The U.K. media was in an uproar recently, stating that Cadbury had deliberately removed the word “Easter” from its chocolate eggs and other related products. It was stated that religion is being “quietly dropped” from the popular annual holiday treat by taking the word off the packaging.
According to the Telegraph, it was Meaningful Chocolate Company – the makers of the “Real Easter Egg” – making the allegations, saying their fair trade chocolate product carries the real message. Their packaging displays all the usual bunnies and chicks, but with the word “Easter” prominently displayed, and reportedly all of their profits go to charity.
Archbishop Sentamu is a massive supporter of the Real Easter Egg!
Buy yours here. https://t.co/7wkLh85sji pic.twitter.com/b9CuMWxN01
— mother hen (@realeasteregg) March 2, 2016
The company, based in Manchester, was set up six years ago in an attempt to bring religion back into Easter products, but since then the company’s founder, David Marshall, says the “secularizing trend” has continued, with many chocolate products dropping references to the holiday in their titles.
“It looks like there is a trend. A lot of businesses are not comfortable with the religious aspect of the festival,” Marshall said.
— John Anthony Booth (@JABoothView) March 25, 2016
Examples cited included the Cadbury Easter Egg Trail Pack, which is now labeled simply “Egg Hunt Pack.”
— James Mitchinson (@JayMitchinson) March 24, 2016
Speaking of another chocolate company, Nestlé, references were made to the Quality Street Easter egg, which is now simply labeled, “Large Milk Chocolate Egg with Quality Street Inside.”
According to Marshall, the companies are trying to make their product attractive to as many people as possible and think removing references to the Christian festival will help. In other words, having the word “Easter” on the packaging might be seen as “attaching to one faith tradition.”
However, a Nestlé spokesman said there was no deliberate decision to drop the word “Easter” from its eggs and that people would automatically link the product with the religious holiday, even if the word was not present.
“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.”
According to the popular Snopes debunking and fact-checking website, a brief scan of the Cadbury website reveals at least four mentions of the word “Easter” on their products and packaging. They also make frequent mentions of the religious holiday in their social media accounts, including Twitter.
— Cadbury UK (@CadburyUK) March 7, 2016
While the Telegraph article noted they had yet to receive a comment from Cadbury, according to Snopes, a spokesman for the chocolate maker did offer a comment on the controversy, denying any efforts by that company to eliminate or downplay Easter references on their products and saying no political or religious correctness is behind the move.
The unnamed spokesman reportedly said, “Most of our Easter eggs don’t say Easter or egg on the front as we don’t feel the need to tell people this — it is very obvious through the packaging that it is an Easter egg.”
According to the Independent, all you have to do is check the print on the back of the packaging to see you are eating an actual chocolate Easter egg.
Basically, although it is true that the word “Easter” is not prominently displayed on the packaging of Cadbury or Nestlé chocolate products, those companies have definitely not “banned” references to Easter on their product packaging. Possibly the Meaningful Chocolate Company is merely trying to increase its sales?