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Counting down to Easter with some of our favorite Easter candy: See's chocolates

April 21, 2011 | 12:47 pm

Easter-eggs We're counting down to Easter with some of our favorite Easter candy. We've already used this as an excuse to gobble up and "research" Cadbury Creme Eggs, Whitman's Sampler and Godiva chocolates. (Click here to read where we are in the countdown.)

Today, we take a look at a homegrown favorite: See's chocolates, including the signature rocky road chocolate Easter eggs, which are hand-decorated at the See's operation on La Cienega Boulevard.

Price: Varies, but includes $6 for a bag of milk chocolate foil eggs,  $39.80 for an extra fancy assortment, $11.05 for a rocky road Easter Egg, shown here, and $5.60 for my favorite (in case you were wondering): Scotchmallow eggs.

Where can you buy them: Available online and in shopping centers such as South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa or Westfield Shopping Center in Culver City.

Claim to fame: See's Candies is celebrating its 95th anniversary, and was the training ground for Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance for the famous "I Love Lucy" conveyor-belt scene. Come Easter, the La Cienega operation looks like a sweet, sugary garden as employees hand-decorate each Easter egg candy. It is a busy time because each egg must be made at the very last minute. "We don't use preservatives," explained spokesman Richard Van Doren. "These are not meant to be sitting around on a shelf." In all, See's will probably produce about 5 million chocolate eggs this season.

How have things changed: "Actually, our existing line hasn't changed all that much. It's been around a long time, so certain items become a tradition for families."

Is it us, or has Easter candy exploded this year? Van Doren says it's not our imagination. Easter is late this year -- coming at the end of April. And the last big "candy" holiday was Feb. 14. Purveyors are taking advantage of that big gap to roll out items that well enjoy a longer display period. And consumers are gobbling it up, he says. "Due to the separation of Valentine's Day and Easter, that's a big gap to go without some sort of fun holiday. There's an impulse to pick up one of the decorated eggs, or something else."

How does Easter rank in terms of sales? "Easter is our second-largest holiday, after Christmas. Valentine's Day is No. 3."

Who buys more chocolate? Men or women? "70% of our customers are female, until you get to Valentine's day. Men procrastinate and then line up on the 14th, or else they'll go home and get in trouble."


This is what a Scandinavian Easter looks like

Impress your guests. Stuff a leg of lamb

Meet the princess of Peeps

-- Rene Lynch
twitter.com / renelynch

Photo credit: See's Candies