Red Tulip Bunny vs Heritage Eggs

Posted by in Chocolate Reviews on March 5 2008 | Leave A Comment

Red Tulip chocolates were founded in 1949 but have since been acquired by Cadbury Schweppes. Despite this, they are still regarded fondly by most Aussies and still considered to be a separate identity because we all have memories of just how delicious our Red Tulip Easter Bunnies tasted every year.

Red Tulip Easter Bunny

I was interested to find out if the long-held belief that “Red Tulip makes the best Easter chocolate compared to cheaper brands” was holding up. As such, I found the classic ‘Elegant Rabbit’ which has been in the same, slightly daggy, foil wrapping for my entire life. It literally rules the chocolate shelves in the months leading up to Easter and is obviously the biggest seller. As you can see from the photo, I also tend to subscribe to the foolish notion that chocolate, immediately followed by fruit (grapes in this case) implies that the goodness of the fruit has cancelled out any of the evils of the chocolate, thus meaning that nothing has been eaten. My scales do not yet support this theory.

Heritage Chocolate Eggs

Cheapie Easter choccies come and go, but Heritage has been a brand associated with ‘bargain buys’ for the past few years and seems to be a stayer in the market. I had one friend who disliked her super-sized Heritage egg so much that she left it in her room, only to be discovered by her not-so-fussy Alsatian a few hours later. Wired to the eyeballs and frothing at the mouth, he left dozens of slimy brown vomits throughout the house before they could catch him and take him to the vet. Unsurprisingly, Helen’s been a tad reluctant to try them again.

Time to compare the ingredients.

Red Tulip: 30% cocoa solids, normal-sounding ingredients, 24.6% fat.
Heritage: 24% cocoa solids and not-so-tasty ingredients that include vegetable fat and whey powder. 28.8% fat.

Here’s the taste test surprise though: Heritage tasted significantly better. Red Tulip was too sweet and sickly – and that’s something coming from a reviewer who has been known to eat six Cadbury Creme Eggs in an afternoon – and trust me, I ate two rabbits to make sure! Heritage tasted creamier, smoother and finer. The sad thing is that it doesn’t have the cachet of Red Tulip. Perhaps people could buy the loose eggs and remove them from their labeled bag and thus enjoy them without stigma or unfair pre-judgments.


You might also like...

Comments On This Post

  1. river

    “..the evils of the chocolate….”?? NO NO NO Chocolate IS NOT EVIL. It’s NOT I tell you, NOT, NOT EVIL………

  2. I do agree with you, however my thighs don’t.

  3. river

    The blame for your thighs can be given to cheese and/or milk. Have you read the hip & thigh diet book? It recommends removing dairy foods to see your hips and thighs shrink. Chocolate is all good, there’s no bad there.

  4. Elise

    I myself love Red Tulip Elegant Rabbbits and have been having those for easter every year since I was little and I still don’t buy any other chocolate. I look forward to easter every year when I can have a Red Tulip Elegant Rabbit because it’s an old favourite and they are so delicious!

  5. Elizabeth

    Another year has passed, and it’s Red Tulip time again. It’s nice to finally find some others who also love the very yummy Elegant Rabbits. I have tried the Cadbury Creme easter eggs which are okay, but nothing beats the Elegant Rabbit. It’s not just the taste and texture, it’s the emotional investment, the childhood memories of fun and love at easter, holiday time. I usually like to eat two rabbits in one sitting, mmmmm.

  6. Leanne

    I am an Aussie living in the UK at the moment and have been searching the internet to see whether it would be possible to get a red tulip egg this year as I miss them. The Brits don’t know what they’re missing!

  7. KARA

    Does anyone know where you can buy Red Tulip chocolate outside of Easter? Maybe by the block?

    • Nathan

      Hi Kara, I am pretty sure Red Tulip only comes out at easter time. Cadbury actually makes them now… unless you go to a Cadbury factory I don’t like your chances of getting them out of easter 🙁

    • As far as I know the only other Red Tulip product that Cadbury continued to make was the After Dinner Mints.

