Religious eggs catch on

08 March 2013

MEANINGFUL CHOCOLATE

More baskets: Bishop Priddis with Sarah Matthews of Tesco, on Monday

More baskets: Bishop Priddis with Sarah Matthews of Tesco, on Monday

"RELIGIOUS-themed" Easter eggs will be stocked in supermarkets, for the first time, after lobbying from bishops, writes Ed Thornton.

The Real Easter Egg, a Fairtrade egg that depicts the Easter story on its box, will be on sale at supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, and the Co-op, the Meaningful Chocolate Company, which manufactures the egg, announced on Monday.

Retailers showed little enthusiasm for the Real Easter Egg when it was launched in 2010, failing to order sufficient quantities to meet demand (News, 13 January 2012). The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd John Pritchard, accused them of "absurd caution" and attempting to be "politically correct".

Last year, the Meaningful Chocolate Company sold more than 250,000 of the eggs on mail order.

The Bishop of Hereford, the Rt Revd Anthony Priddis, said on Monday that he "wrote to the supermarkets last year encouraging them to stock the Real Easter Egg. I am delighted they have taken the challenge seriously."

He said: "The response from Tesco, Morrisons and the Co-op has been particularly encouraging. I am sure Sainsbury's 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 . . . complain if they are not being stocked."

Bishop Pritchard said this week: "It's wonderful to think that parents and grandparents will have the chance to buy an egg with a message from their local supermarket."

A map showing in which stores the egg is stocked is available at www.realeasteregg.co.uk.

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