05 February 2013
Easter facts and statistics
- The UK has the 7th highest consumption of chocolate in the world.
- On average, each person in Britain eats approx. 10.2kg of chocolate per year.
- In 2011 the confectionery industry in the UK was worth £5.41biliion with chocolate making up £4 billion. Easter chocolate sales are worth bout £500m a year.
- There were 45% more new Easter chocolate products in 2012 than there had been in 2011.
- The first chocolate factory in Britain opened in 1657.
- J.S. Fry and Sons developed the first solid chocolate bar and it went on sale in 1847. Cadbury Brothers produced their first bar of chocolate in 1849. Both bars would have been made from dark chocolate as milk chocolate was not available until after 1875 when Swiss chocolatier Daniel Peter developed the process for making the sweeter lighter version of chocolate.
- The Ivory Coast in West Africa is the world's leading producer of cocoa - supplying 43%.
- A report published by the US government in 2011 said there were 1.8 million children in West Africa involved in growing cocoa.
- Fairtrade Chocolate sales now make up almost 10% of UK chocolate confectionary sales worth £343 million.
- Novelty chocolate products e.g. lambs, chicks, and bunnies are a big growth market for the UK chocolate companies as sales grew by 25% in 2011.
- The largest chocolate rabbit was created in South Africa in 2010 by artist Harry Johnson. The rabbit was over 12 feet tall and weighed 3 tons. After being exhibited in a specially constructed chilled Perspex box it was eaten by 250 disadvantaged children.
- One of the largest Easter eggs ever made was on display in 2011 in Ian Italian shopping centre. It was 10.39 m tall had a circumference of 19.6m and weighed 7,200kg.
Easter egg facts
- Eggs were traditionally used in pre-Christian festivals as the symbol of new life, purity or fertility. Later customs concerning eggs were linked with Easter because the egg provided a fresh and powerful symbol of the Resurrection and the transformation of death into life.
- The Real Easter Egg, an Easter egg that explains the Christian meaning of Easter is on sale again for Easter 2013. The eggs are available in independent retailers, Christian bookshops, and major supermarkets as well as via mail order for churches etc. in 2012 90,000 eggs were sold via mail order to churches.
- Decorating and colouring Hen, Duck or Goose eggs for Easter was the custom in England during the Middle Ages. The household accounts of Edward I, for the year 1290, recorded an expenditure of eighteen pennies for four hundred and fifty eggs to be gold-leafed and coloured for Easter gifts.
- Papier-mache Easter eggs started being produced in England in the 18th century and then the first chocolate eggs appeared in the 19th century with the earliest ones being completely solid
- The first chocolate Easter egg was produced in 1873 by Fry's.
- The most famous decorated Easter eggs are those designed by Peter Carl Faberge. In 1885 the Russian Tsar, Alexander III, commissioned Faberge to make a special Easter gift for his wife, the Empress Marie.This first Faberge egg was an egg within an egg. It had an outside shell of gold and enamelled white which opened to reveal a smaller gold egg. The smaller egg, in turn, opened to display a golden chicken and a jewelled replica of the Imperial crown.The Tsar and Tsarina were so impressed with their gold that they ordered the Faberge firm to design further eggs to be delivered every Easter. In later years Nicholas II, Alexander's son, continued the custom.
- The auctioneers Christie's sold a diamond encrusted Faberge egg in November 2007 for £9m.
- Approximately 90 million chocolate eggs are sold annually in the UK.
- The most popular chocolate egg worldwide is Cadbury's Creme Egg, they first went on sale in 1971. The brand has now expanded into ice cream market with Cadbury Crème Egg cones, large tubs of ice cream, ice cream sticks and individual ice cream cups available for 2013.
- Easter chocolate sales make up 10% of Britain's annual spending on chocolate.
