Dr. Jennifer Simon, Semiotician at Sign Salad, explores the vital role packaging can play even, or especially in challenging times.

The chocolate egg has always been a notch above all other sweet treats on Easter Sunday. It’s a traditional gift that has been given to children and adults alike in Britain since 1875 to break the Lent Fast. But this year, it has the added role of providing a welcome reprieve from the current COVID-19 reality. This may not be the Easter that was planned, as family and religious gatherings are put on hold, but the chocolate egg is a ritual that can still be enjoyed. 

The Easter egg is stepping up to the plate by providing a much-needed emotional comfort in these uncertain times, by combining its ‘popular; and ‘traditional’ symbolism. Chocolate, as we are all aware, is popularly associated with indulgence. And since ancient times, the humble egg has been a traditional symbol of birth, growth and renewal. 

However, it’s not just about the product, the packaging that surrounds it is also has a vital role to play. Food and beverage brands have been using packaging to gain a competitive advantage by appealing to consumers’ values for many years. Chocolate eggs are no different. It may be that they have typically been categorised as a child food product, but more brands are revisiting these childhood treats, such as Easter eggs, and tailoring both products and packaging for an older demographic. This year, perhaps inadvertently, the humble chocolate egg – product, packaging and all is providing the emotional comfort that consumers are increasingly looking to brands for.

Read more about how Easter egg packaging can communicate calm and comfort at our sister publication Touchpoints.