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 work long days in very harsh conditions, rather than going to school. Who would want to support that?
Fortunately, you don’t have to! There are now certifications available that let you know someone’s been checking that kids aren’t working on the cocoa farms. We’ve put together a list: it’s got a huge range of Easter eggs, bunnies and other Easter chocolate, including everything from cheap and cheerful options for the kids to products from a company that’s placed many times in the New Zealand chocolate awards. Unfortunately we still don’t know of any child labour free options for classic chocolate marshmallow eggs (although WCF is doing limited edition Fairtrade chocolate marshmallows at the moment) and the list is a bit light on filled eggs. To help fill those gaps, we finish with links to a few recipes.
- Check out our pdf summary flyer of good brands and one-off products;
- Read on to learn how to check if Easter chocolate is child labour free or;
- Jump straight to the list, which is also available in table form.
And, if you’d like to help us spread the word, check out our full set of Easter resources.
Table of Contents
- Fully Fairtrade (cocoa, sugar and other risky ingredients all certified)
- Made with certified cocoa and sugar
- Made with certified cocoa only
- Large hollow eggs
- Mid-sized eggs
- Mini eggs
- Bunnies and other Easter figurines
- Other Easter chocolate
- Make your own!
We’ve got a long list, but there’s quite likely child-labour-free Easter chocolate available that we’ve missed. If you’re interested in Easter chocolate that’s not on our list, how can you know whether it’s child labour free? Easy! Look for one of the following marks on the packaging: if any of those are there you can be confident someone’s checked to make sure no kids were working on the cocoa plantation.
NB on imported products there’s often been a sticker put on the back of the product giving the nutritional information etc. that is legally required in New Zealand. These stickers often obscure the marks you’re looking for (here’s an example of that): if you see such a sticker, look closely to see if any relevant marks are hidden underneath - in our example you’ll spot the certification at the bottom in the middle.
Fairtrade. If you see the black-background version of the logo above, that is your best choice. It means that both the sugar and the cocoa in the product were made in Fairtrade conditions, along with anything else used that has a slavery risk (e.g. vanilla or coffee). Not only has the supply chain been audited for forced labour and child labour, auditors also checked working conditions were safe and that a premium price was paid to the farmers.
The white-background version of the logo certifies that those same Fairtrade audits took place, but they were just done for the cocoa itself, not for the other ingredients in the chocolate. It’s still a good choice, as cocoa is the chocolate ingredient with the highest risk of both child and forced labour.
Rainforest Alliance. This is by far the mark you’re most likely to see on child-labour-free Easter treats this year. Like the white version of the Fairtrade logo, it only certifies the working conditions used to produce the cocoa, not the other ingredients. However, in terms of the cocoa, you can be confident that itwas produced without child or slave labour and that the farmers were paid a small premium above the regular market price.
Note that some Nestle products don’t display the RA logo and instead have a statement like that at the right, saying they ‘work with’ Rainforest Alliance. We have checked and that does mean that the cocoa is RA certiifed.
If Nestle rings ethical alarm bells for you, read this article about why we’re generally OK to buy from Nestle these days.
So, on to the list! We start with products where all ingredients are Fairtrade, then list ones that are made with certified cocoa only, and finish with recipes to make your own. There’s lots of options this year (which is fantastic!), so click on the links in the table of contents if you want to go directly to something in particular.
Too long? Check out our highlights list instead.
These are your best option in terms of worker treatment - all ‘risky’ ingredients (cocoa and sugar as well things like vanilla or hazelnuts) have been produced in Fairtrade conditions.
Tonys Chocolonely are selling the only eggs we’ve seen this year that have the fully Fairtrade label on the packaging! They’re selling a 12-pack of mixed-flavour eggs (milk chocolate, dark chocolate, dark almond sea salt, milk caramel sea salt, milk hazelnut) in an actual egg carton! $11 online (where you can also buy it with an Easter chocolate block) at Farros and at selected supermarkets.
The Remarkable Chocolate Co is selling three flavours of Easter eggs this year. There are no certification marks on the packets, but on their website they claim to be ‘fairly traded’. From correspondence, we have learned this means they make their products from certified Fairtrade couverture, although the final products are not certified.
