After a dark and cold winter, the clocks have finally sprung forward, and we can now enjoy extra daylight hours. When you see daffodils sprouting in parks and see hot cross buns piled high on shelves, it is a sign that we are finally reaching warmer months. These, alongside packets of colourful chocolate eggs, are symbols of spring and the lovely long filled weekend.
For those of us lucky enough to have Bank Holidays off, we will be counting down to our two 4-day working weeks. There will be those of us who will be filling our long weekend to the brim with plans, catching up with family or socialising with friends. However, on the other end of the spectrum there will be many of us who are excited to spend four glorious days in our pyjamas, at home, doing nothing! No matter how you choose to celebrate Easter weekend, there is one thing we will probably all be taking part in, purchasing and consuming chocolate eggs.
Chocolate Eggs are the Best Part of Easter for Many of Us
Chocolate eggs are the mascot of Easter. Their bright packaging and various options fill our supermarkets, our tv screens, the boots of our cards and the back of cupboards. In the UK, we love a chocolate gimmick, and we buy it on every occasion. We buy 24 tiny chocolates behind tiny doors at Christmas. During Valentines Day, we buy chocolate shaped into hearts for our partners and loved ones. Halloween sees the same chocolate moulded into shapes and wrapped in foil to give the appearance of pumpkins or eyeballs. All these holidays see the same chocolates reshaped, repackaged, and sometimes even repriced. Easter is no exception.
Between 80-90 million chocolate eggs are sold each year in the UK. This equates to 10% of the UK’s annual spending on chocolate. Additionally, in the UK, around 333 million Crème Eggs are bought and eaten yearly. It is predicted that £415 million will be spent by consumers on Easter eggs in 2023.
This year consumers are used to inflated food prices. The cost-of-living crisis has affected chocolate eggs differently. Our beloved chocolate eggs have been hit by shrinkflation. Their price has remained the same however the amount of product you now get has decreased. This is in effort to maintain and improve profitability amidst increased production costs due to increased ingredients and energy costs. A medium Wispa egg from Cadbury’s is down from 224g to 182.5g, with the price remaining at £3. By the price point staying the same, consumers who do not notice the change in product size will be under the impression that chocolate eggs have been unaffected by inflated food prices over the last year.
In 2022, £1.3 Billion was Spent on Easter Celebrations
Chocolate eggs are not the sole seasonal purchase around springtime. Hot cross buns and their many variations are also a product that flies off the supermarket shelves around Easter. There are around 20 million packs of hot cross buns sold annually in the UK. Due to over ever-growing need for options, the hot cross bun market has expanded past a point any of us thought it would. There are the traditionalists among us who will be shaking their heads and the vast options of flavours you can now buy. Flavours such as Red Velvet, Lemon Drizzle and Banoffee Pie have been incorporated into Hot cross buns to tempt us and our sweet tooths into purchasing if even just to try and never buy again.
The Hot cross bun market likely never crosses anyone’s mind. However, it is a lucrative seasonal bake, and any budding bakers should consider adding them to their product list. In 2019 Hot cross bun sales were around £153.1 million, and that was before a multitude of flavour variations hit the market. For those who own or are planning on starting a baking business, ensure you have a card machine to maximise your profits this Hot cross bun season.
When considering the daffodils, lamb joints, and lunches in local pubs that will be purchased this Easter weekend, it is no surprise that consumers spend a lot celebrating. In 2022 £1.3 billion was spent on Easter celebrations. But does this outweigh the costs Bank Holidays have on the economy?
Bank Holidays: A Win for Employees vs A Loss for the Economy
Having two Bank Holidays over Easter means a more significant loss in output from businesses closing. A study conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research found that each Bank Holiday costs the UK economy £2.3 billion. Economists have reported that removing all UK Bank Holidays would boost the economy by as much as £19 billion annually. This year the profit from Easter weekend will be further affected by the impending strikes. Easter is a popular time for families to book holidays due to a longer half-term. It boosts the travel and tourism sector between the Christmas and Summer periods. However, this Easter, there are strikes scheduled within airports which will affect thousands of holidays.
However you celebrate this Easter, one thing is for sure, it will probably include chocolate in one form or another.