Eight Easter innovations: hits and misses

With Easter on the way, our resident food development expert Sparkie breaks down the major retail releases for the season. 

10 February 2020

Eggstraordinary Chocolate Hen’s Eggs

From £6, Waitrose

These white chocolate eggs – a Heston Blumenthal creation - have a soft and sticky two-tone banoffee centre with layers of fresh banana purée ganache and dark chocolate caramel ganache.

Sparkie says:

Easter has always been a very chocolate-centric affair with very little variation on the generic chocolate egg by the different brands. The inclusion of other flavours, especially the fruit puree seems to elevate this kind of product from the standard retail egg to something more special.

It is an interesting idea and one that I think will pay off through market differentiation alone. If the product tastes good, even better.


M&S Collection eggs

From £15, Marks and Spencer

These two luxury eggs are nestled in the supermarket’s higher price bracket, with the first being a Belgian chocolate Marc de Champagne, which comes with 10 truffles. The second, the fruit and nut lattice, is decorated with hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios and golden raisins.

Sparkie says...

Without a doubt, the lattice version is a beautiful product. The design exudes that luxury feel that M&S are going for here. But outside the visuals, it is still another Easter egg. I think the big sell here is the technology required to create something like that and the considerations for what other applications it can be used for.

For such a decadent luxurious looking product though, I am not sold on the inclusions of raisins and nuts as a filler; I feel that may have limited their market somewhat.


Curious Inventions Easter Eggs

From £2.99, Aldi

This range is made up of three distinct eggs. The first, a salted pretzel and orange egg, is infused with chocolate fudge pieces, orange jellies, dark chocolate drops and mini salted pretzels. The banoffee egg, meanwhile, combines milk chocolate with sweetened banana chips, salted caramel and salted fudge pieces, while the Eton mess egg is made with white chocolate, meringue drops and freeze-dried strawberries.

Sparkie says...

I tried one of these eggs a few years ago (I’m not sure if it was the same brand but they looked almost identical) and the ones with fruit embedded in them, especially the banana, really wasn't very good.

The competing textures didn't really sit well with the main pleasure of chocolate when it melts in your mouth. Visually they look interesting but if they are similar to the ones that I tried, I can't see them having repeat purchase but it’s just an event item, so one-off sales are what it's all about.


Irresistible Silver Cocoa Pod Egg

From £10, Co-op

In their celebration of 25 years of Fairtrade, Co-op have released a milk chocolate egg that’s hand finished with a silver lustre. Also in the box are six milk chocolate truffles, decorated with similar silver lustre, with a salted caramel centre.

Sparkie says...

The idea of using a cocoa bean rather than the traditional egg shape is a nice way to celebrate the 25 years of fair-trade chocolate. There is certainly an increasing market of people who see the value in these types of schemes, so I think it’s likely to do fairly well.


Hot Cross Bun Egg

From £10, Divine Chocolate

These chocolate eggs are made with raisins and spiced cookies to give a hot cross bun flavour. Inside are mini milk chocolate eggs.

Sparkie says...

I can't seem to mentally realise how that might taste and I think it's highly likely that consumers might have the same confusion.

It is the kind of product that I would like to try out of curiosity but during Easter, it will be competing with many similar products that consumers can guarantee are going to be good so it might be a hard sell.


Spring Lemon

From £3, Waitrose

Another white chocolate treat from Heston Blumenthal, blended with zesty lemon flavours and cunningly shaped to resemble the citrus fruit.

Sparkie says...

The first thing that springs to mind when looking at the lemon is the Heston Blumenthal meat fruit thing that he made for TV a while back. The idea of surprise could bring a lot of options to retail, but I think generally, outside of special occasions, consumers want to know what they are getting.

I don't think it’s going to be replacing any egg sales but it’s certainly a novelty that warrants closer examination. Ultimately one to watch for signs of a potential trend.


Scotch Eggs

From £8.99, Choc on Choc

Scotch egg-mimicking halves made from Belgian milk and white chocolate, filled with salted caramel fudge.

Sparkie says...

I quite like this idea. It is different yet familiar. It is still an egg, and still chocolate but the play off of a savoury product is going to make it unique. As with the other unique products on this list, it is not going to outsell the standard eggs but might do well as an additional novelty.


Free-From White Chocolate & Raspberry Egg & Truffles

From £3, Tesco

White choc egg with freeze dried raspberry pieces and salted caramel flavour choc truffles.

Sparkie says...

Definitely a sign of the times here. It only seems to be labelled as "free-from" though which seems like they missed an opportunity. Inulin, in particular, is one of the big ingredients we are seeing attached to the health food movement as a form of fibre assuming there is enough to provide a benefit.

I guess there is the argument that some consumers don't like the combination of health foods and indulgence and an Easter egg should definitely be on the indulgence side of things. Either way the product looks good so having that option out there is going to appeal to that market.

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