Dropping ‘Easter’ from eggs stirs culture war in UK – USA TODAY
CANTERBURY, EnglandÂ âÂ Chocolate manufacturers in the U.K. have removed the word “Easter”Â from the holiday egg candy that has delighted millions of children for generations.
But a demand that manufacturers put Easter back on the packaging of chocolate eggs has become the latest culture war issue on the eve of Christianityâs most important holiday, which falls onÂ March 27.
“Itâs deeply disappointing and shameful that some of the biggest companies (they include Cadbury and Nestle) are censoring the countriesâ old tradition,”Â said David Marshall, CEO of the Meaningful Chocolate Co., a group set up in an attempt to reintroduce Easter eggs and Advent calendars featuring Nativity scenes in the mainstream market. “It shows theyâre insensitive and uncomfortable with the Christian faith.”
Anglican Bishop Nicholas Holtam of Salisbury also weighed in: “Perhaps people understand that the festival is religious and do not want to see it turned into something secular,”Â he said.
Cadbury, which is based in Birmingham, England, is also marketing chocolate eggs that celebrate the traditional childrenâs hunt for eggs at Easter.
Its up-market organic chocolate subsidiary, Green and Blackâs, is describing Easter as “the festival of chocolate and loveliness.”
The chocolate companies, meanwhile, denied claims they were deliberately trying to distance Easter eggs from their religious origin.
In a short statement Cadbury said: “We do not have a policy to drop Easter from our eggs.”
“There has been no deliberate decision to drop the word Easter from our products and the name is still widely used at Nestle,”Â said Laura Archer of Nestle.
A recent YouGov opinion poll showed that 4Â in 5Â British citizens want to keep the “E”Â word on their eggs.
Added Marshall: “More than 80 million chocolate Easter eggs are sold very year in the U.K., but over the past five years some manufacturers have either removed the word ‘Easter’Â from their boxes, calling them just chocolate eggs, or reduced the word in size and put it on the back of the box.”
Trevor Grundy is an RNS correspondent based in Canterbury, England