While shopping at the local dollar store for fine art, I came across a new type of surprise egg: “Bob the Builder” and “Fifi and the Flowertots”.
Being a bit of a chocolate egg nutter, I decided to try them out.
The first prominent difference between Kinder Surprise and these new discoveries is that Bob and Fifi are not made by Ferrero. This is noticeable immediately from the quality of the chocolate. Kinder Surprise is made by Ferrero – known for its high quality and rich chocolate (the type you buy to impress your girlfriend on Valentine’s day). Ferrero designs Kinder Surprise eggs with a milk chocolate shell lined by white chocolate on the inside.
The chocolate egg by Fifi and Bob, however, is a brittle chocolate with no real flavour other than sugar (the type you buy for your girlfriend if you are cheap… she notices, trust me).
As it turns out, Fifi and Bob are made by Sweet SpA.
Sweet SpA eggs were first produced in 1995, and, like Ferrero are also from Italy. Similar to Kinder Surprise, Sweet SpA eggs also contain a surprise toy. These toys however, are a generic single-mould toy (not multiple buildable parts like Kinder) and are designed and distributed in bulk worldwide.
The disappointing chocolate is surprising, considering that the chocolate in Sweet SpA eggs is produced by Barry Callebaut – one of the largest chocolate producers in the world. It must be from their wholesale department.
What also makes Sweet SpA eggs different is their marketing strategy. While Kinder Surprise prides itself on its brand recognition, Sweet SpA operates based on licensing. In Canada, for example, Sweet SpA eggs are marketed through licensing by Chapman Entertainment (Bob the Builder, Fifi and the Flowertots and others).
Sweet SpA also licenses in other countries throughout the Europe, mainly with Thomas and Friends and Bob the Builder. The UK has some crazy looking Asian rabbit, and Hungary has Hello Kitty‘s little sister or something: “Charmmy Kitty“.
Also disappointing is that Sweet SpA eggs use the type of toy shell often found in toy vending machines, rather than the solid and trademark orange Kinder shell, making it seem less unique.
While it was a fun exercise, I think I’ll stick to Kinder, based on the quality of chocolate and the variety of toys that foster both creativity and excitement.
I also have no clue who Bob the Builder and Fifi and the Flowertots are. Probably rubbish shows anyways. (Kinder made Looney Toons, Yogi the Bear, Tom and Jerry, and Smurf toys! Awesome!)
<– the only kinda cool toy