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Creme Egg Season II

February 9, 2010

I’ve already commented on how the Creme Egg Season (1st Jan – 4th April, apparently) seeks to rebrand Easter. 

We’ve been here before with Christmas. Is it rich for Christians to complain if the fast-feast season of Lent and Easter is taken over, extended and rebranded as a non-stop festival of consumerism? Didn’t the church originally hijack Eostre the pagan festival anyway? And what is Cadbury supposed to do? Its aim is to increase sales.

We seem to be at an impasse. Except there is one thing I notice. For Jesus to have a season dedicated to him there was a cost. 40 days of fasting in the wilderness (for the forty days of Lent). Death on a Roman cross for Good Friday. Appearing to witnesses a couple of days later for Easter Sunday. Whatever way you look at it that’s quite an investment.

So Cadbury would like a season for their Creme Egg. Are they willing to match that kind of commitment? Seeing as they’d like a longer season, should they be looking to exceed what Jesus offered? Something tells me that the image of someone demolishing a chocolate treat, with sweet goo dribbling down their chin, isn’t quite going to match the story of the man who gave his life away for the sake of the world. 

But hold on – maybe there’s a middle way here. Part of the meaning and message of Easter is that we find life more when we give it away. Easter is about celebrating the triumph of good over evil (In the words of Desmond Tutu: “Good is stronger than evil; love is stronger than hate; light is stronger than darkness; life is stronger than death. Victory is ours, through him who loves us”). Easter has inspired literally billions of people to seek to bring hope to the places they live and work and suffer.

So how can we go forward? If Cadbury really want a season, then how about a few suggestions:

  1. Make Creme Egg chocolate Fair Trade. Cadbury have already done this with Dairy Milk, as have their rivals Nestle with Kit Kat. While not solving the world’s economic woes, Fair Trade is exactly the kind of symbol of a better world that every season should have.
  2. During Lent, why not suggest that people give a Creme Egg? Even better, give something better than that (a small cheque, a free lunch, help to neighbours) and top it off with a free Creme Egg as a sign of the season.
  3. Cadbury should earmark a proportion of the revenues from Creme Eggs between January and Easter and put them to creative use: a Cadbury award for social entrepreneurship; grants for Easter community festivals; Cadbury scholarships for students in developing countries (e.g., for research into effective, equitable and sustainable global food production).
  4. While we’re eating the eggs (not a bad thing in themselves) how about a Carbon Fast to offset some of the wider costs of consumption? 

A season with no substance, no bite, is at best a fad. At worst it’s a cynical gimic. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The feast can have some meat to it. Creativity can oust cynicism. Chocolate can be a gift worth celebrating, not endlessly self-indulgent junk food. 

The Egg can be a symbol of new life, right?

Or is it just processed sugar wrapped in foil?

Cadbury – you decide.

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