Easter is one of the biggest candy selling periods of the entire year — 3.7 billion in the U.S. in 2020, according to the National Confectioner's Association — and we can understand why: Not only are there baskets that need filling, it's the one time of the year we can all gleefully indulge in biting the ears off rabbits and stealing eggs.
Chocolate rabbits! Candy eggs! Of course.
But the sheer volume of possible sweet treats out there themed to both Easter and springtime is overwhelming, and growing every year as corporations get cute with their flavor and shape profiles, while independent chocolatiers try to grab a slice of that sweet, sweet candy purchasing power for themselves.
What to do, where to go and what to see
But we're here to help. Here's some of the biggest new releases for 2021 from the brands you know and love: Kinder, Hershey's, Reese's, Sour Patch and so on — and a selection of higher-end, smaller-batch brands you might want to consider purchasing for a special someone. Or maybe, even, yourself.
Here's the 2021 Easter Candy roundup:
New Retail Easter/Spring Items
Sour Patch Kids Watermelon Jelly Beans
A twist on the classic, each 13 ounce bag comes with watermelon-flavored jelly beans, all based on the Sour Patch Kids candy.
Swedish Fish Jelly Beans
Back for just a short run this year, these are red jelly beans inspired by classic candy. The packaging is the most Easter-y part of this confection, but candy is candy, right?
Kinder Mini Hollow Figures
The mini Easter figures are six individually-wrapped hollow spring animal figures with smooth milk chocolate and a creamy milk lining.
Mini Nutella Jars with light green and yellow lids
Your favorite hazelnut spread is offering 1.5 ounce mini glass Nutella jars with light and green yellow lids for the holiday. Plus: Nutella &Go! will also be available in Easter-themed portable packs.
Ferrero Caramel Eggs
Ferrero eggs already come in hazelnut and cocoa flavors; caramel is the new addition. Each bag comes with10 chocolate-covered, individually-wrapped crispy eggs enrobing a creamy filling.
M&M's Mystery Mix Eggs
This new mix brings together three M&M's flavors: milk chocolate, peanut butter and double chocolate all in one bag, all shaped like eggs to celebrate the season.
Peeps Hot Tamales Fierce Cinnamon Flavored Marshmallow Chicks
Bored with the same old candy? These spicy cinnamon and marshmallow Peeps are sure to heat up any Easter Basket.
Peeps Froot Loops Flavored Pop
After a "momentary hiatus," as the company puts it, from store shelves last Easter, Peeps marshmallow chicks are back and with two new nationally-available items — one spicy, one fruity. In addition, Peeps has a whole slew of recipes and arts and crafts for their marshmallow delights here.
Reese’s Mallow-Top Peanut Butter Cups
The beloved peanut butter cups with a bottom-half milk chocolate shell and a top-half marshmallow-flavored crème top.
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Pip Bunny
Go for the ears first when consuming your chocolate bunny? Hershey's is here to help, with a rabbit who's made to give you the most bang for your buck.
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Build-A-Bunny
Construct your own Easter Rabbit with these milk chocolate blocktacular building shapes.
Ice Breakers Strawberry Lemonade Duckling
Looking for a fruitier spin on your Easter sweets? This sugar-free gum comes with a sweet and sour twist in packaging featuring a duckling sipping from a glass.
Brach's Jelly Bird Eggs (Reds)
A compilation of the best "red" flavors out there: cherry, strawberry, raspberry and watermelon.
Brach's Milk Chocolate Jelly Bean Mix
An assorted mix of milk chocolate-covered jelly beans (and some non-covered jelly beans) that come in cherry, raspberry and strawberry flavors.
Brach's Rainbow Sparkle Jelly Bird Eggs
Leave out the chocolate, bring in the fruity variety with jelly bird eggs flavored like grape, lemon, lime, orange, blue raspberry and cherry.
Nerds Hoppin' Easter Rope
Nerds, featured in springtime colors cover soft gummy ropes, featured in treat-sized pouches for egg hunts or baskets alike.
Mother's Springtime Circus Animal Cookies
Mom should get her own treats, right? Here's a collection of limited-batch Circus Animal Cookies in bunny, chick, butterfly and duckling shapes, covered in icing and sprinkles.
New Specialty Chocolates
Brooklyn's oldest candy factory is 75 years old and has a large assortment of Easter chocolates. New for this year are hand-painted (with custom cocoa butter colors) marshmallow eggs and the "Tunes" Bunny, who's got his music going. Also available: Easter Bombs — just add chocolate to a mug, pour on hot milk and get hot cocoa with a homemade marshmallow. More here.
Kokak chocolates opened in June 2020 and has two sweet treats: the Easter Truffle Collection, a 16-piece truffle box featuring flavors like Kalamansi, Peanut Marshmallow and Sea Salt Caramel. There's also the Spring Tropical Fruit Collection, which features truffles flavored in mango, lemon grass, passion fruit, banana caramel and pineapple coconut. More here.
Another new addition to the specialty chocolate field, artist Ursula XVII is a Michelin-trained chocolatier who creates small-batch handcrafted bonbons. Her 12-piece Easter assortment features salted caramel, dark chocolate, coconut, strawberry, cherry almond and sugar cookie candies. In addition, Breakers are personal-sized kits with everything you need to smash open a hollow chocolate statue. Kits include one mallet, one chocolate statue, and edible chocolate paints. More here.
The high-end Belgian chocolatier has one new item for Easter this year, the Easter Eggs Ballotin. Filled with 40 Neuhaus chocolate Easter eggs, the ballotin features a selection of praline, ganache and gianduja (hazelnut) fillings, and comes wrapped in pastel-colored paper, covered in butterflies. More here.
This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY: