Likely unbeknownst to many candy aficionados throughout the world, “surprise eggs”, hollow chocolate eggs that encapsulate miniature toys for children, have been banned in the United States since the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act was passed. This act outlawed the sale of all candies housing “non-nutritive objects” in them, presumably for fear that these items may be a choking hazard for small children.
The enforcement of this law was still practiced decades later, which deemed the now-popular Kinder Surprise eggs illegal for sale in the U.S. when Ferrero launched them in the ‘70s. In more recent times, there’s been a seasonal surge of surprise eggs seized at U.S. Port of Entries situated along the U.S.-Canada border from both U.S. and Canadian citizens alike; many of whom were unaware of the American ban on surprise eggs to begin with. In the 2011 fiscal year alone, more than 60,000 Kinder Surprise eggs were seized at the U.S.-Canada border and in many cases, the parties involved in the unintentional smuggling of these apparently-illegal treats have been threatened with fines of up to $1,200 per egg!
A Kinder Surprise egg. Image source.
It was not until 2013 that children all across the U.S. were finally given the opportunity to enjoy the novelty of a toy-filled chocolate egg; a novelty that their parents and grandparents were deprived of in their own childhoods. Candy Treasure, LLC, a New Jersey-based candy manufacturer dodged the 1938 law by manufacturing their Choco Treasure eggs with a ridge in the seam between the two halves. This ridge reveals to their beholders a small hint of the shell of the inedible plastic egg containing the toy; a hint that apparently is good enough to pass FDA guidelines!
A Choco Treasure egg. Image source.
To add to this uplifting tidbit, this year, Candy Treasure, LLC recently acquired a license to collaborate with DreamWorks, LLC to feature some of their famous characters! Just in time for this Easter, Kung Fu Panda’s Po and Penguins of Madagascar’s Skipper will be joining Choco Treasure’s current line-up of collectible toys!
A Choco Treasure egg featuring a DreamWorks character. Image source.
So my fellow Americans, before Easter, be sure make your way to your neighborhood Target, Toys R Us, or Dollar Tree and enjoy the novelty of having your favorite DreamWorks characters encapsulated in the only surprise eggs legal to be sold in the U.S.!