Originally published by The Spinoff
We tried pretty much every mini egg available at Aotearoa supermarkets so you don’t have to, and ranked them from the ovoid-at-all-costs to the eggceptional.
Mini chocolate eggs play a crucial role in the Easter experience. They’re essential for the hunt, leading child chocolate fiends to the jackpot that is the big hollow egg, and also make a sophisticated petite snack (one or two) or binge (10 or 20) for adults, depending on your vibe.
Back in my day, there was one kind of mini egg and one kind only: filled with caramel, wrapped in spotty foil, sold in long strips. They were perfection and we did not want for more. You can’t stop progress, however, and today we have variety in spades, or at least many slight variations on what is essentially the same (Cadbury) egg.
Yes, Cadbury kinda sucks, but there’s no getting around the fact it dominates the Easter egg market and therefore also this tasting. We patiently await the day that Whittaker’s makes a mini egg, or any egg, for that matter. I know there are probably bougie NZ artisan chocolatiers that make mini eggs but The Spinoff is not made of money so this is very much a supermarket-focused tasting.
The tasting was conducted non-scientifically, with the judging panel consisting of any passing Spinoffer who fancied sampling an egg and sharing their thoughts. Here are the results, from worst to best.
– Alice Neville
26. Whopper Mini Robin Egg Carton
$3.50 for 113g from Countdown
While their charming carton may be reminiscent of that which houses our number one egg, Whopper’s offering paled in comparison. “Not going to lie, I had to spit half of Robin’s so-called egg onto my palm to examine the chalky contents,” said Alex Casey. “Kind of like a Clinker but nowhere near as self-assured. Is this what people talk about when they talk about ‘jingle bells / Batman smells / Robin laid an egg’? Makes you think this holiday season.”
Toby Manhire also took issue with the semantics, pointing out that, “As everyone knows, Easter eggs are laid by bunny rabbits, not by little birds.” He felt the eggs tasted as if they had “bogus sugar” in them, concluding that they were “really bad”.
“The first bite was pleasant-adjacent, kind of like finding a stale Malteser and an off-brand M&M rolling around loose in your glovebox and haphazardly shoving both between your gums at a red light,” said Matthew McAuley. “But my experience with the Robin Egg quickly and steeply declined after that initial impression. Within microseconds the shell element overwhelmed everything else on the palate with an over-sweet flavour and a truly hideous texture, akin to grinding joylessly through a piece of candy-flavoured actual eggshell. I am mad that I ate this and I never want to see it again.”
25. Cadbury Dream White Chocolate Easter Eggs
$3.99 for 110g from New World
“Chalk made into chocolate” and “absolutely foul” were the best we could do with these.
24. Countdown Solid Mini Eggs Milk Chocolate
$3 for 150g from Countdown
Madeleine Chapman was so unimpressed by this Countdown own-brand offering she felt the need to make a numbered list of complaints:
“Upon opening, it was visibly waxy.
It literally split in two without me doing anything.
It tasted like absolutely nothing. Maybe a bit of oil.
I ended with the aforementioned wax coating the roof of my mouth.
Calum Henderson added: “If anybody in the office is going to enjoy bad chocolate it is probably me, the person who thinks ‘carob’ tastes nice. But even I can’t recommend this mini egg.”
Matthew, ever the contrarian, was kinder. “I think my experience of this one was heavily coloured by my impossibly low expectations for it, but honestly I thought this wasn’t so bad. Certainly if this was what all chocolate tasted like I do not believe the category would hold such culinary status, but if this is the s***house option then we’re probably doing all right.”
23. Cadbury Mini Eggs Dairy Milk Chocolate
$10 for 440g from Countdown, or as part of various mixed packs
Look, these are fine if you’ve got no other options. But Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate is just not that nice, and with no filling to detract you from that fact, neither are these.
22. Cadbury Creme Egg Minis
$3.99 for 110g from New World
“The novelty size of these bad boys really expands the ‘how do you eat yours’ potential of the Creme Egg empire,” said Alex. “If I had my time again, I would screw each mini Creme Egg onto my teeth and smile a huge smile of mini Creme Egg dentures and maybe win a T-shirt or something. Alas, I just knocked one back in silence without really chewing. Three stars.”
Alice Neville was disappointed by the lack of yolk. Naomii Seah was disappointed by the lack of flavour. Calum said, “This seems about the right amount of Creme Egg for an adult to eat.”
