Has the "War on Christmas" morphed into the "War on Easter?"
The Daily Star reports that Cadbury sells its “Egg Hunt Pack,” while Nestle is hawking “chocolate egg with bubbly bars” and Sainsbury is marketing a “milk chocolate egg,” all of which do not include the word "Easter."
David Marshall, creator of the Meaningful Chocolate Company, believes that Christians are being slighted in this commercialization. In response, he markets his “Real Easter Egg” products, which include a religious message.
“A lot of businesses are not comfortable with the religious aspect of the festival," Marshall told the Telegraph.
“If they want to make their product as attractive to as many people as possible it could well be that they want to remove references to the Christian festival because that will be seen as attaching to one faith tradition,” he added.
The profits of Marshall's eggs go to charity, so his motivation does appear to be sincere.
“It’s deeply disappointing and shameful that some of the biggest companies in the country are censoring the centuries [old tradition]," Marshall told the Daily Star.
“It shows they’re insensitive and uncomfortable with the Christian faith,” he added.
According to Marshall, his company surveyed 2,000 adults and found that 79 percent wanted the word "Easter" to be part of the commercial branding.
The Bible doesn't mention branding Easter, celebrating the holiday or Easter eggs, but Donahue's Magazine noted in 2012 that Easter eggs date as far back as the 17th century in the Catholic Church. Some believers dyed and decorated eggs red in remembrance of the blood that Jesus Christ shed during the crucifixion.
In the present day, Rt. Revrend Nicholas Holtam, who is the Bishop of Salisbury, told the Daily Star: "There seems to be a real resistance by the public to remove the word Easter from these gifts."
“Perhaps people understand that the festival is religious and do not want to see it turned into something secular,” Holtam added.
Nestle responded to the controversy by stating: “There has been no deliberate decision to drop the word Easter from our products.”
A spokeswoman for Cadbury added, “We do not have a policy to drop Easter from our eggs.”
“We sell a wide range of Sainsbury’s Easter Eggs and do not have a policy relating to the word ‘Easter,'" a Sainsbury’s spokesperson stated.