The Kinder Surprise is a chocolate egg with a plastic capsule in the middle containing a small toy. It’s a common candy all over the world, but has a cult appeal to Americans because it’s illegal here. It’s so illegal that you can be fined thousands of dollars for smuggling them into the country. Now, though, the company has a product that is American-proof and totally legal, and will introduce it next year.
The new product is a little different from the Kinder Surprise, and from the Choco Treasure, a similar treat designed around American laws. The Kinder Surprise puts a toy inside a hollow egg, which was based on an Italian Easter tradition but became available year-round. The new product, Kinder Joy, is an egg where one half is all candy, and the other half is all toy.
The candy half is a pudding-like cream, which kids scoop out of the shell with a little plastic spoon. It has two “wafer balls” to add crunchiness. You can see how it’s supposed to be eaten in this commercial from India.
The product was designed for markets with hotter climates than Europe, but it also happens to conform to our weird laws in this country.
What makes the Kinder Surprise illegal is a 79-year-old law that bans items that aren’t food from being completely encased inside something that is food. This law isn’t completely unjustified: Last year, a 3-year-old girl in France died after she reportedly ate a toy from a Kinder Surprise egg, which obstructed her airway.
It is a little insulting that even adults aren’t allowed to open and enjoy the candies here, though. Instead, we have to enjoy them when traveling abroad, or when we find a store selling smuggled eggs and other gray-market Kinder products.
While Kinder is an unfamiliar brand to most Americans, its parent company, Ferrero, makes other familiar products. It also sells the choco-hazelnut spread Nutella, Ferrero Rocher candies, and Tic-Tacs.
An executive at Ferrero told Fortune that Kinder is the second largest “confectionery brand” behind Cadbury, and the company hopes that expanding across the Atlantic will help it to take the #1 spot.