While Easter is still a few weeks away, British shoppers have already spent £146m on Easter eggs and 42% of households have bought hot cross buns, according to the latest figures from Kantar.
This year has seen a raft of new products with many supermarkets turning to ruby chocolate to add to their egg options, as well as a range of interesting shapes to entice shoppers with big ticket items. The bakery side of Easter has also been given a makeover with new flavours for hot cross buns, as well as novelty shaped goods.
Here, Food Spark rounds up this year’s Easter innovations that are hitting supermarket shelves.
Marks & Spencer
Prosecco egg, £5
For the grown-ups, this milk chocolate egg is infused with raspberry, blackcurrant and prosecco for a delicate flavour with floral notes, with an eye-catching ruby swirl.
Hand Decorated Belgian Milk Chocolate Colosseum Egg, £15
It’s made from Belgian milk chocolate and comes with six gold lustred milk chocolate eggs filled with hazelnut praline.
Ruby Chocolate Egg, £10
Made from the specially selected cocoa beans that give it a unique natural pink colour and berry flavour. Its angular shape is hand-finished with an M&S collection letter stamp.
The unicorn theme is evident in other supermarket ranges and M&S has joined the crowd with Moonbeam the Unicorn (£5), a white chocolate egg adorned with pastel hued features and hand-painted horn. There’s also a Jazzy Egg (£4) which has transformed one of the UK’s beloved retro sweets into a hand decorated egg with jazzies and The Bees Knees (£8) an iridescent blonde chocolate egg made from a blend of premium swiss chocolate and caramelised sugar, decorated with hand-engraved golden bee.
Hand decorated eggs seems to be a theme this year among the supermarkets, with M&S’ dark chocolate egg hand-finished with a regal blue and purple feather (£15) that comes with a selection of indulgent salted caramel dark chocolate eggs, while the retailer it has some fun with its milk chocolate Yoga Bunny which comes on a base of raspberry nibs (£6).
Deluxe Golden sculpture egg, £12.99
A Belgian milk chocolate Easter egg, hand decorated with a golden lustre, accompanied by smooth ginsecco and chocolate ganache mini eggs.
Deluxe Eton Mess egg, £3.49
A Belgian white chocolate egg, loaded with fruity strawberry and crunchy meringue pieces
Favorina white chocolate egg, £2.99
Decorated with Belgian milk chocolate and loaded with mini eggs, jelly beans and chocolate beans
Lidl is stocking a few of the loaded Easter eggs from Favorina with another containing jelly dew drops, chocolate fudge and marshmallows with white chocolate and one with mini eggs, jelly beans, chocolate beans and popping candy (both £2.99).
Its hot cross buns come in an apple and cinnamon flavour with orange infused sultanas.
Specially Selected Exquisite Birdcage, £14.99
Intricately carved from milk chocolate and finished with an edible metallic lustre, this egg is exclusively crafted for the supermarket by the same master chocolatiers listed in Fortnum & Masons and is created using a pioneering new laser technology. It features an engraved dark chocolate egg, with sel de Guérande salted caramel flakes and Feuilletine pieces.
Moser Roth Hand Decorated Ripple Egg, £4.99
Made by the same supplier who features in Selfridges, shoppers can choose this rippled egg in Belgian milk, white or dark chocolate.
Moser Roth Single Origin Cocoa Pod, £4.99
Fairtrade Peruvian chocolate has been moulded into the shape of a cocoa pod, and then decorated with a rich ombre lustre in either milk or dark chocolate.
The brand Moser Roth features heavily throughout Aldi’s range with a giant ostrich egg (14.99) made from white chocolate blended with caramel sugar powder, weighing in at 800g .The supermarket has also jumped on the ruby chocolate train with its Specially Selected Exquisite Ruby Heist (£12.99), which is surrounded by a pyramid of 24 luxury truffles in fusions such as milk chocolate with Kir Royal; pecan praline & black tea gianduja; dark chocolate & Maldon salted caramel; orange & pomelo; and white chocolate with raspberry puree.
