Let’s be honest its kind of a strange holiday and a difficult sell, unless you’ve bought up all the Woollies Easter Eggs…!
When you delve into the background of this Christian festival, there’s a few surprises…. “Eastre” was actually a pagan figure, celebrated as the Goddess of Spring. A festival called Eastre was apparently held during the spring equinox by Pagan people to honour her. The goddess Eastre’s earthly symbol was the rabbit, which was also known as a symbol of fertility. So now I get the bunny connection, but how did we get from there to chocolate eggs?
Well, most ancient races around the world had similar spring festivals to celebrate the birth of the year, The Egg, as a symbol of fertility and re-birth, has been associated with these rites from the earliest times.
So when the Pagans arrived here in about the 5th century AD, the festival came with them along with their rituals. When the Saxons converted to Christianity and started to celebrate the death and the resurrection of Christ, it coincided with Eostre, so that’s what the early church in Britain called the celebration, Eostre or Easter in modern English. So that’s the history, here comes the sales… or do they?
The media is full of stories about Easter being a huge turning point in retailers calendars… Really? Its news to me. OK, maybe if you sell Sofas I can see its huge, but for the rest of us, its not mega….. It’s nice to celebrate the advent of Spring and to put some bright cheerful props around the shop, but talk about focusing on the positive. There’s some problems with creating a sales phenomenon around Easter….
Easter has rabbits and eggs – not an easy sell…! Rabbits are normally portrayed as either a bit dumb, or sex crazy…. Bugs Bunny doesn’t wear any trousers – I rest my case !
Everything that’s celebrated around Easter happens in the morning and we all know that nothing good for commerce happens before noon !
There’s no Easter songs? So you can’t really ramp up the marketing…. Christmas has reams of songs, we all know them by heart. Easter has…..?
Finally, the focus is on a corpse coming back to life…. Not cute! – Amazing, yes. Cute – No !
So I think we can agree Easter is a tough sell, pretty, but tough. But if it increases footfall then who’s complaining?
One of the things i’ve noticed about Easter this year is the choice on offer, you can get vegan eggs, protein free eggs, fairly traded eggs, green eggs, diabetic eggs, to name just a few. I’m old enough to remember when there were three choices and one of them was Smarties! So maybe the lesson here is how to differentiate your offering and how the market is evolving…. oh and offering choice?
So that’s the cynic in me satiated, but in the spirit of Easter, which is above all a story of hope, with the promise of new beginnings, lets not dwell on the bad stuff and instead lets think about Spring arriving and what we can create for this new season….
And if that all seems too sweet to be true, here’s my Easter gift to you: A get-out-of-jail-free carbohydrate card.
Apparently there’s a range of benefits and nutritious surprises found in chocolate. The key is learning to choose the right type and eating the right amount (and 50 grams is pretty decent) so now you can feel virtuous devouring it.
Now for another bite of that pair of ears on my dark chocolate Lindt bunny.