Happy Egg Days to You

The Archbishop of York has encouraged British citizens to join him in buying the Real Easter Egg.

By John Martin

Chocolate eggs are highly popular in the Easter season, but growing numbers are sold in British stores without any reference to the holiday. While Easter is the most important festival of the year for the world’s 2 billion Christians, it seems to be disappearing from the season’s chocolate eggs.

Many of Britain’s best known brands of chocolate eggs have have quietly dropped the name of the Christian festival, labelling their wares simply as chocolate egg or even egg.

The Real Easter Egg, a fair-trade chocolate egg, replaces Easter bunnies with a prominent Christian message. The Meaningful Chocolate Company was founded six years ago to try to give prominence to the Easter and Christmas by telling the Christian story of these festivals and launching them into the mainstream market.

Since then the secular trend has grown, according to the company’s founder David Marshall, and the packaging of many confections no longer refers to Easter. “It looks like there is a trend,” he said. “A lot of businesses are not comfortable with the religious aspect of the festival.”

His firm cited several examples. The Cadbury Easter Egg Trail Pack bears a label that reads simply Egg Hunt Pack. The Nestlé 2016 version of the Quality Street Easter egg reads simply: Large Milk Chocolate Egg with Quality Street Inside. Similarly, the Milkybar Easter Egg, also made by Nestlé, is called a Milkybar White Chocolate Egg.

A Nestlé spokesman said there was no deliberate decision to drop the word Easter. Its customers make an “automatic” link between chocolate eggs and Easter, even if the word does not appear. “Chocolate eggs have been synonymous with Easter and the Easter story since the beginning of the last century and the association is now an automatic one,” he said.

The Archbishop of York has encouraged Christians to join him in supporting the Real Easter Egg.

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