They are selling 6-packs of either milk, dark or raspberry dark eggs for $15-$16 both at Farros or online from their own website; you can also buy bags of 10 eggs (either a mixed bag of dark and raspberry or a bag of milk chocolate eggs) for $20 from on their website. The Remarkable Chocolate Company has won many prizes in the New Zealand Chocolate awards over the years, so these are bound to taste good! Free from gluten, dairy, soy, nuts and palm oil; plastic-free packaging for the six-packs.
The Remarkable Chocolate Co (mentioned above) is also selling bunnies. You can buy their plain dark, raspberry dark or ginger salted caramel chocolate bunnies from Countdown for around $17 for a 120g bunny. Award-winning chocolate that’s free of gluten, dairy, soy, nuts and palm oil.
Wellington Chocolate Factory have put out two special products for Easter: chocolate-dipped marshmallow log (125g for $12.50) and a Duck Island Ambrosia chocolate bar (85g for $12.50) - also available together as a bunde. They’re also doing a special Easter tour at their Eva Street base, where you get to chocolate dip your own marshmallows.
Ferrero products don’t show any worker welfare certifications; however, we have learned from their 2021 sustainability report that:
- they mostly use cocoa certified by Rainforest Alliance or Fairtrade, with the balance made up of cocoa certified by Fairtrade Certified. We’re less confident of Fairtrade Certified (also called Fairtrade USA), but it is a lot better than nothing; the other two are certifications we strongly recommend.
- they source 23% of their sugar as cane sugar and 77% as beet sugar; the cane sugar is all independently certified by Bonsucro (so is slave-free) and beet sugar is a low risk product.
- they are also making significant progress in terms of worker welfare with both hazelnuts and palm oil (as well as other ingredients unlikely to be found in Easter eggs).
Based on this we consider their cocoa and sugar to be free of both child labour and forced labour. Ferrero makes Ferrero Rocher and Kinder (both of which have Easter products this year) as well as Nutella and Tictacs. Any Easter products you find from Ferrero or Kinder will be fine, but we’ve listed those we’ve seen below.
We’ve seen the Ferrero Rocher Chocolate egg (which comes with three Ferrero Rocher chocolates) at New World, $15 for a 137.5g egg.
Kinder Bueno eggs (seen so far only at Fresh Choice) look like they’d be a good choice for an Easter Egg hunt. 140g for $10.20.
Also from Kinder and at Fresh Choice is an Easter basket; 6 eggs, 120g for $14.30.
Kinder surprise has put out a blue bunny that we’ve seen at New World and The Warehouse and a pink bunny that we’ve seen at Countdown - both 75g for around $6-$7. The Warehouse also has a set of three Kinder bunnies (3x15g for $3.50).
Ferrero also has their classic Easter squirrel, available widely, 90g for $7.50-$10.
We’ve seen a Kinder Easter house (76g for $6) at Countdown.
There are a vast range of options made with certified cocoa. These aren’t as good from a worker point-of-view as products where the cocoa and sugar are both certified but, as cocoa is the ingredient at by far the highest risk of having labour abuses in it’s supply chain, they are still good options.
Kmart has told us that all their own-brand Easter chocolate will again be made with Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa. However, most of their range hasn’t landed on their website at time of writing (19/3/23): there are only four items currently available, and we’re expecting dozens. If you’re looking for affordable and cute Easter treats and there’s a Kmart near you, follow us on Facebook to see our alert when more products arrive! And, if you’re in a Kmart and see items you’d like to buy that aren’t on our list, check for the green frog of the Rainforest Alliance logo: the own brand items are fully unbranded, and it can be hard to tell which they are.
The Nestle range of large eggs is available at most supermarkets and The Warehouse. We’ve seen Rolo, Smarties, Scorched almond, Kitkat and Milky Bar eggs, ranging in size from 65g-254g and in price from $4 to $13. These are generally made with cocoa that has been certified by Rainforest Alliance: however, we’ve seen a few without the logo so always check for that before you buy. Most of these are imported and, whilst Nestle products made in Australia and New Zealand are always made with Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa, that is not true for Nestle in all countries.
