UK buyers don’t want religious Easter Eggs

UK buyers don’t want religious Easter Eggs

Religious leaders in the UK cannot get it through their thick skulls that supermarket customers simply have no stomach for Easter eggs with a religious message.

Sainsbury’s, Asda and Co-op realise this, but by choosing not to stocking the things this year they stand accused of having an “anti-Christian agenda”.

One chain asked “What has Easter got to do with the church?” according to the makers of The Real Easter Egg, which includes a leaflet telling the story of Christ’s mythical resurrection.

In 2013, Faith in Food (yes, really), gleefully reported that two major British supermarkets – Sainsbury and Tesco – had “cracked” under pressure and had begun selling religious-themed Easter eggs for the first time.

Initially the stores rejected the idea of stocking the Fairtrade chocolate eggs, produced by The Meaningful Chocolate Company but after being pestered by customers and clerics they finally relented.

The Bishop of Hereford, the Rt Revd Anthony Priddis, above, was quoted as saying:

I wrote to the supermarkets last year encouraging them to stock The Real Easter Egg. I am delighted they have taken the challenge seriously. The response from Tesco, Morrisons and the Co-op has been particularly encouraging.

I am sure Sainsbury and Waitrose will also discover real demand for an egg explaining the religious understanding of Easter on the box and which supports charitable projects. I encourage shoppers to hunt out a Real Easter Egg and complain if they are not being stocked.

Well, having bowed to pressure and given religious Easter eggs shelf space where they just attracted dust and scornful glances from punters , the supermarkets did what any business would do with a crap product: they decided not to repeat their mistake.


But religious leaders like the former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, above, are insistent that this is a reflection of bias against Christianity.

According to this report, Carey insisted that rival chocolate eggs, featuring favourite characters such as Star Wars baddie Darth Vader, were:

Rubbish. These Easter eggs that have nothing to do with Easter, all they are trying to do is get more money out of people. They have no meaning. I think it shows ignorance on the part of these supermarkets.

By not offering an alternative to secular Easter eggs they are really undermining the real message of Easter. It saddens me because we are living in a land that is completely losing contact with its religious roots and is out of touch with the Christian message.

The Christian-themed egg was launched by the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, in 2010. He has also urged the supermarket giants to change their minds.

David Marshall, the head of the Meaningful Chocolate Company, said the supermarkets appeared biased against a “proven seller”.

We do wonder at times if there is an anti-Christian agenda from some of our supermarkets who just keep turning it down. It is as if some feel Christianity is politically incorrect or the Easter story, which mentions Jesus, might put people off.

One buyer asked us what Easter had got to do with the church, while another simply said, ‘I don’t think this is a credible product’ and asked us to leave.

Back in 2013, when the supermarkets agreed to give religious Easter eggs a trial, Marshall said:

Our aim is to change the Easter egg market forever by making it more spiritual, more generous and more faithful.

Meanwhile the Co-op also blamed “poor sales of the Real Easter Egg in previous years”.

And Asda insisted it had not been approached to sell the eggs this year – a claim denied by the Meaningful Chocolate Company.

Hat tip: Angela K

31 responses to “UK buyers don’t want religious Easter Eggs”

  1. Me says:

    Anti Christian Agenda ….no ….not true…..just disinterest and rejection by everyday normal, hardworking, grounded people. It’s time for the pious to face up to the reality that their time is over, that ordinary hard working caring people will no longer be suckered or bullied by the clergy. I am a 61 year old atheist who,from the age of 10, after bullying and threats from a hard faced fire and brimstone C o E Canon called Saunders, have been unable to feel any attraction, or assign any credibility whatsoever to the fantasies, bigotry and lies pedalled from the pulpit. Carey, who looks like a Gestapo thug, and his monochromatic antithesis, the sinister dark arts Sentamu, have no relevance in modern Britain. Give it up….give it up now .. before the common people enforce their democratic right to eradicate religious privilege and control.

  2. Angela_K says:

    We’ve had this whining from Christians before over Supermarkets not stocking religious Christmas cards and as in this case, the Supermarkets have said this religious propaganda themed stuff doesn’t sell. This just another attempt to force religious nonsense on a disinterested public and because it has failed, Christian’s whine “persecution”, “Atheist agenda….”