- The 2012 survey Easter Egg Packaging by Jo Swinson MP found that only 38% of the average Easter egg box is actually Easter egg. The rest is paper and plastic. Commercial Easter eggs are responsible for up to 3,000 tonnes of waste. Nestle however announced in 2012 that they have become the first major confectioner to achieve 100% recyclability in its entire Easter egg packaging range across the UK and Ireland.
- Dietitians are warning that eating five Easter eggs (the average given to most children) plus the bars included with them, could see youngsters doubling their recommended calorie intake for a week, risking becoming hooked on chocolate, plus seeing their weight increase by several pounds within days. The recommended daily amounts are around 2,000 calories a day for an average 11-year-old boy and 1,500 for a girl, but many could be eating up to 10,000 calories over the Easter period.
- One of the largest Easter eggs ever made was on display in 2011 in an Italian shopping centre. It was 10.39m tall had a circumference of 19.6m at it’s widest part. It weighed 7,200kg.
- One of the most expensive eggs on offer in 2006 was the unique Diamond Stella Egg - a chocolate egg laden with diamonds - which came with a £50,000 price tag.
- Easter eggs for 2013 went on sale in some Tesco stores on Christmas Eve 2012.
Easter card sales
- According to the Greeting Card Association 2010 report 21.9 million Easter cards with a retail value of £14.8 million were sold in 2009.
All the above statistics from a variety of sources including dailytelegraph.co.uk, guardian.co.uk, dailymirror.co.uk, foodproductiondaily.com, packagingnews.co.uk, uk.news.yahoo.com, chocolateexpert.co.uk, chocolate-emporium.co.uk, waitrose.com, politics.co.uk, thecalendercompany.org, chocolate-week.co.uk, worldrecordsacademy.org, guinessworldrecords.com, talkingretail.com, londonist.com, bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15681986
Declining religious importance of Easter
A ComRes cpanel survey carried out in 2012 found that the majority of Christians feel there is a disassociation between the religious traditions of festivals and the way they are perceived today.
Some other findings from the survey were:
- 90% of Christians think Children today know less about the crucifixion and resurrection than they did 30 years ago.
- 95% of Christians believe that Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion.
- 77% of practising Christians believe Easter is a more important festival than Christmas.
- 63% of Christians think that Easter egg hunts or egg painting and similar activities are a good way of engaging children with the Easter story.
Belief in resurrection
Nearly half of the population believes that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, according to a survey commissioned in Wales Theos the public theology think tank. The findings challenge the widespread view that Easter is seen as little more than an opportunity to indulge a taste for chocolate.
- 60% of the people questioned believed that the resurrection at the heart of the Easter story is true with 35% believing Jesus rose physically from the dead and 24% said they believed it was a "spiritual resurrection"
- 44% said that Jesus died for the sins of the world.
- 26% the Easter story had no meaning today.
Church going at Easter
In 2010 Yougov conducted an online poll in which 13% of respondents said they intended to attend a “religious service” over Easter. If 13% of the UK population attended Easter services that would equate to 6,000,000 going to church in one weekend! We can only get comprehensive headcounts for the number of people attending Church of England churches during Easter but sadly 6,000,000 does seem like a realistic figure.
The most recent statistics from the Church of England gives the attendance figure of 1,365,000 for Easter Sunday 2011.
Top 10 Easter worship songs 2011
Do you have a favourite Easter worship song? Here are the top 10 of favourites that churches in USA said they were going to use during their Easter services:
- Christ is Risen by Mia Fieldes and Matt Maher
- Happy Day by Ben Cantelon and Tim Hughes
- My Saviour Lives by Jon Egan and Glenn Packlam
- Christ the Lord is Risen Today by Charles Wesley
- Mighty to Save by Ben Fielding and Rueben Morgan
- Our God by Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Jesse Reeves and Chris Tomlin
- Stronger Ben Fielding and Rueben Morgan
- My Redeemer Lives by Reuben Morgan
- In Christ Alone by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend
- Revelation Song by Jennie Lee Riddle