'Religious' Easter egg on sale after bishops 'pester' shops
The only egg to mention Jesus on its packaging will be sold by all but one of the big supermarkets
A CHOCOLATE Easter egg that mentions Jesus on the packaging will be sold by all but one of the major supermarket chains this year, a development described as a "milestone" by church leaders.
Religious customers and bishops have spent three years running a "pestering campaign" to persuade supermarkets to stock the £3.99 Real Easter Egg, says the Daily Mail. The egg, which is made by The Meaningful Chocolate Company, a Christian fair trade group based in Manchester, "explains the religious significance of Easter and contains an activity for children".
The egg was launched in 2010, but only Waitrose, Morrisons and the Co-op signed up to "trial" it in 2011 and 2012, the paper reports. Now Sainsbury's and Tesco have agreed to stock it for the first time – a decision that has delighted church leaders.
Under the new agreement, Tesco has agreed to put the eggs on the shelves in 450 large stores, while Morrisons and the Co-op will also have them on sale across the country. Sainsbury's has agreed a trial at around 50 branches and Waitrose has also agreed to a smaller trial, leaving Asda as the only major chain not to stock them.
The Bishop of Hereford, Anthony Priddis, who "orchestrated the lobbying campaign", told the Daily Telegraph he was "delighted" the stores had taken up the challenge of stocking the eggs. Priddis said he believed supermarkets would "discover real demand" for the product and urged shoppers to complain if their supermarket did not stock them.
The Meaningful Chocolate Company expects to sell more than 200,000 religious eggs this Easter; a small fraction of the 80 million chocolate eggs sold and consumed by Britons each year. Most Real Easter Eggs will continue to be sold via mail order, on church stalls or through independent shops, but the support of the supermarkets is seen as a crucial step in building a bigger share of the market. ·