Kinder Surprise Eggs Are Banned in the U.S. Because of the Toy Inside


May 22 2023, Published 12:21 p.m. ET

If you've ever been abroad, you may know that countries like the U.K. have a kind of Kinder egg that it's impossible to buy in stores in the U.S. Those eggs, which are called Kinder Surprise eggs, are actually banned in the U.S., which is why they are basically impossible to find stateside.

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If you've discovered Kinder Surprise eggs and are wondering why they aren't available for purchase in the U.S., you aren't alone. Keep reading for all of the details.

Why are Kinder Surprise eggs illegal in the U.S.?

Kinder Surprise eggs aren't available for sale in the U.S. because of a regulation that was first created by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1938. The law states that any food with a "non-nutritive item" embedded in it is strictly prohibited. Those non-nutritive items are typically toys, which is likely the main reason the regulation is in place. The regulation is likely in place to prevent eaters, and children in particular, from choking on non-food items in candy.

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Kinder Surprise eggs have a plastic capsule embedded within them that's only available once you've eaten through the outer shell of chocolate, which is why they are banned in the U.S.

While Kinder Surprise eggs may not be available to U.S. customers, that doesn't mean Kinder eggs have been entirely banned from the U.S. market.

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U.S. customers can still buy Kinder Joy eggs.

Kinder's Joy eggs are available in the U.S. because they don't violate any FDA regulations. The Joy eggs are only half a shell of chocolate, with the toy confined to the other half of the egg. This means that the toy isn't embedded inside the egg, which is why they're available for sale in the U.S. It isn't foolproof, but these types of eggs may reduce the risk of choking to at least a modest degree.

People have tried to smuggle in Kinder Surprise eggs in the U.S.

Although Kinder Surprise eggs aren't available on the U.S., you might think that you can bring them into the country from Canada or Mexico, which both sell them. If you thought that, though, you'd be wrong. In 2011, a person was stopped trying to smuggle 60,000 of the eggs into the country, after which Ferrero, which makes Kinder eggs, released a statement saying that they prioritized the health of their customers.

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"Kinder Surprise is not available in the United States as the [FDA] has taken the position that a specific regulation relating to non-nutritive objects embedded in foodstuff makes Kinder Surprise not suitable for sale and distribution in the U.S.," the company said in the statement.

"The safety of its consumers, especially children, is and has always been Ferrero's number one priority. Ferrero is absolutely dedicated to providing the safest products possible, from product design to production to final use, going beyond regulatory requirements," the company added.

While Ferrero might not agree with the FDA's stance, it's clear that they are willing to respect it and play by the rules.

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