You are currently viewing Why do Easter Eggs Cost So Much?

Why do Easter Eggs Cost So Much?

Apologies for this, but I’m about to go on a bit of a (seasonal) rant…
As a child I used to ask for money for Easter instead of eggs. Why? When I clearly love my chocolate. Because if I waited until the week after Easter I could buy my eggs half price and get twice the chocolate for my money. So as you can tell, not only do I have an excessive amount of self control, I also like to get value for money.
Eggs always seem expensive for the amount of chocolate you get, but is this true? The quality of the chocolate in eggs varies, so it is meaningless to compare eggs from different companies. But what we can do is compare the egg price to the same amount of chocolate from the same company in bar form. Let’s be scientific about this and invent a new unit of measurement. I’m going to call it the Seasonal Shape Price Premium, the SSPP. They say that a lot of reader’s stop as soon as they hit a mathematical formula, but I’m going to tempt fate. The SSPP can be calculated as “Egg Price per 100g chocolate” / “Bar Price per 100g chocolate”. Meaning lower SSPP’s represent better value for money.
So let’s do some sums…

I’m going to start with one of the titans of the UK chocolate industry – Cadbury’s.
On their website they have a 250g egg with 2 bars for £8. Looking at the bars, they should retail for around £1.70, so the price per 100g for the egg is (8-1.7)/2.5 = £2.52. The nearest bar size for Dairy Milk seems to be the 110g, which costs £1.65, giving a bar price per 100g of £1.50. So their SSPP is 2.52/1.5 = 1.68.
Maybe quality chocolate will do better, let’s look at Hotel Chocolat. They do an egg for £20 that comes with 6 mini eggs. The mini eggs sell for £1.03 each, so the egg is £13.82. The egg is 210g, giving a price per 100g of £6.58. Their bars are £4.95 per 100g, giving an SSPP of 1.33. So better than Cadbury, but you are still paying a third extra to get your chocolate in an egg shape.

Let’s look at a smaller chocolatier, who I won’t name as it wouldn’t be appropriate, but their pricing is not atypical. A 250g egg is £21, giving £8.40 per 100g. Their bars are £6 for 100g, giving an SSPP of 1.4. Another small chocolatier has a price per 100g on their eggs of £10.67, while their bars are £5.50 per 100g giving a pretty shocking SSPP of 1.94.
Of course I can’t look at the SSPP for all these other companies without holding myself to account. My medium eggs weigh at least 220g, and cost £13, giving a price per 100g of £5.90. My 100g bars are £6. So for my medium eggs the SSPP is 0.98. My large eggs are £22 for 400g, giving £5.50 per 100g. So for the large eggs the SSPP is 0.92.
Actually looking at these numbers I can’t help but feel that I’m underpricing my eggs by making them better value than my bars. Whoops. Maybe they’ll go up a bit next year.

So why are eggs so expensive?
I put the question to some of my peers and got around 350 responses, so I think we have a pretty good sample size. The most significant factors they gave were the extra time needed to produce eggs and the higher cost of packaging. I have to agree that eggs take longer to make, partly because we put more work into optimising bar production since that happens all year round. However looking at my packaging costs, on a per 100g basis, they are not that different between bars and eggs. Most of my sample will have been smaller chocolatiers, so I’m not sure these results apply to larger firms like Cadbury’s who will have production lines dedicated to egg production. I suspect it is less about production time for them, and more about factos like higher transport costs.
So do I think the extra costs are justified?
I can’t deny that eggs take longer to make, so should cost a bit more. But I don’t think they should cost 50% more than an equivalent bar unless they have particularly extensive decoration. And I certainly don’t think they should be twice as much.