Like Asda, it is also introducing bunny crumpets, as well as five new hot cross buns in flavours like rhubarb and hot custard; blueberry; lingonberries and cranberries; salted caramel and Belgian chocolate; and apple and cinnamon.
Irresistible Fairtrade Ecuadorian Milk Chocolate Pods, £7.50
Single origin Arriba cocoa from Ecuador, this egg has an intense sweet caramel flavour. Each pod is hand finished with a shimmering pink lustre and presented with six individual milk chocolate, gin and strawberry truffles.
Honeycomb Crunch Explosion, £3.50
This Fairtrade milk chocolate ‘slab’ with white chocolate decoration is topped with milk and white chocolate coated honeycomb pieces, cocoa butter coated honeycomb pieces and dark chocolate sprinkles.
Fairtrade Orange Chocolate Egg-splosion, £5.00
A Belgian milk chocolate egg with salted caramel and chocolate fudge, white chocolate buttons, brownie and butterscotch pieces with a salted caramel flavour splash decoration.
Another highlight includes an Arriba milk chocolate egg that is hand decorated with Belgian white chocolate, Belgian dark chocolate and cocoa confectionery and comes with six milk chocolate salted caramel truffles and is finished with a silver lustre (£7.50).
Co-op has secured Good Housekeeping’s taste test approval for its Irresistible Sourdough Richly Fruited Hot Cross Buns. Each hot cross bun is loaded with orange-soaked sultanas, Chilean flame raisins and plump currants and it also uses orange blossom honey to compliment the sweet fruits. Mixing up the breads for their hot cross buns, it also has a cranberry and orange variety made with brioche; toffee fudge and Belgian chocolate with a white bun; and a hot cross bun cob.
Extra Special Hand-Finished Belgian Dark Chocolate Egg with Cherry, £5
The rich, dark chocolate egg is studded with crisp cherry pieces and is infused with cherry flavour. It also comes with cherry-flavoured dark chocolate truffles.
Extra Special Hand-Finished Belgian Milk Chocolate Egg with Salted Caramel, £5
Not only does this egg come with Belgian salted caramel truffles, it is also studded with salted caramel pieces.
Moo Free Easter Bunnycomb Egg, £3.49
This egg is perfect for anyone enjoying a dairy, gluten and soya-free life who still craves chocolate at Easter, said the supermarket. The egg is laced with delicious honeycomb.
Like Morrisons, Asda also has a milk chocolate pineapple egg (£5) with a golden lustre, a white chocolate unicorn egg accompanied by pink micro eggs (£3.50) and a milk chocolate dinosaur egg with micro orange eggs (£3.50). There are also truffles in spiced carrot cake and fruity hot cross bun flavours in a pack of six (£2).
Asda has gone all out on the bakery side. There’s novelty bunny-shaped crumpets; dough balls filled with white and milk chocolate chunks and drizzled with chocolate sauce; nest cakes with crunchy cornflakes coated in milk chocolate; and chocolate sponge cakes in the shape of the Easter bunny. Plus, chick and bunny gingerbread biscuits and fudge hot cross buns.
Cocoa et Co. Belgian Milk Chocolate Hollow Egg with Splatter Decoration, £16
This year’s showstopper for Sainsbury’s, a Belgian chocolate egg with a gold splatter decoration which is big enough to share.
Cocoa et Co. Belgian Milk Chocolate Geometric Egg, £10
Made with velvety, Belgian milk chocolate – it’s a perfect on-trend gift for any sweet tooth, according to the supermarket.
Pick n Mix Egg, £4
This Belgian milk chocolate egg is packed with pick n mix sweets.