  3. Ivan says:

    Firstly, they quote their 70,000 sales last year as evidence of demand.

    However, put this in the context of 85,000,000 sales last year and you can see that mass market supermarkets would be put in the position of distributing only a handful to each store ie. it’s simply not worth the bother.

    Secondly, in their promotional literature and on the box, the eggs claim to represent the true meaning of Easter – in which case one assumes that they are Pagan eggs and not Christian.

    Fail all round.

  4. Vanity Unfair says:

    Look on the bright side: Fairtrade chocolate, no royalties to Lucas or Disney.
    You might end up with a better product. It might even cost less. They don’t seem to have spent much on packaging either. More chocolate for your money: who’s going to complain about that.

    I can’t believe, “What has Easter got to do with the church?” though.

  5. Vanity Unfair says:

    To save you all the bother of hunting down a Meaningful Chocolate Company Easter egg. I broke into the company safe and borrowed a copy of the meaningful message to pass on. It might just be a first draft.

    “Gather round children and I shall tell you all the story of the Easter Egg.”
    “And then can we eat them, Daddy?”
    “A long time ago there was a man who was sometimes good, sometimes bad and sometimes very strange. And this made the other people, the teachers, the politicians and the holy men very worried because they never knew what he would do next. So they decided that it would be a good idea to kill the man who made them so anxious. So they captured the man but they weren’t allowed to kill him themselves.
    “To do this they needed help from the politician who led the army: the fiercest fighters in the World. He asked the man whether he had been naughty but the man wouldn’t say. So the politician decided that even though the man hadn’t broken the rules he would kill him anyway.”
    “He’s not a nice man, Daddy.”
    “He didn’t have a choice. The man had decided to do this to himself thousands of years before.
    “The politician told his soldiers what to do and they took the man away. They took off all his clothes then they whipped him with ropes like barbed wire until he was bleeding and made a hat with thorns and prickles that they jammed on his head….”
    “Daddy, I don’t feel well.”
    “Hush, it’s going to get better. Then they hammered big nails into his wrists to fix him to a wooden log that they hoisted onto a pole. Then they hammered big nails into his ankles to fix his feet to the post….”
    “Daddy, I really don’t feel well.”
    “Hush, it’s going to get better. When they had done that they could relax because they knew that the loss of blood would make the man weak and he would not be able to breathe properly so after three or four days he suffocate under his own weight and tiredness….”
    “I think I’m going to be sick.”
    “Hush, it’s going to get better. But the man cheated them and died very quickly. This was good because it meant that he could be buried before the holy day but it was bad because it meant nobody could come and watch him die and know what happened to people who were strange. Well, they put him in a cave and came back as soon as possible the next day, which was two days later because in those days they counted days differently. And the man had gone.
    “And that’s why we eat chocolate eggs at Easter”
    “Daddy, that’s a very nasty story. I prefer the one about the pagan fertility and renewal ritual.”
    “So do I, child. Without a gospel truth you can make up any old rubbish.”

  6. barriejohn says:

    “Chocolate with the real message of Jesus”; even the Onion would be hard pressed to come up with anything more ridiculous.

    I know I’ve posted a link to this before, but what an ideal toy to bring home the Easter Message to any little girl or boy!

  7. barriejohn says:

    Incidentally, there’s a really impressive God Almighty with AK-47, and this brilliant Allah, accurate in every detail:

  8. Marky Mark says:

    (Well, having bowed to pressure and given religious Easter eggs shelf space where they just attracted dust and scornful glances from punters , the supermarkets did what any business would do with a crap product: they decided not to repeat their mistake.)

    …maybe they just don’t taste very good!

  9. Dioniogi says:

    really I’m being serious can someone tell me where chocolate eggs are talked about in the new testement?

  10. 1859 says:

    For the pudding at the Last Supper christ handed out chocolate eggs and said -‘You’ve eaten my body and drank my blood – now you can eat my balls’ and so thus did the myth of the chocolate egg come about. Also eating testicles helps you grow a fine beard – something else christ knew a lot about. Oi vey…I could go on and on and on – just like the bibble – making stuff up and selling it as kosher reality!

