Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to shop only at our local supermarkets and dairies, we’ve produced a list of which of these eggs are available at each of the major supermarket chains here.
Did you know that at least 20% of the Easter eggs on sale in New Zealand this Easter will be made with cocoa produced by kids? Children who commonly work 12 hour days in very harsh conditions. Who would want to support that?
It includes Easter eggs (and other chocolatey treats) with either Fairtrade or UTZ certification, as well as a number of cocoa-free options. The range is, admittedly, a bit limited: to extend this, at the end are links to recipes to make your own :-)
Fairtrade is one of the oldest and best-known fair trade schemes. They guarantee a minimum price for the cocoa and also give growers a ‘fair trade premium’ to be used for community development projects. Fairtrade requires growers to be co-ops, rather than regular companies with employees. The regular Fairtrade mark on a chocolate product guarantees both the cocoa and sugar have been grown in Fairtrade conditions. We haven’t seen any Easter eggs sporting this in New Zealand this year; however, we have seen the Fairtrade cocoa program mark - a washed-out version of the same logo. This guarantees that the cocoa has been produced in Fairtrade conditions, although other ingredients were likely purchased on the mass market.
The main certification you’ll see on Easter eggs this year is UTZ:
UTZ is a response to some of the limitations of Fairtrade: it brings in large plantations whilst still guaranteeing good labour conditions including a living wage. This year we’ve seen an encouraging increase in the number of companies offering Easter products with UTZ certification :-)
Some companies are also using UTZ certification without displaying the logo: we note this where we didn’t see the certification mark but the company says they’re using it. In addition, some Nestle* products instead display their in-house ‘cocoa plan’ mark accompanied by the following statement: “The Nestle Cocoa Plan works with UTZ to ensure a better future for cocoa farmers and even better chocolate for you”. These products are UTZ certified, even though products displaying the cocoa plan mark without that statement aren’t necessarily…
* If Nestle rings ethical alarm bells for you, read here about why we’re generally OK to buy from them these days.
Kit kat Easter bunnies - UTZ-certified, 29g and selling for around $1 at a wide range of outlets. These are more chocolatey/less biscuity than regular kitkats.
New World is selling quite a range of Riegelein bunnies this year. This are all made with Fairtrade certified cocoa (but not sugar) through the Fairtrade Cocoa Program. The certification marks are there, although sometimes they’re partially covered up by stickers giving nutritional information in the format required in New Zealand. Note that the bunnies look quite similar to the Jacquot bunnies, also sold by New World - these aren’t made with Fairtrade cocoa, so make sure you’re buying Riegelein!
There are bunnies ranging in size from 60g to 150g, as well as a 150g pack of a bunny with eggs and 100g pack of 8 small bunnies. These sell for between $2.39 and $4.49:
New World is also selling a 38g Riegelein ’funny bunny’ for $6.29:
and a metal tin containing a bunny and eggs, $24.49 for 232g:
Note that the entire Riegelein range is made exclusively with Fairtrade cocoa, so anything else you see by them will also be fine.
The 85g After Eight bunny, available from The Warehouse for $4. There are no markings on the bunny packaging to suggest this was made with UTZ certified cocoa. We contacted the manufacturer, Nestle Deutschland, just in case. They confirmed the bunny was made with UTZ-certified cocoa after all, and explained the certification mark wasn’t displayed as there wasn’t room for it on the product.
The Chocolatier bunny on a motorbike is UTZ certified and only available at New World, 160g, $14:
The large smarties and rolo eggs - UTZ-certified, $5-$8 depending on where you find them, selling at supermarkets and The Warehouse. Note that the certification marks have been covered over by import stickers but you can clearly see these were made by Nestle UK, who only use UTZ-certified cocoa in all their products:
65g milky bar hollow eggs, also UTZ-certified and selling widely for around $3.50-$5:
The rest of the Walkers of London Easter range doesn’t appear to be using UTZ-certified cocoa.
New World is selling three Chocolatier UTZ-certified hollow eggs, all $15 for a 150g egg. There’s a peanut brittle flavoured milk chocolate egg, a strawberry flavoured white chocolate egg and a salted caramel flavoured dark chocolate egg:
Also at New World is the Chocolatier hollow half-egg filled with chocolate speckles, which is UTZ-certified, $13, 120g:
The Plamil “So Free” dark chocolate egg with share bag (dairy free, no added sugar and sold at vegan and health food shops) is made with UTZ cocoa. We saw it for $13 from The Cruelty Free shop in Auckland.
Note that the rest of their Easter range doesn’t appear to be using UTZ-certified cocoa.
