11 January 2012
Bishops are calling on congregations to
buy the Real Easter Egg in 2012 after supermarkets failed to order
sufficient quantities of the UK's only faith-based Easter egg,
despite overwhelming demand from their Christian customers last
The Real Easter Egg is the first and only Fairtrade Easter egg
to explain the Easter story on the box and give money to charity.
It was launched last year as a mail order gift after the
supermarkets initially turned it down. Churches and schools joined
a campaign to establish the egg by placing tens of thousands of
orders through mail order which were delivered by Traidcraft.
Morrison's, Booths, Coop and Waitrose later changed their mind
and decided to trial The Real Easter Egg for Easter 2011. They all
sold out within days with people walking past Cadbury's two-for-one
offers. Waitrose was inundated with online orders for hundreds of
eggs as millions of Christians searched for the only remaining
With such demand and quick sell outs Manchester based Meaningful
Chocolate Company, who manufacture The Real Easter Egg, expected a
significant increase in the numbers ordered by supermarkets.
However, one major retailer has decided to reduce their order and
in many of the UK's biggest towns there will only be a handful of
eggs available to buy off the supermarket shelves when they go on
sale in February.
A spokesperson, from the Meaningful Chocolate Company, said:
"Unlike other faiths, which are catered for by the biggest chains,
Christians will struggle to find anything connecting Jesus with the
major Festival of Easter on the supermarket shelves. Out of the 80
million Easter eggs on sale this year nearly all will be secular,
made from non-Fairtrade chocolate and with no charitable
The Bishop of Oxford, who chairs the Church of England's Board
of Education, said; "There seems to be a clear cut agenda to keep
credible products, with any connection to Christianity, off the
shelves. But it is vitally important that our children are not
cheated of the chance to hear the Easter story. Last year churches
and schools campaigned with their wallets and ordered tens of
thousands online and complained to supermarkets which were not
stocking enough. If we have to continue to campaign to establish
The Real Easter Egg by placing orders online or supporting
independent retailers, then so be it."
The Bishop of Middleton, speaking from Manchester, said; "We
thought we had proven that people were not afraid to buy an Easter
egg which mentions Jesus, gives money to charity and which helps in
communicating the true meaning of Easter. It seems incredible that
the only Easter egg gift on the market, which caters for the
Christian community, is rejected or marginalised by our biggest
How to buy a Real Easter Egg
The recommended retail price is £3.99. The Real Easter Egg is
made from 125g of high quality Fairtrade chocolate and 15 pence
from every sale is donated to Traidcraft Exchange.
There are limited supplies so early ordering is advised. The
official Real Easter Egg online shop is at www.realeasteregg.co.uk .
To ensure supply, churches are advised to place a bulk order by the
end of February. The site has sign-up form, posters and other
resources. Online ordering will be open for as long as supplies
last or until the middle of March but check the official online
shop or Facebook for details.
Traidcraft will also have major stocks available through its
online shop and its network of church re-sellers. A number of
Independent retailers, including Cathedrals, are expected to stock.
The Real Easter Egg online shop will include details of all
retailers as they start selling.
Egg with a brighter faith message
The Real Easter Egg is breaking new ground this year and has had
a make-over with brighter colours. For the first time ever on an
Easter Egg there is a bible quote under the lid and a free copy of
the Easer story included inside every box. The Easter story on the
outside of the box is a colourful visual and there are three
crosses on the front. These new features make the egg even more