  8. Glenda Hynes

    We just love Red Tulip chocolates and were most upset as we could
    not buy any boxes of After Dinner Mints for Christmas. Every year I
    make several lolly Christmas trees, made entirely of your after dinner mints, but even though I searched every where I could not buy one box, let alone the dozen boxes I needed. Can you please let me know if they are off the market, or is this just a temporary problem. Also where can I buy them? I live in Melton, Victoria.
    Thanking you in anticipation of a positive response.
    Glenda Hynes

  9. Robert

    Good afternoon Red Tulip Vs Heritage Bunnies, My brother and I have grown up on Red Tulip Bunnies for decades now. Every year we would stock-pile bunnies for months before Easter and then see how long we could make them last for months after Easter. We once had 112 bunnies locked safely away in a cupboard, in other years we had 84, 98…… and they would last for so long. What made the Red Tulip bunnies so special was the flavour which we could find in no other chocolate ever throughout any other time of year. When we would crack the bunnies open we would deeply inhale (like Darth Vader having an asthma attack)the special smell of the Red Tulip bunnies and it would transport us directly to our earliest childhood memories. Much fun was also had trying to come up with new ways our bunnies would “accidentally” be demolished, decapitated, shattered, stabbed, shot, plunge to their deaths. Alas this is no more because RED TULIP HAVE CHANGED THEIR RECIPE!!!!!! What have they done? The bunnies are now made of sickly sweet chocolate with too much sugar. The chocolate in the old days used to be a refined, not-too-sweet, not-too-bitter chocolate that you could eat with out feeling sick. Not any more. Please, Red Tulip (Cadbury), bring back the old chocolate recipe and make your bunnies worth stock-piling again. We have broken with decades of tradition and will not be buying Red Tulip bunnies to hoard this year until we are satisfied the recipe has reverted to the old Red Tulip classic bunny chocolate.

    • daniel

      i was so sad the last 2 years as red tulip seem to have changed the recipe it almost tastes identical to eating a cadbury block now and they have gone so far backwards also

      i used to get 2 elegant bunnies as a kid every year id eat mine slowly and enjoy the rich cocoa burn at the back of the throat. My brother and sister would scoff both down as soon as they got them.

      2 years ago i brought 10 bunnies and i ate 1 prior to easter to induldge a bit and this is when i found the recipe had changed i ended up giving all my other elegant bunnies away very disappointed. Im very unhappy with the new taste

      this year i haven’t purchased any elegant bunnies with the fear they are wrecked forever

      every year i’d look forward to my elegant bunnies now its just a big hole that can’t be filled

  10. Lewis

    I can’t BELIEVE Heritage won your taste test, it’s foul. And what’s all this about Red Tulip changing their recipe? Stuff and nonsense! It’s still as morish as ever, and I buy so much. It will always be separate from Cadbury to me. Also, Red Tulip Humpty Dumpty… so good. Or maybe it’s just WA that still has it good?

  11. Damian

    i must admit i haven’t eaten a Red Tulip Rabbit for a few years i am not surprised that if cadbury’s owns red tulip then they have wrecked the taste as they have ruined their normal chocolate lines and the dairy milk tastes more like Freddo frog chocolate (great in a little Freddo’s but horrible in a block size) not to mention they keep shrinking the family blocks (thats another story though) but i still find it hard to believe that Heritage chocolate rates better as in my opinion they are the among the WORST tasting chocolate eggs out there and have a really horrible “compound choc” texture to them which in conjunction with a bland flavour makes for a really BAD egg as a matter of fact as a self proclaimed Easter Egg connoisseur i would rather not have an egg at all than a heritage (least the ones ive had so far)..
    i will say this i have always found the Red Tulip Rabbits very sweet and as a kid i have made myself quite sick on them.
    Caburys used to make a nice egg as well (boycotted them since the flavour change and size drop on the blocks)

  12. rhiannon

    I think heratige is better cause they do the nut free choclate so i think there amazing im almost 17 and last year i got my first easter egg 🙂

  13. Helen Dietze

    I too have been searching for Red Tulip After Dinner Mints. Does anyone knowwhy. Are they not available anymore.

  14. Elizabeth

    Helen and Glenda, Red Tulip After Dinner Mints were discontinued in 2008. I’m not sure who made the decision or why. I will miss them too.

  15. Robert

    Hello Everyone, i bought a Red Tulip bunny the other day just for old time’s sake and it appears they have gone back to their original recipe (pre-Cadbury ownership). The taste was just the way i remebered it in my childhood days. Thank you Cadbury for resurecting Red Tulip bunny chocolate recipes (int the spirit of the meaning of Easter).