21. Malteser mini egg
$4.90 for 120g from Countdown, or as part of the M&Ms and more mixed pack, $6.99 for 220g from New World
“I found this egg had a good amount of maltiness, like a milkshake,” said Tina Tiller. Alice was harder to please. “As a fan of Maltesers, I wanted this egg to be more Maltesery – I wanted the malted milk centre to really shine, rather than be relegated to tiny specks within the bog-standard choc. Essentially, I wanted a Malteser in egg form.”
20. Cadbury Mini Eggs Crunchie
$3.90 for 110g from Countdown, or as part of various mixed bag options
Madeleine found these “divine”, her favourite in the Cadbury mini range. “Little Crunchie pieces that don’t get stuck up in your teeth like the novelty bar does, and a delightful little crunch. My go-to option among a dizzying selection.”
No one else was particularly impressed. “F*** the 1 per cent (of so-called “crunch”) in this egg,” said Archi Banal (asterisks her own). “I want my money back.”
Alice concurred – “Not enough Crunchie!” – as did Naomii. “The Crunchie bits were so small I was deprived of the eponymous ‘crunch’, which made me sad as Crunchies are my favourite Cadbury treat.”
19. Cadbury Mini Eggs Caramilk
$3.90 for 110g from Countdown
“It’s Cadbury Caramilk and it’s shaped like a mini egg. If that’s your jam, go for it,” advised Stewart Sowman-Lund while Naomii reckoned you should “buy a block of Caramilk instead”.
Archi was a huge fan, saying, “Caramilk, thank you for making milky chocolate cool again. The way this egg melts in my mouth… I never want to lie about liking dark chocolate ever again.” Bel Hawkins agreed: “Heaven is a place on earth and it’s here.”
Alex had some texture concerns. “This egg is dense as hell. I remember when Caramilk first came back and they sent us a trough of it and a certain former editor ate so much of it that he ended up doing a Holly Hunter impression for what felt like three days straight. Based on the density of these eggs, I’d be genuinely worried about what might happen if he downed a bag.”
18. Ferrero Collection Mini Eggs – caramel
$5 for 100g from Countdown
By far the least popular of the Ferrero triple-threat, the caramel of this egg was simply not up to scratch. “The same as the Ferrero collection – cocoa [see no 2], but not as good due to the caramel being weirdly firm. Definitely doesn’t have hazelnuts though so I guess … yay?” said the nut-allergic Madeleine.
“A nice light, crispy shell but with weirdly viscous caramel that kinda tangled itself around my mouth,” said Stewart. “It also had a slightly fruity aftertaste which I can’t explain. The one I ate looked like it had been unwrapped then rewrapped and the egg itself also looked like it had been pried apart and stuck together, a bit like a Kinder egg. Overall, a disconcerting experience.”
Added Toby Morris: “Lose the dry biscuity wafer layer and we might be onto something, but right now it’s just getting in the way.”
Alex was unmoved. “No offence but this egg is up itself. Okay, so you’ve got a wafer layer and a yummy chocolate shell and a smooth caramel filling? That don’t impress-ah me much. Too big to be mini, not big enough to be dessert. Stop playing mind games.”
14-17. Cadbury Caramello Mini Egg; Cadbury Salted Caramel Mini Egg; Cadbury Dairy Milk Choc Caramel Mini Egg
$3.99 for 115/120g from New World, or in various mixed bag options
These are basically the same eggs, with slight tweaks to the caramel filling. They’re all essentially fine, though Alice and Naomii agreed Cadbury is skimping on the caramel. Alice detected a touch of extra richness in the choc caramel option that gave it a slight edge over its siblings, but Tina reckoned this egg was “most likely to be found still hidden under the couch in six months’ time”, and Amber Easby simply said “Zzzzzzzzz.”
13. M&Ms Mini Eggs
$4.90 for $120g from Countdown
“At first it feels redundant to put a chocolate inside another chocolate but, like the Smarties family block (which is great), these eggs are so much better than you’d expect,” said Madeleine. “The reason: shell. The shell of the mini M&Ms makes for a delightful little crunch while not adding any unwanted pesky flavours. A really good twist on the classic mini egg.”
Alice and Isaiah Tour weren’t so sure. “It’s okay, I’d rather just have a handful of M&Ms,” said the former. “Maybe they’re too small,” added the latter. “I felt like I spent more time unwrapping it than I did eating it. Although love a good crunch to an Easter egg.”