  11. Trevor Blake says:

    Easter does have a religious origin… just not a Christian origin. Look up ?ostre some time (that’s a long-E at the start or the word). The pagan religions died out and Christianity took their place. Christianity too will die out. All religions die out. Every generation sees a few more go (but sadly a few more born).

  12. Laura Roberts says:

    George Carey simply radiates Christian joy, doesn’t he? Who could look at that adorable face and not repent their rebellious atheist ways? Makes me want to be Christian all over again.

  13. Angela_K says:

    I have an idea that this case and all those specious claims brought to court by the Christian Institute are done in full knowledge that they will fail, just so Christians can moan and whine they are being persecuted.

  14. Stuart H. says:

    There’s an obvious answer to this one – readily visible in my area. Why worry about big, impersonal supermarkets when village shops and small retailers are shutting everywhere? Considering the C of E even circulate a guide for clergy to apply for grants so that churches can take over village post offices and other small town public facilities as they are closed by local government you’d think they’d just flog these eggs in their own premises and clean up, if there’s half the market they claim.

    But note the Anglican church has also been busily shutting down village churches and telling their elderly congregations to get along to the big town churches instead. It’s less dwindling demand, more that they save the salary of a rural priest and picturesque village rectories sell for £500K + – even clergy I talk to admit that to me.

    21st century bishops are way more ruthless than Tesco executives. They gave up on community values to chase the urban upmarket pound years ago, and sod the poor pensioners who’ve been the backbone of their church for a lifetime.

    Oh, and did I forget to mention C of E get a donation from Meaningful Choccie Co for every egg sold, and if I’m not mistaken the Fairtrade group concerned is Traidcraft – a church group which only employs and deals with Christians allied to the Fairtrade network?

  15. barriejohn says:

    Stuart H: Traidcraft is indeed a religious organization, infiltrating schools like Samaritan’s Purse with their innocuous shoeboxes, and generously subsidised by our spineless politicians.

    Until the 3rd April, the UK Government is matching every donation to our Fair Necessities Appeal, pound for pound.

  16. barriejohn says:

    Traidcraft is founded on Christian principles. We seek to live out the Christian faith through our mission to fight poverty through trade. Since 1979 we’ve been working for trade justice for growers and producers in the poorest countries around the world. Traidcraft is a pioneer of the fair trade movement in the UK where we jointly founded the Fairtrade Foundation. Our activities also include overseas development programmes, trade policy, campaigns and trade justice.

  17. AgentCormac says:

    ‘…all they are trying to do is get more money out of people. They have no meaning.’

    Just like your tedious church, then, Carey.

  18. Newspaniard says:

    Is it me? Can anyone explain what the connection is between eggs and easter? I thought the Easter Bunny came in somewhere which is probably to do with spring and fertility but as bunnies are mammals, I still can’t quite see the link. Maybe I should go for a lie down and forget the whole business. I’m not allowed chocolate, anyway. Ho Hum. (Anybody tried diabetic chocolate? You can’t stray too far away from the loo for a week)

  19. barriejohn says:

    Wikipedia to the rescue again:

    The Easter Bunny (also called the Easter Rabbit or Easter Hare) is a folkloric figure and symbol of Easter, depicted as a rabbit bringing Easter eggs. Originating among German Lutherans, the “Easter Hare” originally played the role of a judge, evaluating whether children were good or disobedient in behaviour at the start of the season of Eastertide. The Easter Bunny is sometimes depicted with clothes. In legend, the creature carries colored eggs in his basket, candy, and sometimes also toys to the homes of children, and as such shows similarities to Santa Claus or the Christkind, as they both bring gifts to children on the night before their respective holidays. The custom was first mentioned in Georg Franck von Franckenau’s De ovis paschalibus (About Easter Eggs) in 1682 referring to a German tradition of an Easter Hare bringing Easter eggs for the children.

  20. Broga says:

    “all they are trying to do is get more money out of people.” Just like the Chancel Tax where they can make you homeless.

  21. Newspaniard says:

    @barriejohn. Thanks for that. Hmmmm…. Sounds like the propaganda one could be sent to the stake for in the 17th Century. I would like to speculate that this tradition probably went back to pagan times but, not being an historian, I won’t. I’ll stick to Wiki.