Smarties hide-me eggs - UTZ-certified and selling for $5 at The Warehouse. These could be good for an Easter egg hunt:
The 50g Smarties Funny Eggs, available at The Warehouse for $2.50. There are no markings on the packaging to suggest this was made with UTZ certified cocoa but the manufacturer, Nestle Hungary, has confirmed these eggs was made with UTZ-certified cocoa.
Small milky bar eggs, UTZ-certified and $3 for an 80g bag. Note that the certification marks have been covered over by import stickers but you can clearly see these were made by Nestle UK, who only use UTZ-certified cocoa in all their products:
New World is stocking luxurious boxed smaller eggs from Chocolatier. These are UTZ-certifed and are $11 for a 150g box of six. They come in three varieties: ’enchanted’ (milk and white chocolate), ’indulgent’ (milk, dark and white chocolate) and ’decadence (70% dark chocolate) - more details on flavours here:
Ferrero has produced bags of 10 mini eggs in both cocoa and hazelnut flavours. These have no certification marks on them BUT Fairtrade New Zealand has alerted us that they are made with Fairtrade cocoa through the Fairtrade Cocoa Programme. They’re available at most supermarkets and The Warehouse and sell for around $5-$6 for a 100g bag. Note that the rest of the Ferrero range isn’t made with Fairtrade cocoa: just these eggs and the squirrel.
Various toys with Easter eggs are available from Countdown under the Candylishus brand: the Easter eggs in all of these are made with UTZ-certified cocoa. There are three plush toys (a bunny, unicorn and dinosaur). The bunny is clutching a 60g milk chocolate egg and sells for $15, the other two each have 3 x 20g eggs with them and go for $12:
The only ‘full’ Fairtrade certified Easter product we’ve seen this year (where the sugar as well as the cocoa is certiifed) is the Easter-themed dark chocolate drizzled popcorn from Serious Food Co. We’ve spotted it at several organic/health food stores for around $4 for a 50g bag. Note that their white chocolate drizzle popcorn doesn’t use Fairtrade chocolate; just the dark one, and we don’t think they’re using the certifcation mark on either bag :-(
The Ferrero Easter squirrel is made with Fairtrade Cocoa. It has no certification marks on them BUT Fairtrade New Zealand has alerted us that they are made with cocoa purchased through the Fairtrade Cocoa Programme. They’re available at most supermarkets and The Warehouse and sell for around $5 for a 90g squirrel. Note that the rest of the Ferrero range isn’t made with Fairtrade cocoa: just the squirrel and the mini eggs mentioned above.
Lastly, one ‘novelty’ that you may assume is Fairtrade are the Whittakers chocolate Kiwis. Whittakers do donate money from their sale to Kiwi recovery programmes but, as with all but their two most popular chocolate blocks, they’re not Fairtrade certified and Whittakers hasn’t verified the cocoa used to make them is free from child and slave labour.
Not all Easter treats involve cocoa!
There are also non-chocolatey options. This list isn’t exhaustive, but here are some examples we saw at Countdown and The Warehouse. Easter-themed:
biscuits (both decorated and ready to decorate)
As you can see, there are a good range of options for bunnies and hollow eggs, and a few possibilities if you’re after smaller eggs. However, if you want chocolate-coated marshmallow eggs or small eggs with flavoured fillings your best option is to make your own using fairly traded chocolate.
We have recipes for marshmallow eggs (both regular and vegan) as well as creme eggs (both classic vanilla and peppermint - the peppermint ones are also vegan) and eggs with a hazelnut/chocolate filling.
To make regular marshmallow eggs (recipe), you need a strong electric beater and some gelatine - a cooking thermometer also helps. You likely have all the other supplies in your house already. They take a while as the marshmallow takes around four hours to set, but they’re pretty straight-forward and are reasonably easy to do with primary-aged children.
If you’re wanting to make vegan marshmallow eggs (which are also a better choice for vegetarians, pregnant people and people with religious restrictions on meat-eating, such as Muslims and Hindus) instructions are here.
Hazelnut eggs are very easy to make - you just need to source some hazelnut butter (try your local health food store).
Creme eggs are more tricky (especially the classic white and yellow vanilla ones) and require a strong beater and some invertase (an enzyme that makes the filling gooey - look for it at shops that sell supplies for speciality cakes) to make; a sugar thermometer is also handy.
Hard-shelled eggs like these are best made with moulds: you can buy a range here. I use their small cracked egg mould, which makes eggs a bit smaller than commercial creme eggs. However, if you don’t have moulds to hand and have run out of time to buy them, you can make hard-shelled ‘eggs’ on sticks instead (instructions towards the end of the creme egg recipe), but they will come out a bit munted!