniversary this year but arguably none as touching – or as appropriate – as that received from Mondelēz International.

Together with a suitably worded Matterhorn-esque version of duty free’s most famous chocolate success story, came a letter from Mondelēz World Travel Retail Managing Director Andreas Fehr (pictured below, right, with Global Sales Director World Travel Retail Jaya Singh).

It reads: “On behalf of the Mondelēz World Travel Retail team, I’d like to offer my heartiest congratulations on the 15th anniversary of The Moodie Davitt Report.

“In the past 15 years you have made an indelible mark in the travel retail media landscape, and it has been a great pleasure to work with you and your amazing team, all of whom we hold in high regard for their professionalism, hard work and dedication.

“This is certainly a milestone to commemorate, and we hope the celebrations are made sweeter with this personalized 4.5kg Toblerone bar that we have created for this special occasion.

“Here’s wishing you and the rest of the team many more years of success – the best is yet to come.”

The auld triangle: Martin Moodie, Dermot Davitt and a great duty free success story that has scaled (and represented) more peaks than we can ever hope to climb

Coming from the chocolate brand that has arguably made the most indelible mark of any brand on consumer consciousness of the duty free industry (and spawned some memorable advertising, see below), that’s a very humbling sentiment.

On a personal level, Gentlemen, I’m not so sure about the many years ahead (after all, I may be the only travel retail journalist who was around when Toblerone was invented in 1908… yes, I can confirm that I pre-date the duty free industry) but, I agree, our best is most definitely yet to come.
During the past 15 years it feels like we have climbed so many mountains, many that felt as steep as the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps. It’s often said that the famous peak gave Theodor Tobler his inspiration for the chocolate’s signature shape. However, Toblerone itself informs me that the bar was modelled on something altogether sexier – a red and cream-frilled line of dancers at the Folies Bergères in Paris, forming a shapely pyramid at the end of a show).

In uncovering that fact, I also discovered that the term Toblerone originates from the chocolatier’s family name ‘Tobler’ combined with ‘torrone’, the Italian word for nougat. There, I bet none of you knew that. A real nougat of information if ever I saw one.

Ah those mountains. Like all the entrepreneurs in this or any other industry who are still standing, I recall the early days like they were yesterday.

“Can you learn to lick the stamps?” That’s the question I always ask those from big corporates who tell me they want to go out on their own, most with no idea of the terrible commercial wind-chill factor, every bit as strong as the infamous föhn that blows through the Swiss Alps, that awaits. Because you need to do just that. And make the coffee. And wash the cups. And create the product while you’re doing it. And deliver it. And never, ever, ease up for a moment, even when giving up seems much easier than scaling the next peak when you’re just damned sick of seeing mountains and simply long, lust even, for plateaus.

So, thank you Mondelēz International, a constant not fair weather friend if ever there was one, for reminding me, Dermot, and my wonderful team of ceaselessly inspired and inspirational people that we’ve traversed a few peaks; roamed a few valleys; heck, fallen into a few troughs; but ultimately savoured some sweet, sweet moments along the way.

Now though, we face our greatest challenge. How to eat that super-sized Toblerone? ‘But in the spirit of Tobler combined with torrone, Moodie combined with Davitt as Moovitt accepts the challenge. How could we not? If you see either of us looking a little different (see below) at next month’s Singapore show, you’ll know exactly who to blame. And if we’re wearing red and cream-frilled dresses, humour us just a little…

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