At the end of this month, the festival of Easter will begin. Aside from the religious connotations, many people automatically associate Easter with the legend of the Easter bunny delivering chocolate Easter eggs to children. I, for one, am a big chocolate lover, so I am fascinated by this amazing supply chain.
Published on All Things Supply Chain | By Chloe Cooke
Originally, eggs were included in ancient pagan practices and these have, to some degree, been adapted to create some Christian Easter traditions with the egg symbolizing new life. Chocolate Easter eggs are more of a modern tradition and somewhat of a substitute for the former custom of decorating Easter eggs by dyeing and painting chicken eggs in bright colors using vegetable dye or charcoal.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, new traditions arose – egg-shaped toys were manufactured with some being filled with Easter gifts and chocolates before being gifted to children. It wasn’t until the 19th century that chocolate Easter eggs finally made their way into the European market with France and Germany pioneering this artistic confectionery. The first solid chocolate Easter egg was produced in 1873 but the production processes have developed over the years thanks to technology and natural ingredients like pure cocoa.
Every year, roughly 80 million Easter eggs are purchased in the UK alone. To accommodate this huge demand, Easter eggs, for example from the popular British brand Cadbury’s, are produced for approximately eight months of the year and are placed in stores earlier and earlier – last year they were seen in supermarkets before Christmas. The chocolate eggs have travelled some distance before appearing on the shelves of your local stores.