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Hopping mad . . . Easter eggs replace festive fare on shelves

CHRISTMAS is barely over but Easter eggs have already found their way on to supermarket shelves.

Consumer waistlines and wallets may still be recovering from seasonal overindulgence but that hasn't stopped Tesco selling chocolate eggs, bunnies and chicks.

Smarties Easter eggs, Lindt bunnies and chocolate chicks bearing the legend 'Happy Easter' have already gone on sale.

And Tesco confirmed that more eggs will be on shelves by the end of January, even though Easter does not fall until April this year.

The Consumers' Association of Ireland said it was unbelievable that stores were already rolling out Easter sales.

"We're still actually in the 12 days of Christmas so this seems insane," said CAI chief executive Dermott Jewell.

But Tesco spokesman Seamus Banim claimed that many people wanted to budget ahead for Easter.

However, there was no sign of Easter eggs at Supervalu or Dunnes outlets in Dublin city centre yesterday.

Irish Independent