Once-Banned Kinder Eggs Are Finally Coming to the U.S.

published Nov 15, 2017
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(Image credit: Ferrero)

Kinder Eggs, also known as Kinder Surprise, are egg-shaped chocolates with a small toy prize inside, and they’re wildly famous and popular treats in Europe and much of the rest of the world. Unfortunately, they’re banned in the U.S. because it’s illegal to sell candy with non-edible objects inside it, on the grounds that the object is a choking hazard.

For years, Americans who wanted Kinder Eggs had to travel abroad, or try to smuggle them through customs. Over the years many brave souls have tried to smuggle Kinder Surprise eggs into the U.S. Tens of thousands of the forbidden chocolates are confiscated by customs every year. Smugglers risk a fine of up to $2,500 per egg if caught.

But starting this month, Kinder Eggs will finally be available legally in the U.S. They’re not exactly the same toy-containing Kinder Surprise Egg that’s been banned, however. It’s a newer variety called Kinder Joy.

Kinder Surprise is the most famous variety of Kinder Egg. It’s a big, egg-shaped hollow chocolate with a little yellow plastic capsule inside. That capsule contains some kind of tiny toy.

Kinder Joy is a newer product that debuted in 2001, and it is a plastic egg in two separate pieces. One half is completely non-edible, and that contains the toy. The other half of the egg is filled with chocolate cream, crispy little wafer balls, and a tiny spoon to eat it with.

Both the Kinder Surprise and the Kinder Joy are technically Kinder Eggs, in that they are both Kinder-branded, egg-shaped chocolates by Ferrero. And they both come with small toys. The core difference, and the reason Kinder Joy is allowed in the U.S., is that the Kinder Joy’s surprise toy is not contained in the candy itself.

Kinder Joy will make it’s U.S. debut on Black Friday at Walmart stores across the country, where they will sell for $1.34 apiece, according to WKTR News. Walmart will have them exclusively for 30 days, after which they’ll be available all over the United States. Ferrero expects them to be a permanent part of the U.S. market, and buying a Kinder Joy at the grocery store sounds a whole lot easier than smuggling a bunch of illicit chocolate eggs through customs.