  16. Troy

    Hi all,

    Just opened a red tulip bunny. It was crap. Tasted like cheap chocolate. Not sure what the go is however I read on web Red Tulip chocolate contained 30% cocoa solids a few years ago. Checked the bunny, it only had 25%. which is similar to heritage.

    Would be interested to know what else if anything has changed in the recipe?

    Red tulip is of the shopping list.


    My parents’ friends Bert and Klara Upton started a chocolate factory in Lane Cove,Sydney in about 1950.After moving at least twice it set up in Mascot in Sydney.Can anyone confirm more details-they called it Exquisite Chocolates and sold Red Tulip brand.

  18. daniel

    kraft brought cadbury a few years ago and have F#%ked up all the cadbury and red tulip lines.

    I don’t think cadbury is to blame over red tulip tasting that bad…..

    please kraft bring back the old red tulip elegant bunny recipe why tinker with something that worked so well

  19. Orange

    Red Tulip is the best, you guys suck. /me flips a table

  20. Nathan

    I agree that the red tulip elegant bunny doesn’t taste the same as it used to. I prefer the cadbury dairy milk bunny now. I think, and could be wrong, that this is due to the uproar caused a yr or 2 ago when cadbury announced that it was reducing the amount of coco butter in the chocolate & replacing it with veggie oil. Us Aussies united with a protest & they returned to the original recipe, including the use of whole milk.

    If you look at the ingredients on the back of the red tulip bunny, you will see they don’t use whole milk, rather milk solids, and there is a decent amount of veggie oil in it… such a shame, red tulip & cadbury used to be the essence of easter in Australia & NZ.

  21. Robert

    Hello once again everyone. Another Easter has passed and the Red Tulip bunnies were out there again. I have to say that they did not quite get it right this year. There is a hint of the old traditional flavour but it is not what it used to be. I sampled many (too many) Red Tulip bunnies and some Cadbury bunnies too. There was definately a difference in the taste between the two lables but Red Tulip still was not quite as good as they used to be – they are still too sweet compared to the flavour of the olden days. I remember cracking open a bunny and enjoying the smell of the chocolate but this year they were still too sweet, probably to do with the cocoa content and milk vs milk solids. PLEASE cadbury, get it right for nest Easter. I continue to be ever hopeful that they go back to the traditional Red Tulip recipe. I noticed all the supermarket chains had their own brands on the shelves too. I did not even try those – the dominance of the home brands which is cutting suppliers out of the chain is getting worse – but that is a whole other story. R

  22. Brendan

    I ate Cadbury and Red Tulip bunnies this Easter, and there is no doubt, Cadbury is much better. I used to love Elegant Rabbits but they are not as good as they were.

  23. Michelle

    oh no, disagree strongly. Having been placated with the heritage ones for years and supplying myself with the real deal, red tulip have it all over heritage.
    Thanks for review though 🙂

  24. Gavin

    I used to show off to overseas visitors about the perfect balance achieved in the Red Tulip Easter egg but the magic has definatly left the recipe behind. It does not even stack up to a family block of Cadbury’s these days but it used to be in a completely different league. I buy one out of habit and reminisce about how it used to taste. I used to buy about 20 of them. You literally have to wash the taste out of your mouth these days when you used to just want to eat another one.

  25. Elizabeth

    Woolworths and Coles do not apear to be selling the Red Tulip Elegant Rabbit this year. I cannot find it on their websites, or on Cadbury’s website, or in the shops. Has anyone else spotted them and which shops are selling them? Thank you.

  26. Lewis

    They’re at Coles at least in Western Australia! I’m sure they’re in Woolworths too. Other Red Tulip bunnies are sold at IGA. I still love Red Tulip as much as I did when I last commented here 3 years ago!

    • Elizabeth

      Hi Lewis, thank you for your speedy reply. Last time I was in Perth was 1973. I will continue investigating the Canberra stores.

      • Elizabeth

        I called Cadbury and was advised that the Red Tulip Elegant Rabbit is available at Coles. So I went to my local Coles again and there they were! Row upon row of elegance 🙂 Very happy now. I just hope they taste nice, hahaha.

