Cracked up? Why are manufacturers dropping 'Easter' from eggs?

The giving and eating of eggs at Easter time is one of the festival's pagan aspects which has been incorporated into the Christian celebration.

The review by the Meaningful Chocolate Company highlighted the change in Cadbury's packaging from 2012 to 2016

But now it seems this tradition is returning to its pagan roots.

A review of Easter egg packaging has revealed the word "Easter" is being gradually removed. It suggested that over the last five years there has been a move away from the term among the 80 million chocolate eggs sold at Easter time in the UK.

Additionally, a recent survey revealed nearly four in five British people want to keep the word "Easter" on eggs' marketing.

A YouGov poll asked 2,050 people whether they thought manufacturers should avoid using the term Easter on their packaging. 79 per cent of participants disagreed and thought "Easter" should remain while 11 per cent agreed.

The Real Easter Egg is Marshall's attempt to buck the trend and produce an overtly Easter-based egg

Meaningful Chocolate, who commissioned the survey, said in a statement the manufacturer's trend away from using "Easter" was ironic given the survey. The British company had created The Real Easter Egg which includes a copy of the Easter story.

"We are not sure if other manufacturers feel the word "Easter" is too religious to be used on their products and so are trying to remove it or hide it away," said CEO David Marshall. "But it is clear that the general public want their eggs to be Easter eggs – a bit of a relief given the name of ours!"

The Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam, said: 'It is interesting that there seems to be a real resistance to removing the word 'Easter' from these gifts. Perhaps people understand that the festival is religious and do not want to see it turned completely secular.

"Whatever the reasons it is important to remember that at Easter we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus."