Since 1974, Kinder Surprise Eggs have combined the sale of a chocolate egg with a surprise toy inside.
But Kinder Eggs are not sold in the United States, because the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act prohibits embedding “non-nutritive items” in confections.
The concern is that small children could choke on the mini-toys found inside the eggs. Additionally, in 1997, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall on the eggs due to small traces of lead in the plastics.
As a result, those bringing Kinder Surprise Eggs into the US can receive a fine of hundreds of dollars. In one case, two Seattle men said they had no idea they were doing anything wrong when they purchased Kinder Eggs.
The two men decided to bring home treats and picked up six of the eggs. “We packed it in the back of the car because we weren’t going to eat them,” said one man.
Guards searched their car at the border, and then notified the men they were now accused smugglers. “He said, ‘Are you aware kinder eggs are illegal in the United States and carry a $2,500 fine per egg?’ And I actually laughed,” said one of the men. That would be $15,000, for harmless chocolate eggs.
Choco Treasure sidesteps the FDA rule — no “non-nutritive object” encased in food — by having two egg halves wrapped around a toy capsule that is fully visible as a safeguard against anyone eating the enclosed toy.
Toy lines include dinosaurs, sports balls, and Spiderman. They’re supposed to be available at major candy-selling retailers by Easter. You can order directly from the company now, where the smallest quantity available is a dozen for $14.49.
A note about safety from their website:
- We literally put safety first at Candy Treasure. The first thing we do with every single toy is test it with a US Consumer Product Safety Commission certified lab to make sure it’s safe for children of all ages, not just kids over 3.
- Just a few of the tests that Choco Treasure toys undergo include: small parts testing, bite testing, torsion testing, tension testing, lead testing, phthalate testing, flammability testing, impact testing… and many more.
- We make the candy ornaments, eggs, balls and jack’o lanterns we want our kids to eat. We use chocolate from Switzerland and only 100% pure milk chocolate. We never use a combination of milk chocolate or compound (what we’d call “fake chocolate”) or white confectionery. And we never use high fructose corn syrup in any of our products.