  27. Rosie

    So disappointed, the first bunny of the season and can’t even finish it, tastes soapy and nothing like Red Tulip. I was hoping against hope they would keep the recipe but obviously too hard.
    Will be easy to go without this year, good to see Woolies isn’t even bothering to stock the basic eggs, just a bunny, they obviously know as well.

  28. Cadbury bought Red Tulip and got rid of some serious competition. I used to sell Red Tulip in the fifties and considered it the best line of chocolate available. What a shame
    and what a loss for lovers of top quality chocolate.

    • Elizabeth

      Hi Gerry, did you sell red tulip chocolates to retailers or to the public? Just being nosey here. At Easter my mother would only buy red tulip, nothing else was good enough. And this year I cannot find anywhere that sells the Elegant Rabbit. There’s a Working Rabbit, but I want my Elegant!

      • Elizabeth, in the fifties I had a numbet of insulated vans and delivered the RT products to the many milkbars and greek restaurants in western NSW. Red Tulip was the best chocolate on the market but Cadbury made sure this opposition had to go and spent a lot of money to ensure this would happen.
        They call this marketing.

  29. ROBERT

    hello again to all those following this topic. I found the elegant rabbit Red Tulip chocolate bunnies at Coles and Woolworths and they had the Red Tulip larger hollow eggs as well. I bought one of each to try – hoping that Cadbury had reverted back to the old, True, tried and tested recipe of years gone past, that True Recipe that gave us so much pleasure as children, that True Recipe that we remember so fondly, that True Recipe that we still talk of today. Alas, i was disappointed once more. The Red Tulip bunnies were even worse than last year – so sickly sweet that it was inedible after a few small pieces. What a shame. To be disappointed once again for another Easter, that True Recipe abandoned once again so we receive an elegant rabbit that does not live up to its name…. why not call it ‘insufficient rabbit’, or ‘inferior rabbit’ or ‘once famous Red Tulip Rabbit that Cadbury bought and ruined in the name of cheap chocolate rabbit’.
    Why did Cadbury bother to by out Red Tulip and then trash the brand by replacing the chocolate recipe with something else so now it tastes like every other Cadbury product?
    Why will Cadbury not revert back to the Red Tulip recipe? It only needs to be done once a year at Easter time – imagine the publicity?!?!?! Cadbury could make a fortune by advertising they have reverted back to the old Red Tulip recipe. I would buy the bunnies by the cart load if they had the True Recipe (after sampling – of course).
    If Cadbury does not revert back to the old True bunny recipe then they should sell the True Recipe to another chocolate company that is willing to use it for good and not for evil.

  30. Ian

    I just went to the local coles in Perth
    $14 for 140gram red tulip easter egg, WTF?
    *ah, of course, we all work in the mines… gotta love Perth haha

    • Monish

      not funny ian, i didnt even laugh

      you make me sad, katniss off hunge games had her father died in mines SHAME ON YOU@!@@@@!!!

  31. penny

    Every year i buy humpty bumpty this year i did the same 5and a cartoon of small ones i wAs very dissapointed thay dont taste like thay use to the chocolate and the smarties are not the same 🙁

  32. Gabrielle

    Such a shame the good old elegant rabbit is no more! I thought the first one I opened this year must have been heat affected or something… But no, they are all like that. I won’t be buying Red Tulip anymore! I might even have to stop buying the halal certified Cadbury products too – how ridiculous!

  33. Jenny

    Red Tulip chocolate is disgusting now, Cadbury you should be ashamed of yourselves!!!

  34. Troy

    This thread is a sad telling of a sad tale. One again this year, they seem to have just made red tulip worse than before, I didnt think it was even possible given last year. They should just stop making them, its misleading!. I buy one every year in the hope that something has changed (used to buy 20 or so each year, for more than 20 years!) but no, the downward spiral continues.

  35. tamara

    I normally eat easter eggs from the time they come out afer Christmas…this year i’ve been very restrained and waited until now to purchase my first Red Tulip egg with much anticipatory drooling. It was rubbish. I managed about a 1/4 of it before I gave it to my husband in disgust – I don’t normally share! – it was the sweetest non chocolate tasting icky thing i’ve ever had. I purchased a 1kg bag of solid Red Tulip hunting eggs for the hunt and i’m taking them back to the supermarket to exchange for Cadbury as I won’t subject my kids to them…very sad…

Leave a comment

Chocablog: Chocolate Blog