All Waikato Valley’s boxed eggs are Rainforest Alliance certified, with one exception - the rainbow button shaker egg. They’re sold exclusively at The Warehouse and they have something for everyone!
100-105g milk chocolate egg with sweets inside ($5):
giant 800g pinata egg with lollies, $25.
Waikato Valley Chocolates is selling several luxury large eggs, available only at The Warehouse: boxed dark chocolate mint with mint balls (190g for $9.50) and luxury loose foil-wrapped eggs (220g, $7assorted colours).
We’ve seen three NOMO eggs this year, all of which are free from dairy, gluten, nuts and egg. They’re also Rainforest Alliance certified. We’ve seen both the creamy choc egg and the caramel and sea salt choc egg at both The Warehouse and a range of supermarkets (110g, $10-$13). The caramel egg and bar (148g, around $20) seems to only be at The Warehouse, Countdown and Fresh Choice.
There are also three Moo Free large eggs available: milk, white and ’eggsplosion’ (which is filled with marshmallows). All gluten free and vegan (so free from dairy and gelatine). $14.50-$17.50, 80-100g, Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa. We’ve seen these at Ballantynes as well as organic and vegan stores.
Countdown and Fresh Choice are selling a box set of three Rainforest Alliance certified eggs made by Hamlet in Belgium; 150g for about $9.50.
The Warehouse has “Nice” branded Easter egg cups with Easter egg (Rainforest Alliance certified, 20g, $3, two designs). Note that only about half the “Nice” Easter range is Rainforest Alliance certified, and even those items that use certified cocoa don’t generally show the logo. The manufacturer has given us a full list of the certified items, so please only buy those on our list, ie. these eggs, and the products listed in mini eggs, bunnies and other Easter chocolate.
Also from The Warehouse is the Waikato Valley Chocolates’ kid’s egg sampler with six different eggs including green chocolate popping candy and milk chocolate bubble candy. Rainforest Alliance certified, 150g.
And lastly, from The Warehouse, is Waikato Valley Chocolate’s 100g loose foil-wrapped eggs; in a variety of colours, $3, Rainforest Alliance certified.
Waikato Valley Chocolates has a sampler box of luxury mid-sized eggs with a mix of white, milk and dark chocolate eggs. Rainforest Alliance certified, 150g with 6 eggs, $10, sold at The Warehouse.
Nestle Milkybar and Smarties egg hunt packs (8 eggs for around $9) are widely available - look for them at The Warehouse or your local supermarket. Rainforest Alliance certified.
The Warehouse has a “Nice”-branded box of mini milk chocolate eggs with bunny ears. Rainforest Alliance cocoa, $5, 56g.
Also from The Warehouse, Waikato Valley Chocolates’ 20g hokey pokey egg; assorted colours, $1, Rainforest Alliance certified.
You can also buy a 500g ‘KitKat’ mixed share bag with mini KitKat, Rolo, Crunch, Milkybar and Smarties eggs; Rainforest Alliance certified. Available at most supermarkets for $14-$19.
Kit kat Easter bunnies - Rainforest Alliance-certified, 29g and selling for around $1.50 at a wide range of outlets. These are more chocolatey/less biscuity than regular kitkats.
The 85g After Eight bunny, available from The Warehouse and various supermarkets for around $6, Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa.
Countdown and Fresh Choice are stocking a hollow chocolate bunny filled with smarties; Rainforest Alliance certified, 94g for around $5-$6
Waikato Valley Chocolates have a wide range of bunnies available at The Warehouse this year, all Rainforest Alliance certified.
Going from smallest to biggest, first there is a 60g milk chocolate bunny for $3.
Next, they have three 160g foil-wrapped bunnies: milk chocolate ($4), popping candy ($4.50) and white strawberry ($4.50). You can also buy the milk chocolate bunny in a multipack along with 4 hollow eggs. Note that this pack doesn’t have the Rainforest Alliance logo on as they’re using up last year’s packaging, but both the manufacturer and The Warehouse have assured us that they’re made with Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa.
