Some people say Easter is not for children, but nowadays the religious factor seems to have been largely forgotten. In fact, for most people, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus has been replaced by consuming vast quantities of chocolate.
For grandmother-of-three Christine Cardow, who is doing her weekly shop at Waitrose on Holloway Road, the holiday is all about chocolate and children.
‘I am not religious, but my grandchildren love the eggs. I usually hide them in the garden for a scavenger hunt. They love it!’ Cardow says.
Nation of Chocolate Lovers
Ninety million chocolate eggs are sold in the UK each year according to NatWest Bank, with the average UK child receiving 8.8 Easter eggs per year. These sales account for 10% of chocolate consumption for the whole year.
‘I generally spend £10 per child. I don’t make a huge thing about Easter, but they can have some chocolate,’ Cardow explains.
Anselm Colom, a manager at Waitrose, says Easter eggs don’t start flying off the shelves until Easter week, but that the eggs are lined up from January to fill space left by Christmas items.
‘The most we sell is on Good Friday and the days leading up to the Easter weekend,’ says Colom. ‘We don’t stock the eggs early to make sales, but for show.”
Colom shares Cardow’s view on the consumerism of Easter and other religious holidays.
‘Easter is like Valentine’s day, Halloween, Thanksgiving and surprisingly, Independence Day. Some of them may not have anything to do with England and our manners, but Brits are adopting the American culture through Americanisation,’ Colom adds.
Chocolate with a message
Not every chocolate producer seems to have lost touch with Easter’s roots. In 2010, The Real Easter Egg was launched by non-profit organisation: The Meaningful Chocolate Company. It comes with a comic strip retelling the story of Jesus’s crucifixion.
The company has sold over 400,000 eggs worldwide since it started four years ago and has been welcomed into UK supermarkets by the Bishop of Aston, Rt. Rev. Andrew Watson.
Eggciting Easter Facts
· The first chocolate egg was made in Bristol in 1873 by chocolate manufacturers Fry.
· One in five children in Britain say they’ve made themselves sick from eating too many eggs.
· Forty-three percent of children eat their first egg before Easter Sunday.
· The Easter bunny originated from German Lutherans in the nineteenth century to symbolise children’s behaviour.
· Cadbury produces 1.5 million Crème Eggs every day. They are the world’s most popular egg-shaped treat.
· On average, each person in Britain eats 9.5kg of chocolate a year.