Chocolate Lovers Rejoice! Kinder Eggs Are Coming To The United States — With A Catch

Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs have millions of devoted fans all over the world, including the United States. Unfortunately for those in the United States, Kinder Surprise eggs are illegal to import or sell. This is because there is a law on the books that prohibits confectionary products that contain a non-nutritive object unless that object has some sort of functional value. So, while a plastic spreader such as those found in cheese and cracker packs is allowed, manufacturers aren’t allowed to sell any sort of candy that has a toy inside. People bringing Kinder Surprise eggs into the US have been detained and threatened with fines for doing so.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has routinely issued recalls for any Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs found in the United States as well as pursues legal action against anyone involved in their illegal importing. The ban on Kinder Surprise eggs has lasted since the 1970s because they were deemed a choking hazard. However, many corner stores stock the Kinder Surprise eggs, knowing their popularity and that they likely won’t ever catch the eye of the government.

Now, however, thanks to a small loophole in the law, Ferrero, the manufacturer of Kinder Chocolates, is now able to legally sell a variant of their Kinder Surprise egg in the United States — the Kinder Joy. The Kinder Joy comes in two halves, each packaged separately. So now, the toy isn’t embedded in the chocolate. One half contains a sweet chocolate and cream topped with two small wafer balls (which comes with a fully functional plastic scoop), and the other half contains the toy surprise. Kids will still love them, even if they aren’t the original variety. And because they’re fully legal and safe — according to current US regulations — parents can feel guilt-free about giving them to their kids.

thanks to separate packaging the kinder joy egg is able to be sold in the us
The Kinder Joy packages the toy separately from the chocolate, making them legal to sell in the US. [Image via Thiti Sukapan/Shutterstock]

Other Loopholes to the Egg Law

But wait, you might think. What about other foods that come with toys and surprises in them? Particularly one caramel popcorn and peanut treat that is synonymous with the circus and peanuts? Well, Cracker Jack has been around for over 110 years now, and every box has a toy surprise inside. However, the separately-wrapped toy isn’t “embedded” in anything, so it is technically legal.

Another violator is the King Cake (or three kings cake, or kingcake), a staple for Mardi Gras celebrations all over the United States. This cake comes with a tiny plastic baby inside, and whoever finds it gets luck and other fun privileges. The loophole that these use is that the small plastic baby isn’t put in the cake by the manufacturer. It’s set to the side. So, you get to break the law when you put the baby somewhere in the cake and serve it up to others.

Finally, there’s the Choco Treasure, advertised as a “chocolate egg with a toy surprise inside.” If that sounds a lot like a Kinder Surprise egg to you, you’d be right. The loophole that the Choco Treasure uses to get around the FDA rule is by not enclosing the chocolate around the plastic capsule inside. There’s a thin seam around the egg that exposes the plastic inside, thus ensuring that the capsule is not embedded inside the chocolate.

loved by millions, the chocolate kinder surprise eggs are illegal in the us
Because the plastic capsule is completely surrounded by chocolate, it is illegal to sell Kinder Surprise Eggs in the US. [Image via Coralie Ferriera/flickr/CC BY 2.0]

The Kinder Joy eggs are scheduled to start hitting shelves in retailers across the United States in January of 2018.

[Featured Image via Authentic Creations/Shutterstock]