The Warehouse is selling a “Nice” branded Chocolate bunny decorating kit, containing a chocolate bunny, icing and sprinkles; Rainforest Alliance certified,115g for $6.50.
In PakNSave, Fresh Choice and Ballantynes we’ve seen a 64g bunny-shaped tin filled with chocolates, made by Windel. 64g, $16-$22.
Bags of mini Kit kat bunnies are widely available. Rainforest Alliance certified and around $5 for a 66g bag.
Countdown and Fresh Choice are selling the Hamlet caramel minis (praline chocolates in various shapes); Rainforest Alliance certified, 175g, around $9.
New World, PakNSave and Smith and Caugheys are stocking Easter clickers from Windel: a wide range of animal figures that dispense candy and chocolates when clicked. 200g for $10-$15.
The Smarties Easter House (104g, $6.50-$8, Rainforest Alliance certified) is available at The Warehouse and many supermarkets.
Kmart is currently listing four own-brand Easter chocolate products (although we’re expecting there will soon be more), all Rainforest Alliance certified:
- Easter mug with hot cocoa mix (20g cocoa mix, $6.50)
- Easter mug with 5 minute chocolate mug cake mix (120g mix, $6.50)
- assorted Easter cookie pops (35g, $3) - the bunny and chick (pictured) are both made with Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa, the remainder of the range doesn’t use cocoa
- light up bunny ears with a milk chocolate egg (60g chocolate, $6.50)
The Warehouse is selling a “Nice” branded Easter truck with eggs (Rainforest Alliance certified, 40g, $12).
Staying at The Warehouse, they’re also stocking various soft toys boxed with a a 50g Easter egg. Made by Waikato Valley Chocolates, $12, Rainforest Alliance certified (although we have no idea if the soft toys were made in slave-free conditions - slavery’s a big issue in the textile industry).
Lastly, we’ve seen a number of items from Windel chocolates, all of which have been Rainforest Alliance certified. We were also pleased to see that the tins, plastic parts etc. in their products are made in factories where worker welfare is regularly audited. However, we’re not 100% certain the entire Windel range is made with Rainforest Alliance certified cocoa, so if you see Windel items not on this list, please do check for the green frog logo. As well as the products below, we have Windel products in the Bunnies section and the section with other Easter figurines.
In Ballantynes, PakNSave, Smith and Caugheys we’ve seen an Easter-egg shaped music box filled with chocolates (150g for $30-$40); PakNSave also has a similar music box in the shape of a mushroom (105g for $28).
In Ballantynes and PakNSave we’ve seen another musical Easter product from Windel: a music box that plays Vivaldi’s “Spring”. Filled with 138g chocolates; $24-$34.
Lastly from Windel, Ballyntynes and PakNSave also have a round Easter tin filled with chocolates, 162g, $20-$26.
If you want child-labour free chocolate-coated marshmallow eggs your only option is to make your own using fairly traded chocolate; making your own also gives you more options for small eggs with flavoured fillings.
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. If making Easter eggs together is something you think your group would enjoy (perhaps your church, Scout group or work friends), check out our guide for some pointers.
To make regular marshmallow eggs (recipe), you need a strong electric beater and some gelatine - a cooking thermometer also helps. They take a while to do 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.
Hard-shelled eggs 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. If you’re buying moulds elsewhere, make sure you get hard plastic ones not flexible silicone ones - filled chocolates tend to collapse when made in silicone moulds. But, if you’re reading this just before Easter and it’s too late to buy moulds, check out the instructions towards the end of the creme egg recipe on how to make filled eggs without them. Just be warned that they will come out a bit munted!
Hazelnut eggs are very easy to make - the hardest part is likely sourcing some hazelnut butter! Try your local health food store, and make sure you’re buying hazelnut butter made from New Zealand hazelnuts. Child labour is a huge issue in the Turkish hazelnut industry and Turkey dominates the world market.
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 specialise in cake baking supplies); a sugar thermometer is also handy.