Free Minds & Free Markets

Kinder Eggs Coming to America? Sadly, No—Ban on Chocolate Candies Still Persists

Smuggling some Kinder Surprise Eggs into America could still earn you a fine of $2,500 per chocolate egg.

Kinder Surprise Egg/FacebookKinder Surprise Egg/FacebookObjectively speaking, Kinder Eggs are not particularly good candy. But with chocolate halves breaking open to reveal a tiny toy prize inside, Kinder Eggs are cool, from a kid's perspective. And like many things made arbitrarily illegal, these chocolate treats have earned a kind of kitsch cache with U.S. audiences that transcends taste buds or age. So a lot of folks were excited when headlines last week announced that Kinder Eggs are finally legal in America.

But it's fake news. While a modified Kinder Egg can now be purchased legally here, the original "Kinder Surprise" variety—the kind you'll find for sale in other countries—is still prohibited, since embedding non-food-items in candy is still banned. The American Kinder Egg will feature two separate halves: one for eating, one with a toy inside.

As Gawker noted back in 2013, Kinder Eggs "have been banned in the States since long before they were first manufactured in the early '70s" by Italian company Ferrero (also the masterminds behind Nutella). A ban on candies with embedded toys has been in place since 1938, when it was included as part of the omnibus Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Under the new law, confectionery products were prohibited from having "any nonnutritive object" either "partially or completely imbedded therein." (An exception exists when "such object is of practical functional value to the confectionery product and would not render the product injurious or hazardous to health.")

The Kinder Egg's illegal status only seemed to up American enthusiasm for the candies, which were smuggled back from abroad in many an ordinary citizen's suitcase over the decades.

I wonder how many knew they faced a fine of $2,500 an egg?

Yes: That's the legal penalty for Kinder Egg trafficking. And Americans have been prosecuted for the crime, though this is rare; airport agents will generally just confiscate the eggs when found.

The blog Today I Found Out provides some more backstory, noting that Nestle challenged the embedded object ban in 1997 after the company introduced a Kinder Egg–like product called Nestle Magic:

When Nestle was preparing to launch the product, the FDA explicitly notified them it was illegal under the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, but Nestle disagreed, noting the product was completely safe so should be considered one of the exceptions. Their position was backed by a report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, who did their due diligence on the candy and determined it, and the non-edible item inside, were not a choking hazard.

Nestle went forward with the product anyway. It also lobbied Congress to change the law. But after a long legal batttle, the company had to discontinue the product and pull it from stores.

Photo Credit: Kinder Surprise Egg/Facebook

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  • Crusty Juggler||

    Which day do eggs hate the most?

    Fry day.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Kinder egg chocolate is NOT very good, and the sheer quantity of Crusty's stupid puns gives them a sort of Neil Hamburger-esque hilarity. So there.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    "Why don't rapists eat at TGI Fridays?

    Because it's hard to rape with a stomachache."

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    "Why did all the guests at Paris Hilton's party refuse to drink the apple based alcoholic beverages?"

    "Because they heard that there was semen in cider"

  • Crusty Juggler||

    How many French eggs do you need?

    One egg is un oeuf.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    What do you call an egg lying in the garden?

    An egg plant.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Thank you, Bazooka Joe.

  • ||

    since embedding non-food-items in candy is still banned.

    If true, then how do Mounds and Almond Joy get away with having coconut in them?

  • Zeb||


  • albo||

    I like the way you think, pardner

  • DenverJ||

    *starts singing "sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't"

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Why did the new egg feel so good?

    Because he just got laid!

  • Crusty Juggler||

    How do you make an egg roll?

    You just give it a little push!

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Just want you to know I reported all your posts as spam.

  • Crusty Juggler||


    1 12-ounce can SPAM® Classic, cut into cubes
    2 fresh chives, chopped, if desired
    4 large eggs
    1/4 cup milk

    1.In bowl, whisk together eggs and milk.
    2.In greased skillet, cook egg mixture over medium-high heat, pulling with spatula to allow liquid to contact skillet surface, until desired doneness.
    3.Add SPAM® Classic to skillet. Reduce heat; gently stir mixture until SPAM® Classic is heated thoroughly. Garnish with chives.
  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Finally, I tricked you into giving me your delicious secret SPAM® recipes. The day is mine, Crusty.

  • Crusty Juggler||


    Start your rice cooking first, I make 3/4 cup pre-cooked in my rice maker which takes 20 minutes, it's the slowest part of this dish and yields 1 1/2 cups cooked rice.

