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Most of Britain might have missed out on a white Christmas, but the odds are looking good for Easter.

That’s because white is the new brown for suppliers, with brands from Smarties to Jaffa Cakes launching paler versions of their bestsellers over the past year.

Even Cadbury Creme Egg is at it, launching its first-ever flavour variant for Easter 2023. “White chocolate is growing fast in the category, so in combination with the number one Easter brand, this will be a truly incremental product,” said brand manager Lyndsey Homer on unveiling the white egg in December.

No wonder there’s a litter of white chocolate bunnies hopping on to the market this year.

Ferrero’s Thorntons brand has unveiled White Chocolate Bunny (p55) and Lindt & Sprüngli is set to roll out Strawberry White Chocolate variant for Lindt Gold Bunny, with an accompanying 195g egg.

Mars Wrigley is also going pale. “In response to 73% growth in white chocolate over the previous year, we have launched Twix White Extra Large Eggs and Maltesers White Truffles Luxury Eggs, which are designed to bring in younger shoppers to the category,” says a Mars spokeswoman, citing NielsenIQ for the year ending 25 December 2021.

And NielsenIQ data for the week to 16 April 2022 shows Maltesers White Mini Bunnies pouches were the top small sharing novelty shape in value sales, she adds.

Mars’ pale rabbits also have a unique fanbase, “with 68% of shoppers only buying white bunnies, according to Kantar data for the 16 weeks ending 17 April 2022” the spokeswoman explains.

Perhaps even more special than white reimaginings of classics is when berry is thrown into the mix.

“A real standout [from last year] was Morrisons The Best white chocolate egg, made from Belgian chocolate and studded with freeze-dried raspberry pieces,” says Howard Wright, executive creative director at Equator Design. The design agency worked on the Morrisons packaging with the aim of drawing attention from premium branded eggs.

Seems retailers and brands alike are banking on soaring demand for white chocolate. It’s likely the segment will multiply like rabbits as Easter weekend draws near.

Are Easter sales at risk of being squished? Easter & spring category report 2023