Eggs have always been symbolic at Easter. The tradition dates back to when people were not allowed to eat eggs during the week leading up to Easter (Holy week), so any eggs laid would be saved, decorated and given to children as gifts. Other faiths see the egg as a symbol of new life and so celebrate with them at Easter.
Over time, the tradition evolved to using satin covered cardboard eggs filled with treats, followed by the first chocolate egg appearing in France in the 19th century. Reported to be bitter and hard, it did not stop the concept of the chocolate egg taking off and today global chocolate giants Mars currently report sales of more than $18million in chocolate eggs alone.
The chocolate egg market continues to go from strength to strength in the UK, with the value of Easter Egg sales up by £44 million in 2014. But what turned a once bitter and hard treat into a seasonal best selling product?
In modern Easter eggs, a distinctive ingredient, Chocolate Crumb is used. The crumb consists of a blend of refined sugar, milk and cocoa liquor, which is carefully ‘cooked’. It is this ingredient that gives British dairy milk chocolate its distinct caramelised and creamy flavour.
While some European and American manufacturers of chocolate use dried milk powder, most British dairy milk chocolate manufacturers use fresh milk, giving British chocolate a more unique and identifiable taste.
Meadow Foods is the only independent manufacturer of chocolate crumb in the UK, producing 5,000 tonnes of chocolate crumb each year, with much of that going in to making the 80 million Easter Eggs that are consumed each year in Britain.
The product is not only used for Easter Eggs but is also very versatile and can bring a delicious milk chocolate taste to cakes, biscuits, sauces and other chocolaty treats.
What’s more, we’re now also appropriately accredited to produce Fair Trade chocolate crumb for use in Fair Trade milk chocolate. With growing importance placed on healthy diets and ethical manufacturing, the demand for Fair Trade products has increased sales by more than 12%
Chocolate crumb is clearly an important ingredient not only at Easter time but throughout the year. To request a sample, please get in touch through our contact page.