    Mix shoyu, sugar, fish sauce and rice vinegar in a bowl. Cut your slices of SPAM into 1/2 inch cubes and marinate in shoyu mixture. When rice has about 10 minutes to go, whisk eggs with milk, salt, and pepper.

    Heat a skillet on medium high and pour eggs in. Scramble them and then put onto a plate. Place plate in the microwave to keep warm. Using a fork or slotted spoon, remove SPAM from marinade and cook in same skillet until a golden brown crust forms on the cubes. (Don't dump marinade in, or as Eric discovered, it's really salty!)

    Scoop rice onto a plate and top with eggs and SPAM.
  • Crusty Juggler||

    Spam Hash

    Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes, onion, and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes or until the potatoes are lightly browned.
    Add the Spam, thyme, and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 more minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the Spam is lightly browned.
  • sarcasmic||

    That actually looks good. The hash.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I think Spam in general is better than people say. It's one of those foods that is associated with being poor, rather than being bad by itself.

    But you're talking to a guy who loves organ meats too, so take that into account.

  • ||

    Everyone knows you fry the SPAM separately until it turns a less nauseating shade of darker pink. Then de-grease with a lot of paper towels.

  • You're Kidding||

    I cut the two end pieces off the spam loaf and it those a la natural while I slice and dice the rest of the loaf for frying.

    Spam is quite lovely actually. And very adaptable.

  • gphx||

    Spam is made from narc dicks.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Nestle Magic

    I remember those. They were pretty awful.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Why couldn't the egg think straight after his exercise class?

    His brain was scrambled!

  • Eidde||

    "And now we come to our next item, the Spring Surprise..."

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    That's a better name. In this day and age "Kid surprise" is a dangerous name to be throwing around.

  • jmg09||

    Is that why there's no Whizzo Chocolate Factory here?

  • sarcasmic||

    You can have my chocolate eggs when you pry them from my warm, sticky hands!

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    It would be nice if we finally got that Kinder, gentler America that the old perv GHW Bush promised, but doesn't Reason mag have something more important to crusade over than junk food?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Do you think we are all Kevin Spacey?

  • ||

    I know a Kinder egg smuggler that will be very amused by this. Are they the Cuban cigar of chocolate?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If other countries want to Darwin their dumb children out of the gene pool, that's fine. Here in America we cherish even our stupid kids.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    The plastic toy container inside the egg is actually pretty big. I've always wondered what kind of mutant snake-children had the ability to accidentally choke on it.

  • albo||

    embedding non-food-items in candy is still banned.

    Then pull anything with coconut from the market.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Um, my daughter bought one in a German restaurant. In the U.S. Maybe it's one of the new ones?

  • JudoPete||

    There was and possibly still is a Kinder Egg variant that had a plastic rim that protruded from the egg, thus bypassing the "embedded in" illegality phrase that made the the completely covered original Kinder Egg that's legal everywhere else on the planet illegal.

  • FMurderSlaybraham||

    "Under the new law, confectionery products were prohibited from having "any nonnutritive object" either "partially or completely imbedded therein."

    So, question--how are cakes that are sold with candles or plastic decorations on top, or pizzas that are delivered with pizza savers stuck in them, legal under this law? Those things are partially embedded.

  • Zeb||

    Those are not confectionery products. I guess cakes might be, but they are not usually sold with candles already inserted as far as I know.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    King cake for Mardi gras has a plastic toy inside...

  • FMurderSlaybraham||

    Good point on the pizza, but cakes are absolutely confectionery products. While they are not often sold with candles inserted, there are frequently plastic decorations placed on top which are actually embedded in the frosting. If you've got like a Safeway or Vons near you check out the cake section, you'll see what I'm talking about.

    And Marcus Aurelius, good point on the King cake.

  • You're Kidding||

    Forbidden fruit always tastes better.

  • gphx||

    Next thing you know they'll go after the limeade with the antifreeze surprise.

  • Devastator||

    I for one am glad to be protected from this danger by Uncle Sam.

  • Domina Elle||

    I brought a few back from Switzerland. OOPS

  • Pippers||

    I bought these in England about 12 years ago and brought a bunch back with me to the USA. The chocolate is awful. The toys are neat, but lots of tiny parts. When I found out why they don't sell them here, it's kinda obvious they'd be sued into oblivion because of kids choking to death.

    You can buy them at Cost Plus World Market anywhere in the USA, though.

  • dylanjk||

    It feels relevant that in fact, all Kinder eggs are now two-half style, nowhere in Europe are the originals to be found.


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