Food is an incredibly important part of Easter traditions for families up and down the country and as a nation we spend millions of pounds on food at Easter every year. This is something that hasn’t escaped the attention of the supermarkets and out of home operators who continue to pull out all the stops to cash in. It’s a real battleground. Whether it’s hot cross buns for Good Friday, Easter eggs for gifting, a pub lunch, an evening meal out, or the traditional Lamb and trimmings to cook at home for the family – our nation’s appetite for food continues to grow.

Food has also been heavily featured in news and on social media this Easter too. So I decided to follow the Easter food news trail and bring you a list of the top five food stories that have been grabbing the headlines and creating chatter on social. For inspiration I’ve spent time (s)hopping at the supermarkets, baking Easter recipes at home, visiting the National Trust in the spring sunshine, as well as sampling egg-citing Easter treats in the office with the beans….. all for research purposes of course…!

1. Trust in Easter

The National Trust is one of the UK’s largest catering businesses, serving 14 million people every year, so it was unfortunate and unwelcome that it has become embroiled in Easter related controversy over Cadbury dropping the name Easter from its annual egg hunt. I visited the beautiful Polesden Lacey, National Trust property, just up the road from Jellybean offices, to see for myself what all the fuss was about. Was Prime Minister Theresa May right to call it “frankly ridiculous” that Cadbury dropped Easter from the event name or were Cadbury defensible in saying “Easter remains prevalent in all communications on pack, on eggs and on websites?” Read full story here

From what I saw and experienced at Polesden Lacey and from what I’ve seen online, Cadbury is justified in saying Easter remains prevalent on all other communications. Indeed the word Easter appeared prominently on posters and branding around the trail. My six year old really enjoyed the egg hunt and the carnival arts and crafts on the trail. Of course receiving the Cadbury chocolate bunny at the finish was her favourite bit! So all in all, despite the unfortunate press received, I think Cadbury will remain a winner this Easter. However if its successful partnership with National Trust does continue next year, then I’d be surprised if Easter doesn’t get reintroduced into the event name, in fact National Trust will probably insist on it, in order to avoid another outburst from Theresa May, other faith leaders and any further blacklash from National Trust members.

2. Crumpets with a darker side

There has been yet more controversy, this time over crumpets of all things….! Asda’s bunny shaped crumpets have had some consumers running scared, as they have been likened in appearance to Frank from Donnie Darko. So whilst they might look a bit creepy to some people, they taste mightily good to us! Read some of the comments from Twitter here

3. Brownie Eggs are melting social

Our foodie team at Jellybean love to bake. One recipe that is spreading across social media and we’re all trying now is the Ferrero Rocher brownie eggs. This luxury treat has a Ferrero Rocher at its centre and is encased in layers of crushed hazelnuts, Belgian chocolate and gooey brownie mixture. Give it a try why don’t you, you can view the recipe here

4. Love it or Hate it!

Whether it’s Marmonds (Marmite flavoured almonds) or Welsh rabbit flapjacks infused with Marmite (baked by our very own PR Director Sam Rooke @samfoodie #tryit) we are mostly lovers of Marmite in the office. So when we saw news of Marmite’s Yeaster Egg, there was much delight and a dash to the shops. A genius bit of marketing and a pretty tasty egg, so it got a thumbs up from us. It’s of course a bit of a novelty. Whether it stands the test of time and pulls in the sales remains to be seen.

5. Hot Cross Bun Fight!

Now hot cross buns are a firm Easter favourite, but opinion is divided on whether these delicious baked buns should be tinkered with in the first place. Traditionalists say no, leave them well alone. But we know innovation is important to inject news and excitement into food categories and of course this can drive footfall during what is a key sales period and battleground for the supermarkets. This year we’ve seen a host of new hot cross bun varieties and innovation being introduced from different supermarkets. It’s frankly been a bit of a bun fight. From Waitrose Mini Chocolate Orange Hot Cross Buns to Aldi Specially Selected Orange & Cranberry Hot Cross Buns and Morrisons Best Sticky Toffee & Date Hot Cross Buns to Tesco Finest Fudge & Belgian Chocolate Hot Cross Buns. In a recent consumer taste test Waitrose Mini Chocolate Orange Hot Cross buns came out on top scoring 84/100 – you can read the full article here

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Easter trail through the stories and innovation that have been making the headlines this year. Myself and the team at Jellybean wish you a wonderful and happy Easter.

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