A Manchester business is struggling to keep up with demand for what it deems ‘The Real Easter Egg’, with its unique religious and ethical slant.
The Meaningful Chocolate Company, based in Waulk Mill, Ancoats, became the first British company to combine faith and ethical trading practices with the lucrative Easter egg industry.
The Real Easter Egg was launched in 2010, and is the UK's first and only egg to mention Jesus and the events of the Christian period of Holy Week on the box.
David Marshall, from The Meaningful Chocolate Company said: “There are over 80 million Easter Eggs sold in the UK every year.
“With seven million people going to church at least once a month you would have thought there would have been some choice of buying an Easter egg which mentioned the religious significance of Easter.”
The egg is made from high quality Fairtrade chocolate, which means the growers get a fair price for their work. A percentage of profits go to charities such as The Tradecraft Exchange and Baby Life Line.
It is being sold in Morrison’s, the Co-op, Booth’s and Waitrose, as well as several independent shops but Mr Marshall said the product had to fight its way on to supermarket shelves.
Church leaders have welcomed the product and churches across the UK have already ordered more than 150,000 eggs for home delivery, making it the biggest selling mail order Easter egg in the UK.
Many other Manchester businesses rely on the Easter bank holiday to boost profits in an uncertain economy.
Last year statistics showed that the Easter period was worth 9% of the total year's retail sales takings.
Bars, clubs and shops have advertised a range of promotions to target customers over the weekend.
The Uber Lounge on Castle Street is hoping to attract Easter revellers with a range of chocolate cocktails such as the Chocolate Drop Shot and the Chocolate Orange Martini.
However despite heavy emphasis on the commercial side of Easter, the Dean of Manchester, Rogers Govender, is confident that Mancunians have not forgotten the true meaning of the holiday.
He said: “I don’t think it’s been forgotten at all, if you attend any services over this week you will find them packed with people. Over Easter weekend we need more seats to cope.
“Obviously shops will be looking to use Easter to increase their sales but I think you will find that many people are in Manchester to celebrate Easter.”
Reverend Govender added that although shops and businesses will be looking to increase profits over the bank holiday, many visitors will be drawn to the city for worship.
He said: “I don’t think there’s a risk of the meaning of Easter being lost, it’s a 2000 year old story and the meaning hasn’t been lost in that time.”