I’m coming to have a real and visceral hatred of Kinder eggs. My son and I come to these little symbols of everything that’s wrong with the modern world from completely different viewpoints. His cherubic little face lights up as he peels off the foil, but for each of his squeaks of glee my shoulders ratchet up a little higher. There are a multitude of reasons for my utter hatred of these seemingly innocuous ovoids, so it’s difficult to know where to start in order of articulating why they offend me, and why, to me, they represent so many wrongs.
- They are incredibly wasteful of materials on many levels. Onion like you peel off the foil, or, in the case of Kinder Joy, plastic, to reveal a tissue-thin chocolate egg, in which is a hinged plastic egg containing two or three small pieces of plastic that the enraptured child can put together. If you’re lucky there will also be a small printed sheet on which are printed all the other items you can collect to make up a set of themed items. Curious that, you have to buy something sight unseen to collect a number of themed items.
- The chocolate quantity is negligible. A triumph of style and packaging over substance.
- They are representative of globalised capitalism as plastic toy items are made in China, the packaging is single-use plastic, the chocolate element is made by Ferrero, they are distributed worldwide and then they end up being given to my son in the UK.
- These items are ruthlessly marketed and overly available to children. Children are vulnerable, easy to influence and have wants that are difficult to manage when they are younger and in no way should they be victim to the whims of marketeers, whose primary objective is profit.
- These items are cheap, belying their true cost; to the environment and society.
- The plastic ‘toys’ encased within the plastic egg are small, easily broken and easily lost. They aren’t designed to engender a sense of value or longevity in the child. Easily attained, easily forgotten. This isn’t a good long-term way of thinking for children growing up with climate challenges and diminishing materials to deal with.
- When I try to mention well-meaning grandparents the reasons behind my dislike of these eggs, I am met with hurt looks of bewilderment and they go on to ignore me anyway. What mum would want to take away a little piece of magic from their child they mutter as they shake their heads in bafflement. It seems that the advertising has also done its dirty work on those old enough to know better.
Another rather depressing angle to this mini rant, is that I can stop my son eating Kinder eggs but that won’t stop them being produced as there isn’t governmental will to take action and how can one embargo stem a tide this strong. One glimmer on the horizon is that they are apparently banned in Chile, but it’s a very tiny glimmer.