Sainsbury’s range also has some similar flavours to Co-op. There’s the Buttermilk Honeycomb egg, which is gluten and dairy-free and infused with crunchy honeycomb pieces and decorated with a drizzle of white choc, as well as an orange flavoured one (both £6), plus a vegan strawberry and white choc egg which has a moreish milkshake-flavoured taste (£3.50).
Easter bakes include a triple berry hot cross bun with cranberries, blueberries and lingonberries; triple chocolate hot cross buns; and a simnel cake, a buttery sponge packed with fruit, balanced with spices and topped with a smooth almond marzipan design.
Heston from Waitrose The Chocolate Teapot, £20
Worthy of being a centrepiece at a Mad Hatter’s tea party, it comes complete with cocoa nib ‘tea leaves’ and crunchy, melt-in-the-mouth ‘sugar cubes’ made from chocolate and flavoured with teas, including black tea and ginger with dark chocolate; jasmine tea in white chocolate and Earl Grey tea with mandarin in a milk chocolate.
The Waitrose Chocolate Marble Easter Egg, £15
Swirls of smooth chocolate adorn the front of this dark chocolate egg, creating pockets of both rich, intense cocoa, mellow milky chocolate and creamy white chocolate. The eggs have been individually hand marbled, making each individual one unique.
Heston from Waitrose The Chocolate Scotch Egg, £6
It looks from the outside to be a traditional savoury summer favourite, but this sweeter alternative comes with a zesty mango and yuzu fondant yolk encased in a smoked milk chocolate caramel ganache in the shape of an egg and coated with milk chocolate, maple-crunch breadcrumbs.
Also new to the range are the hand decorated Caramel Chocolate Golden Easter Egg (£10) made using a diamond geometric shaped design that comes with six gianduja milk chocolates and the Limited Edition Hand-Iced Floral Egg (£15) complete with six fleur de sel caramels.
Waitrose’s hot cross buns are made with sourdough and come in flavours like elderflower, lemon, lovage; and cranberry, orange and Jasmine green tea. Its Spiced Panettone also gets an Easter makeover, baked using a mother dough nurtured since 1964, which contains sultanas, candied orange and hot cross spice. It’s even launched an Easter cheese, with its Hot Cross Bun Yorkshire Wensleydale Truckle combining seasonal spices, zesty candied orange peel and plump sultanas blended with creamy Yorkshire Wensleydale.
The Best Milk & Ruby Chocolate Fruit and Nut Egg, £12
Featuring ruby chocolate, it is studded with roasted pistachios, caramelised hazelnut nibs, candied orange peel and dried raspberries and finished with a gold lustred mini dark chocolate ganache egg. Weighing in at 325g, it was named the UK’s best by Good Housekeeping because of its explosion of flavours and Instragrammable appearance.
Other standouts include its Mandala Egg (£10), decorated in edible lustre with milk chocolate truffles coated in edible shimmer and a Pineapple Egg (£12) that shimmers gold. The animal theme is strong in Morrisons’ range, with its white chocolate Sparkles The Chocolate Unicorn (£10) and Roary The Chocolate Dinosaur (£4).
When it comes to baked goods there are chick, duck and bunny biscuits, chocolate hot cross buns, fresh cream lemon palmier and flooded chick cupcakes.
Tesco Finest Free From Belgian Dark Chocolate Egg, £6.50
It’s completely free-from milk, wheat and gluten and is paired with five hand decorated free from dark chocolate truffles in two fruit flavours.
Tesco Finest Free From Salted Caramel Egg, £6.50
A caramel-flavoured egg enhanced with pure, hand harvested Anglesey sea salt and paired with five hand decorated fondant truffles in two flavours.
It has a range of branded eggs exclusive to the supermarket as well, including Kit Kat’s Ruby Cocoa Beans Easter Egg (£10) which comes with two packets of crispy wafer fingers covered in berry chocolate and Reese’s Chocolate Egg (£6) made from milk chocolate, paired with three peanut butter creme eggs encased in a smooth Hershey’s chocolate coating.