  22. Cali Ron says:

    If you really want to know about Easter’s pagan roots here’s one link: It’s not definitive though, as there is debate as to which pagan festival the christians ripped off (the Egyptians or the ancient German’s). The christians highjacked the pagan festival and changed it from a fun celebration of life to another boring Sunday service and collection of your money (god’s so needy).

    @Broga and AgentCormac-you beat me to it, “all they are trying to do is get more money out of people.” Did he think the companies were charities?

  23. Dan says:

    Actually, it’s not so clear that Easter replaces a pagan festival (although the spring equinox is nearby, of course). There may or may not have been a Germanic pagan Goddess called Eostre (as first mentioned by Bede, with apparently some archaeological backup, but not much), from whom the name “Easter” is derived in Britain and Germany, but the obvious origins lie in the Jewish Passover feast (connected as it is with the Bible story of Jesus’ last supper) – from which the name of the resurrection celebration is derived in most other European languages. And as far as I can tell there’s no particular evidence that ancient pagans (as opposed to neo-Pagans) celebrated a goddess called Eostre using the symbolism of eggs or rabbits/hares.


  24. chris moffatt says:

    Why are these bishops promoting the products of one company over those of its competitors? Do they have a financial stake in this?

    Really – what does a chocolate egg have to do with the christian hijacking of Easter?

  25. barriejohn says:

    Dan: I agree. Easter really does derive from the Passover (Paschal Lamb and all that), and was originally the church’s major festival. It was commercialization (aided and abetted by Charles Dickens) that made Christmas so popular. God bless us, every one!

  26. Cali Ron says:

    From the link in my previous post, this is the Egyptian (actually Sumerian) origin of Easter, “According to some scholars, such as Dr. Tony Nugent, teacher of Theology and Religious Studies at Seattle University, and Presbyterian minister, the Easter story comes from the Sumerian legend of Damuzi (Tammuz) and his wife Inanna (Ishtar), an epic myth called “The Descent of Inanna” found inscribed on cuneiform clay tablets dating back to 2100 BC.” Seems a little crazy that we are debating the factual origins of a holiday based on a myth or myths (depending on which theory you believe). Virgin born man dies and comes back to life or giant bunny laying colorful eggs? Pagan or christian origin? What’s the difference, they are both superstitions. For me decorating the eggs was a fun art project and hiding/hunting for eggs a fun game with my children. So for me they symbolize creative, fun family time together.

    Pick your superstitious origin, it doesn’t really matter. Although, I do keep a loaded weapon handy on Easter in case Zombie Jesus does show up, cuz only a bullet to the brain can stop a zombie.

  27. carlynot says:

    Hot Damn, where can I get me some of these religious easter eggs?
    Only in England? Pity.

  28. carlynot says:

    Isn’t buying religious easter eggs the same as false idols? Don’t recall jesus mentioning about this. Better get some clarification, could be messing with xtians immortal soul.

  29. Robster says:

    The marketers of religious trinkets for Easter are missing an opportunity. Why not refresh the range with new and exciting products like a chocolate cross thingy, they could make the easter torture instrument with marshmallow and coat it with chocolate with a wood grain texture, yummy. As an optional extra, why not a choccy baby Jesus to dangle off the marshmallow cross? Extra chocolate, extra sales and an opportunity to get the message of the dead deity to all the chocolate loving punters as they slowly digest a baby Jesus. The crown of thorns and even the nails used to mount the decomposed deity on the cross could be created in chocolate and upsold as another option. Really pious punters could opt for the complete set and absorb the chocolate message of fat and sugar for a tasty high calories easter celebration. They could even get the clergy to flog easter Jesus out the front of their churches as the congregation makes its escape after the service. Choccy eggs, a much better feed than the usual wine and cracker silliness usually on the menu.

  30. Fred says:

    lol you lot are as bigoted and narrow-minded as the “Christians” whom you accuse of being bigoted and narrow-minded.

    The irony that the site is called freethinker – I see a whole bunch of people just agreeing about stuff.

  31. barriejohn says:

    Oh, dear; Fred hasn’t been taking his medication again.