12. Crispy M&Ms Speckled Eggs
$4.90 for 150g for Countdown
“I was not expecting this egg to contain such a spectacular crunch within,” said Alex. “Sure, there’s the initial crack of the candy shell, but then there’s the gentle give of the crispy contents. A light and moreish egg. I do not, however, like what the yellow M&M is wearing on his head.” Fair – see below.
There was some disagreement among other tasters as to whether these eggs were better than standard crispy M&Ms. “They’re crispy M&Ms with a hard shell,” said Madeleine. “But the hard shell is good for a bit of crunch and crispy M&Ms already have the crunch, that’s their whole deal. Just eat crispy M&Ms.”
Stewart countered: “Mad is wrong and for one simple reason: these are bigger than crispy M&Ms. It’s simple taste efficiency, you’re getting twice the deliciousness in one bite.”
Ever the peacemaker, Matt said, “Mad and Stewart both make good points, and these are exactly as good as a regular crispy M&M (read: perfect), so I guess the question is less one of flavour than of ratio, and/or aesthetic. Do you want your M&M a little larger, with a commensurately slightly higher quantity of candy shell and puffed rice? Are you regularly inhaling handfuls of this delicious multicoloured treat with a feeling of mild cringe at their lack of an elegant mica-style speckle? This is assuredly the bag for you.”
11. Sorini Milk Chocolate Eggs
$1.99 for 80g from New World
“It’s just milk choc but it’s quite nice milk choc, and bonus points for being Italian,” said Alice. “I feel like a character in My Brilliant Friend,” added Calum. “Eating this tiny plain chocolate egg is probably the highlight of my entire childhood.” Naomii enjoyed the shape, finding it “very aerodynamic in my mouth”.
10. Ferrero Collection Mini Eggs – hazelnut
$5 for 100g from Countdown
“It’s basically your classic Ferrero but shaped like an egg, and I have absolutely no complaints,” said Stewart. Others disagreed. “I don’t know what I was expecting but it certainly wasn’t a Nutella centre. I’d recommend just eating a Ferrero Rocher, because these came really close but the OG is still better,” said Naomii.
“This was yummy but I miss the chocolate spiky ball. Is that not already … an egg?” asked Archi. It was a rhetorical question, but we’ll provide an answer nonetheless: rocher means rock or boulder, so a Ferrero Rocher is clearly a small boulder (possibly a small boulder the size of a large boulder), not an egg.
“Ferreros are clearly a cut above, with a hollowness that sets them apart from other mini eggs,” added Calum. “Feels like eating a tiny chocolate pani puri with a shot of Nutella inside.”
Tina praised the “light wafer guarding a gawjus gooey chocolate filling, kinda like Nutella consistency … what is that? It’s a good time, that’s what it is.”
The size did prove slightly problematic. “Delicious, though best to eat these ones in one mouthful, unless you want hazelnut all over your hands,” said Claire.
9. Mars mini egg
Part of the M&Ms and more mixed pack, $6.99 for 220g from New World
This was the favourite of the triple pack. “Caramel and chocolate is yum, that fudgey soft stuff in a Mars bar that they claim to be nougat but is not nougat is yum, therefore this egg is yum,” said Alice.
“When I saw the last little Mars egg still up for grabs I announced to the room ‘f***, I love a Mars egg’,” recalled Jane Yee eloquently. “Despite there being an array of mini egg flavours I’ve never tried, I didn’t want to risk sampling a bad egg and used my choice wisely to smash a tried and true. I was not disappointed, my stance remains the same – f*** I love a Mars egg.”
Calum compared these to “a box of Favourites but even more miniature”. (You actually get a mini Moro in a box of Favourites, not a Mars, but we’ll let that slide.) “Feels quite elegant to consume chocolate one perfect mouthful at a time, even if you do end up eating the whole bag,” he added.
7-8. Lindt Lindor Milk and White Chocolate Eggs
$3.99 each for 90g from New World, or in a pack with all three flavours
We didn’t actually try these because New World had run out, but they’re essentially ovoid versions of the Lindt Lindor balls, so it’s safe to say they’re good. Don’t fix what ain’t broke.
6. Lindt Lindor Dark Chocolate Eggs
$3.99 for 90g from New World, or in a pack with all free flavours
These are a sophisticated egg for sure, not to be wasted on any ungrateful children. “Amazing,” said Tina. “I was momentarily transported to that old Moccona ad.”
