Consumers hoping to grab cut-price Easter eggs are set to be disappointed.

Wholesalers are reporting limited excess Easter egg stock this year, unlike last year when supermarkets returned hundreds of thousands of eggs to manufacturers, who sold them to the residual market.

Last year, Easter eggs sold for as little as 25p in the week before Easter, as retailers slashed prices to shed stock left over from Woolworths' collapse.

But this year, manufacturers seem to have cracked it, with one wholesaler commenting: "All we have been offered is 16 trucks from a total of three manufacturers, so unless they are placing the stocks elsewhere, there seem to be almost no residuals at all."

Another wholesaler agreed, adding: "The supermarkets have pretty much destroyed the Easter egg market with silly offers two months before Easter, done in much the same way as the beer market and selection boxes pre-Christmas."

But although the big four have been aggressively promoting Easter eggs this year, decreased stock has led to an increase in prices.

Between January and March last year, the average saving for hollow Easter eggs in featured space promotions was £1.53, Assosia data reveals. This year it was 14p less, at £1.39.

The data also reveals shoppers are shelling out more at Sainsbury's, where average savings were £1.69 last year, but 57p less this year at £1.12. At Asda, savings have fallen 36p, from £1.52 to £1.16. But consumers can still find deals. Eggs are on average 29p cheaper at Tesco this year than last, and 1p cheaper at Morrisons.