You've probably yet to burn off the indulgence of your Christmas Day lunch, the glazed ham may be festering at the back of the fridge and your in-laws still lingering in the guest room.

But less than three weeks on since the joys of Christmas and supermarkets are already lining shoppers up for the next food-related holiday - Easter.

Countdown on Richmond Road in the Auckland suburb of Ponsonby has a display advertising Cadbury marshmallow Easter eggs some 77 days before the holiday is to be celebrated on April 1.

And expect hot-cross buns (an Easter favourite) to soon appear prominently in the bakery section of your supermarket.


Last February, still with two months to run before Easter weekend, Countdown had sold 1 million of the sultana and currant loaves.

Giving shoppers time to plan for festivities is not confined to Easter and Christmas-themed treats were spotted on some supermarket shelves as early as September last year.

"It's not unusual to see hot cross buns on shelves in January," a Countdown spokesperson said.

"We sell millions of buns in the lead up to Easter and customers seem to love them no matter the time of year.

"We often start rolling out a few other Easter products at the same time, with the majority of the chocolate products going sale in the month leading up to Easter."