Added Alice: “Elegant, smooth and classy, and a genuine mini size unlike the bloated (but tasty) Ferrero offerings.”
“Qué lind(t)a indeed,” added Calum, multilingual.
5. Cadbury Turkish Delight Milk Chocolate Easter Eggs
$3.99 for 130g from New World
There was some disagreement over the choc-to-delight ratio of these eggs, with Calum finding it “spot on” but Amber reckoning there was too much chocolate and not enough delight.
As a flavour, Cadbury’s perfumey Turkish delight can be polarising, and Madeleine pointed out that while these aren’t likely to convert anyone, they’re a great addition to a delightful range. “More liquidy than a Favourites delight and with more chocolate to balance it so not overwhelming, but maintaining the flavour we all (read: a minority of us) know and love.”
Alice, having avoided TD for the past two decades or so, found these quite a treat – a sure sign she is finally a grown-up.
4. Cadbury Peppermint Chocolate Easter Eggs
$3.99 for 115g from New World
If the choc-mint combo is your bag, these will go down a treat. “Peppermint is not strictly an Easter flavour, but who cares,” said Toby Morris. “Mix it up I reckon. This is a nice change from your usual egg territory with a good minty kick. An after-dinner egg perhaps.”
Added Reweti Kohere: “Love peppermint tea, after-dinner mints and Snifters (RIP). Ergo, love these.”
Alice was also a big fan, but did wonder why the peppermint filling needed to be a lurid green. “We get it, it’s minty. What’s wrong with a sophisticated white like the beloved after-dinner mint of yore?”
3. Reese's Pieces Eggs
$3.50 for 99g from Countdown
Another charming carton offering, these American eggs are unconventionally shaped, which threw off some of our tasters for just a moment. The taste brought us back round though. “Some might say peanut butter doesn’t belong or it’s not an Easter egg without chocolate, but those people need to open their minds and embrace change,” said Toby Morris. “Great egg shell coating with a little hit of peanut butter sweetness, very good. The egg shape itself is a little pointy if we’re being strict, but I’m into it.”
Tina felt the egg wasn’t as good as a traditional Reese’s Piece, but praised the level of “peanut butteriness”. Claire Choe found it a “lovely adaptation”, however, with “the perfect level of crunchiness”.
Bona fide American Eli Rivera had high praise, saying this was “the only mini Easter egg needed. Peanut butter always wins, even if it’s Reese’s Pieces peanut butter.”
Isaiah agreed. “These felt potentially dangerous… I feel like I could eat the whole box in one sitting.”
2. Ferrero Collection Mini Eggs – cocoa
$5 for 100g from Countdown
The Ferrero eggs are large, possibly too large to be considered truly mini, despite the packet’s claims. We’ll let that slide though, because they’re yum.
“Holy s*** this was good,” said Stewart. “The gooey centre of a Ferrero Rocher, the rich cocoa flavour. Possibly a perfect egg. I will eat a lot of these.”
Added Matthew: “Really yum. Just great stuff here. Pharrell voice: “I have zero, zero, zero notes for that.”
Madeleine was very excited “because these eggs were delicious and, as someone allergic to hazelnuts, I’ve always wanted to eat a Ferrero Rocher without the hazelnut.
“Anyway, turns out they actually have hazelnut in them so if you’re allergic, like me, don’t eat them. So, so good though. Would honestly risk it all for another one.”
1. Cadbury Mini Eggs Milk Chocolate Delights
90c for 41.5g from Countdown
We were highly impressed with these “flirtatious little delights”, as Alex described them. Housed in a petite container that will set you back just 90c (what costs less than a dollar these days?!), they’re a simple choco egg with a lovely crisp candy coating. Bonus points for no pesky foil.
Matthew described this offering as “an outstanding low-outlay option”.
“Really nice pastel palette, matte finish on the candy (as opposed to gloss) gives a nice textural element, chocolate is smooth and not overly sweet,” he raved. “And the box always seems to somehow hold like 40 per cent more than you’d expect.”
Alex agreed. “I love their frosty candy coating, I love their little Polly Pocket carton container, I am fighting every urge in my body to tip the whole thing down my gullet in front of all my colleagues, pour the rest of the egg contenders into a Glad Bag and do my own Jerry Maguire speech to the room,” said Alex. “That’s how inspiring these are.”
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