The dangers of excessive sugar consumption has garnered a lot of media attention over the last few months and with Easter week just around the corner MummyPages.ie. Ireland’s leading parenting community today launches in-depth research into Easter Egg consumption in Ireland. The research examines how parents’ attitudes are changing towards the age old tradition of gifting chocolate Easter Eggs and how mums relieve their homes of the excess chocolate.
When it comes to the sheer quantity of Easter Eggs gifted to children at Easter-time, MummyPages can reveal that four in ten children will receive between 5-10 eggs with a further one in ten children receiving a whopping 10-15 chocolate Easter Eggs.
Worryingly, two-fifths of mums say their children will mainly receive larger sized Easter Eggs rather than child sized eggs. According to MummyPages calculations the average sugar content in large size Easter eggs equates to 48 teaspoons of sugar compared to 12 teaspoons in smaller child sized eggs. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that the majority (91%) of parents ration their children’s Easter Egg chocolate intake and three quarters of mums admit to intercepting some of their child’s chocolate Easter Eggs.
Insights from MummyPages research into Easter Eggs consumption in Ireland:
• Number of Easter Eggs children will receive: 0 eggs (6%); 1-2 eggs (15%); 3 – 5 eggs (44%); 6-10 eggs (23%); 10-15 eggs (12%)
• 61% of children will receive mainly child-sized Easter Eggs
• 39% of children will receive mainly large Easter Eggs
• 74% of mums regularly intercept or take away some of their child’s chocolate Easter Eggs without them knowing
• 91% of mums ration their child’s Easter Egg chocolate intake
• 51% of respondents think parents should be consulted before an adult gives their child a gift of a chocolate Easter Egg
• Popular alternatives to chocolate Easter Eggs for children include: Books (70%), Special family day out (43%), New clothes (39%), Toys (33%), Gift vouchers (32%), Home baked goods (29%), Home-made gifts (16%)
• Most popular alternate uses for excess Easter Egg chocolate include: Use it for baking (52%), Eat it themselves (27%), Throw it away (8%), Freeze it (7%), Give it away to friends / family / work colleagues (6%)
• 73% of mums think Easter Eggs should be limited by law to just one aisle or display in supermarkets
• 19% of mums think there should be an extra ‘sugar tax’ on Easter Eggs
• 50% of mums think there should there be a maximum limit in grams of chocolate in Easter Eggs marketed to children
• 73% of mums think the level of sugar should be limited in Easter Eggs marketed to children
• Mums buy Easter Eggs for: Children (87%), Partner (62%), Nieces / nephews (55%), Godchildren (41%), Grandparents (24%), Mum (20%), Extended family members (6%), Children’s friends (13%), Neighbour’s children (7%)
• According to MummyPages mums, the most prolific Easter Egg gift givers are: Grandparents (86%), Aunts / Uncles (68%), Parents (56%), Godparents (44%) and Neighbours (13%)
• Estimate of time children will take to eat all of their Easter Eggs: 1-3 days (9%), 1 week (19%), 2 weeks (21%), 4+ weeks (40%).
• Mums average Easter Egg spend: Up to €10 (16%), €10-€20 (29%), €20-€30 (22%), €30-€40 (16%), €40-€50 (8%), €60+ (9%)
• Factors mums consider important when buying an Easter Egg: Quality of chocolate (81%), Price (64%), Fair trade ingredients (41%), Packaging (24%)
• 14% of Mums will buy children’s character branded Easter Eggs
MummyPages research highlights how parents are becoming more health conscious about the amount of sugar children and indeed the whole family are consuming. Interestingly, over half of mums surveyed would prefer if extended family members and close friends consulted them prior to gifting their children with a chocolate Easter Eggs. In the last few years, there has been a shift towards alternative Easter gifts with books, new clothes and gift vouchers the most popular.
Interestingly, MummyPages research demonstrates the shift in attitude towards a healthier lifestyle and reducing the sugar in their family’s diets. Almost three quarters of parents are calling for the Government to introduce new merchandising, manufacturing and labelling regulations on the sale and packaging of chocolate Easter Eggs in a bid to curb our looming obesity crisis. Half of mums think there should there be a maximum limit in grams of chocolate in Easter Eggs marketed to children and a fifth of mums are in favour of an extra ‘sugar tax’ being placed on Easter Eggs.
According to Laura Haugh, Mum-in-Residence for MummyPages.ie, Ireland’s biggest online parenting community:
“The temptation at Easter to demonstrate your love for your family members in kilograms of chocolate is easily understood given the huge displays of affordable chocolate on offer at this time of year. However too much of this kind of ‘love’ will actually hurt those you care about the most. We are currently on track to become Europe’s fattest nation by 2030 and all of our Easter chocolate will certainly not help this fact. Children are the biggest recipients of Easter themed chocolate at this time of year, with grandparents the biggest culprits. Thankfully though nearly three-quarters of our MummyPages mums report intercepting or siphoning away chocolate excess before their little tummies are overindulged.”
“Earlier this year, MummyPages launched a campaign to encourage the Government to introduce teaspoon food labelling to denote the amount of sugar in food products. While we all know that chocolate is a treat that should be enjoyed in moderation, this kind of labelling would help parents in choosing an appropriate size egg for the children in their life who might find rationing their chocolate intake difficult on Easter Sunday.”
“Our MummyPages community research clearly indicates there is a new trend developing to give chocolate alternatives this Easter, with toys and family excursions popular substitutes to the traditional chocolate egg. Savvy mums also report using leftover chocolate in fun baking activities with their children which will come in useful this year to keep little hands occupied over the Easter school holidays.”