The decline in sales of chocolate eggs may be giving the toy industry an opportunity to tap into the Easter market.

Industry observers have suggested one reason for the drop in Easter egg sales - down 11% by volume - may be parents giving children toys instead of chocolate because of health concerns. “Friends and family are switching to an alternative gift,” said Crispin Reed, MD of consultancy Brandhouse.

Toy sales were already 35% higher over Easter than any other time in Q1, and could be boosted by European products such as €30 large plastic eggs containing toys, said toy analysts NPD.