British multinational grocer and retailer Tesco sourced 100 percent of its own brand Easter eggs from programs that promote responsible cocoa, and teamed up with LEGO to offer a special limited edition toy created as a healthy alternative present to chocolate eggs.
Tesco is sourcing its cocoa through a mass balance approach from three programs: the UTZ cocoa program, Cocoa Horizons, and “a small volume from Fairtrade.” The grocer claims it has conducted a business-wide review of its own label cocoa sourcing in line with its ethical sourcing programme that extended to the cocoa farmers, their communities, and the environment. Tesco joined the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) in December 2015.
“We are not just stopping at Easter eggs - we are committed to continuing this journey and have created a roadmap to implementing our responsible cocoa strategy,” Tesco’s statement reads. “Through our membership to the WCF and our sourcing work with suppliers, we want to increasingly have a positive impact on cocoa production and on the communities that depend on it.”
Last year, Nestlé USA celebrated Easter by expanding its commitment to sustainable cocoa. Soon after, Hershey announced that it would source enough sustainable cocoa for its Hershey's, Kisses, Kit Kat and Brookside chocolates in 2016, in accordance with its goal to source 100 percent certified cocoa by 2020.
Meanwhile, an Easter-themed LEGO toy will be exclusively sold at Tesco in the UK. The one-off ‘Easter Painting’ building kit was made available in more than 650 Tesco stores as part of a holiday promotion for a few weeks in March.
The toy portrays children in a kitchen painting eggs, and comes in its own Easter themed special box. It is aimed at the 7+ age group and costs £6.
“For many children Easter is all about receiving and eating chocolate eggs so we wanted to help parents by creating an inexpensive, healthy alternative,” Tesco toy buyer Miranda Applegate said.
“Not only will it get the kids away from eating too much chocolate, it will also help channel their creativity during the school Easter holidays.”
Healthy alternatives and sugar content are top-of-mind for UK consumers this month, following the unexpected announcement that a tax on sugary drinks will take effect beginning in 2018.
The UK was also the starting point of McDonald’s and HarperCollins’ partnership to offer books in place of Happy Meal toys back in 2012, a program which has continued each year and has been replicated in the US since 2013.