Today the Daily Mail has published an article naming the Top 10 Easter Eggs as voted for my Good House Keepings experts and testers, this is an annual review. Tesco’s “Taste the Difference” Egg has come out on top with the likes of Rococo and Betty’s only reaching 5 and 10 respectively.
Obviously the article doesn’t give all the facts, but I would like to know how the eggs were assessed. The Easter egg from Tesco’s rated highly because of the Sweets Creamy Chocolate, Elegant Packaging and the Value Compared to the luxury brands; the egg also features in the stores special 2 for £10 promotion. Caroline Bloor (Good House Keeping’s Consumer Editor) said “The choice of Easter Eggs on the shelves seems to get bigger every year, and you can spend a fortune on them too. But paying more doesn’t necessarily guarantee good value or chocolate that everyone will love”.
I agree that sometimes you can purchase a chocolate which turns out not to be of your liking and maybe overpriced. The commercialisation of Easter as well as Christmas has really grown into quite a monster over the last decade. However the comparison of an egg from Tesco’s which will have been mass produced and a handmade egg, made with the finest quality chocolates is always going to open up to a lot of criticism.
I’m an advocate of quality of quantity, so previously when buying Easter Eggs, before I made them I would treat myself to a luxury brand made with a good quality chocolate and containing what I would deem as luxury chocolates. I could buy a Mars bar whenever I wanted, so why would I want to buy a Mars Egg? Especially as the actually Easter egg chocolate would be very sweets, fatty and rather unsatisfying. That’s why when I first started making Easter Eggs I made sure the chocolate I used was good quality, and my customers picked up on this commenting on how delicious the chocolate was and how it didn’t have that horrible “Easter egg flavour”.
I know not everyone will maybe appreciate the flavour of a luxury chocolates Easter egg or an Egg made from Single Origin chocolate, I know maybe people who just want the chocolate fix rather than sitting down and contemplating the complexity of the chocolates, but I’d like to think that people would be able to appreciate the craftsmanship that has gone into a handmade Easter egg. As well as the craftsmanship I’d like people to understand the costs. The reason an Easter egg maybe priced a lot higher than other eggs is because of the quality of the chocolate and the fact that they aren’t mass produced. The chocolatier may not have the buying power like the giant that is Tesco, and in many cases the chocolate will have been purchased on ethical grounds as well as flavour. Tesco may have sourced a high quality chocolate for the egg, but other chocolatiers really aren’t on even ground with Tesco.
I have also seen tweets this week from fellow chocolatiers and reviews saying how Easter Eggs can be purchased in supermarkets for less than the price of a Red Nose. Considering a Red Nose is meant to make a difference to people in the UK and places in Africa I think it’s quite ridiculous that an egg which will have been made from Chocolate grown in countries such as Africa can be sold for less than a disposable Red Nose. It really tells you how much the Cocoa Farmers are getting.
We’re currently living in one of the worst recessions we’ve ever had and I know every penny counts, so that’s why I think it’s really time to take a step back and look at where our money goes. Is it going to the producers of cocoa or the large companies pumping out cheap chocolate dressed up in expensive packaging and branded as fine, luxury chocolate?