Easter doesn’t need to be ‘inclusive’

Why are corporations running scared of the E-word?

Lauren Smith

Topics Identity Politics UK

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Customers of a Cadbury outlet store in Spalding, Lincolnshire were surprised and disappointed to find no Easter eggs for sale this week. The shop was instead selling ‘special gesture eggs’, instead of the regular Easter variety. Pictures of the store displays quickly circulated on X and the term ‘gesture egg’ was thoroughly mocked. The shop soon took the displays down and sheepishly reinstated the dreaded E-word, Easter.

Cadbury has since stressed that the outlet was run independently and that it had nothing to do with the rebranding. ‘All Cadbury Easter shell eggs sold in the UK reference Easter very clearly on the packaging, sometimes multiple times’, said an exasperated-sounding statement from Mondelez International, which owns Cadbury.

So it looks like the ‘gesture egg’ saga is a case of a woke shopkeeper gone rogue. But this isn’t the first time that Cadbury has been accused of recoiling from the word Easter. In 2017, it sponsored a National Trust Easter egg trail called the ‘Great British Egg Hunt’. The motivation here was to make the occasion more ‘inclusive’. As Cadbury told the Telegraph at the time: ‘We invite people from all faiths and none to enjoy our seasonal treats.’

Of course you don’t have to be a church-going Christian to enjoy a hunt for chocolate eggs. But surely everyone knows what Easter eggs are and that they exist as part of a long-held Christian tradition. So why bother pretending otherwise?

Even more bizarrely, last week it emerged that Iceland supermarkets have been selling hot cross buns with ticks instead of crosses. The cross is supposed to represent the crucifixion of Jesus, and the tradition of eating hot cross buns on Good Friday is believed to date back to the 14th century. Yet Iceland claims that it has done ‘research’ showing that ‘some people want to do away with the cross design and move to a tick’. Do they really? Who are these people who want to swap a traditional Easter treat with a snack that looks about as enticing as an Excel spreadsheet?

You do not have to be Lee Anderson – who has predictably blasted the hot tick buns as ‘ridiculous namby-pamby virtue-signalling’ – to find the corporate war on Easter perplexing. In the real world, you would be hard pressed to find examples of, say, British Muslims expressing outrage at Easter eggs, or atheists railing against the scourge of hot cross buns. Cadbury, Iceland and other big firms seem to be bending over backwards to appease a community of the offended that does not really exist outside of their market research.

The end result of this is that various traditions are flattened into a beige corporate mush. The Easter holidays are still marked, with egg hunts and hot cross buns, but businesses go out of their way to deny any link to Christianity, as if the mere mention of the Christian faith were somehow offensive or exclusionary.

Most Britons of all faiths and none have no truck with this woke erasure of Easter. Attending a ‘multifaith search for seasonal treats over the early spring long weekend’ doesn’t sound like anyone’s idea of fun. The fear of causing offence is sucking all the colour out of the world.

Lauren Smith is a staff writer at spiked.

Picture by: X.

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Topics Identity Politics UK


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