Easter eggs won’t be confined to the confectionery aisle this year - shoppers will also be able to find them in the freezer.

From this month, ice cream giant R&R is extending its range of licensed Nestlé products with egg-shaped ice creams sold in boxes of two 120ml servings (rsp: £2). Unlike traditional eggs, the ice cream eggs do not have a chocolate shell but are packed in an egg-shaped pot with a removable top.

They come in two variants: a Rolo egg made from vanilla ice cream with a soft caramel centre and a vanilla ice cream Smarties version with a fondant centre and mini Smarties for decorating the egg.

The launch is being supported with national PR and in-store activity. It comes as suppliers look to expand the Easter offer with NPD such as the Cadbury Egg’n’ Spoon after a 5.5% year-on-year slump in sales of traditional shell eggs last Easter [Kantar Worldpanel 16 w/e 8 April 2012].

R&R, the UK’s largest volume manufacturer of ice cream, said the concept had tested well, with 72% of consumers indicating they planned to buy. Like the Smarties Penguin Party Ice Cream launched by R&R last September, the eggs would tap into the novelty ice cream market, which, the company claimed, had grown 360% to £11m in 2012.

“These extend the occasion for ice cream,” said R&R Ice Cream senior marketing manager Charlotte Hambling, adding that Easter was a lucrative trading period for ice cream, typically boosting sales by 11%.

R&R, which makes other Nestlé lines including Potz ice cream tubs, recently acquired the Yoomoo frozen yoghurt business and plans to make it a £20m brand.

Sales of Smarties have risen 2.2% year-on-year to £37.5m, while Rolo has grown 19.9% to £20.9m [Nielsen 52 w/e 13 October 2012].