Vegans spark supermarket Easter egg change
Vegans and shoppers who want more ethical chocolate this Easter are shaking up what's on supermarket shelves this year.
Easter eggs are getting a makeover at Australia's major supermarkets in more ways than one.
Coles, Woolworths and ALDI are now including Easter products that are either ethically sourced, vegan friendly, reduced in sugar or sugar-free.
For the first time, ALDI is offering dairy-free and vegan chocolate Easter products.
An ALDI spokeswoman told News Corp it was offering three vegan products as part its Easter range this year.
"We've noticed an increase in consumer demand for dairy-free and vegan chocolate alternatives, especially around Easter time," she said.
They include the Sweet William Chocolate Bunny, Sweet William Hollow Egg and Choices Easter egg.
"ALDI's private label Easter products include Choceur, Moser Roth, Specially Selected and Choice (which is the vegan egg) - all of which are sustainable certified by either Fairtrade, UTZ or Rainforest Alliance.
"The branded products at ALDI have their own certification requirements."
Coles told News Corp that for the first time ever, its private label range of Easter eggs are now all made from ethically sourced cocoa.
The move is part of Coles' overall strategy to have its private label cocoa, coffee and tea products all ethically sourced.
The supermarket committed to an Ethical Sourcing Policy for its private label products in 2016.
A Coles spokesman said: "At Coles, we believe that we have a responsibility to work with the cocoa, coffee and tea industries to ensure that these products are sourced ethically and sustainably, and to help grow a market for independently certified products such as Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ.
"All Coles own brand loose tea and tea bags are from certified sources, and the business is committed to using certified coffee and cocoa in all Coles own brand coffee, cocoa and chocolate products by 2020."
As for vegan friendly chocolate, Coles shoppers can purchase dark chocolate products from their stores like the Chocolatier Decadent Dark Egg Selection, which contains 70 per cent cocoa in them.
Woolworths shoppers can purchase two options for vegans which include the Kinnerton Just Chocolate Easter egg and the Sweet William Chocolate Easter Bunnies.
For those who want a reduced sugar or sugar-free option, the supermarket is stocking a Chocolatier No Added Sugar Milk Chocolate Egg, Chocolatier sugar-free Dark Chocolate Egg (made with stevia) and a Greenfields ABC Licensed Reduced Sugar Egg.
A Woolworths spokeswoman told News Corp: "This year Woolworths has introduced three sugar-free and reduced sugar options to the Easter egg range in addition to last year's two vegan products."
The move comes as an IBISWorld Industry report titled Chocolate and Confectionery Manufacturing in Australia from March last year stated: "Supermarkets are expected to expand their ranges of private-label industry products to include healthier and premium varieties of chocolate and confectionery.
"However, ongoing consumer demand for premium chocolates and confectionery is projected to support industry growth."
The report stated that industry revenue is forecast to increase at an annualised 1.3 per cent over the five years through 2022-23, to reach $6.1 billion.
Australian health retailer, Healthy Life, is also stocking a wider range of ethical Easter products that are vegan, organic, fair trade, no added sugar and dairy-free.
One of them is the Loving Earth Boobook Eggs that are certified organic, plant-based chocolate that is dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free and cane sugar-free.
While mass produced Easter eggs might be cheaper, Healthy Life Nutritionist Madeleine Memmolo said real chocolate doesn't come cheap.
"The simplest and easiest way to have a feel good Easter that is better for your health and your conscience is to go for quality over quantity and opt for organic Easter eggs made with ethically-sourced chocolate from a fair trade certified company," she said.