Waitrose has removed plastic from “nearly all” of its Easter range for 2023.

The grocer has stopped using plastic trays and removed plastic windows in the packaging of its latest range of chocolate bunnies, eggs and bakes.

The changes would help save nearly one tonne of plastic from going into landfill, and had reduced packaging weight by almost 20%, Waitrose said. It now means that 100% of its own-brand Easter packaging is now fully recyclable.

“This is a big step in our commitment to remove unnecessary packaging and we look forward to making even more changes in the future,” said Waitrose confectionery product developer Sarah Breadmore.

The new sweet and savoury Easter range, which will be available from 7 February, sees the return of popular lines, but also a range of new chocolate characters.

It includes ‘Take it Slow Boe’, a 135g milk chocolate tortoise that will retail at £6, and ‘Hip Hop Harri’, a 105g bunny character holding a salted caramel carrot that will retail at the same price. They join a chocolate fried egg called ‘Sunny Side Sam’ first launched in 2022.

Waitrose has again teamed up with chef Heston Blumenthal, who has developed a dark chocolate version of a ‘dabbit’.

The dabbit, which can change appearance between a duck or a rabbit depending on the angle from which it’s observed, is regularly used by researchers as a way of testing creative ability. ‘The Chocolat Dabbit’ will retail at £6.

A golden apple as well as ‘Eggstraordinary Eggs’ previously developed by Blumenthal for Waitrose will also return.

Aside from confectionery, the range also features a selection of baked goods, including a West Country mature cheddar & stout hot cross bun addition to Waitrose’s No. 1 luxury range (rsp £2.50/four-pack) and a Easter Chocolate & Orange flavour panettone (rsp £8/500g).

Waitrose is preparing to face its first Easter since the introduction of HFSS rules in October last year, at a time when food inflation and living costs are soaring.

Easter Sunday falls on 9 April 2023, and despite the cost of living crisis, customers were already planning ahead, the grocer said.

Searches for ‘Easter’ and ‘Easter eggs’ increased 89% and 110% respectively over the past two weeks.

Waitrose’s full Easter range is below:

  • Sunny Side Sam: £6/100g
  • Hip Hop Harri: £6/105g
  • Take it Slow Boe: £6/135g
  • Caramel Ribbon Easter Egg: £7/180g
  • Orange Ribbon Easter Egg: £7/165g
  • Raspberry Ribbon Easter Egg: £7/178g
  • Scrambled Fudge: £3.30/130g
  • Carrot Cake Fudge: £3.30/130g
  • The Chocolate Dabbit: £6/80g
  • The Golden Apple: £15/260g
  • Eggstraordinary Hen’s Eggs: £6.50/150g/4
  • Eggstraordinary Speckled Eggs: £6/88g/6
  • No.1 Luxury Hot Cross Buns:- £2.50/4
  • No.1 West Country Mature Cheddar & Stout Hot Cross Buns: £2.50/4
  • Easter Chocolate & Orange Panettone: £8/500g
  • Easter Carrot Patch Cake: £8