(Vienna, VA) – When people munch on a chocolate bunny, etiquette appears to require that the ears be eaten first, according to a survey conducted just in time for Easter by the Chocolate Manufacturers Association (CMA) and National Confectioners Association (NCA). The survey also noted that chocolate bunnies are the number one “must have” item in an Easter basket.
“Consumers enjoy variety when it comes to filling Easter baskets,” says Larry Graham, president of CMA and NCA. “But chocolate bunnies and jelly beans are the two traditional candies that most baskets will contain.”
Each year, more than 90 million chocolate bunnies are sold for the season, along with more than 16 billion jelly beans.
These perennial candy favorites were ranked numbers one and two as the top items to include in an Easter basket. Forty-two percent of adults who give an Easter basket for the holiday ranked the bunny as number one, followed by jelly beans, with 26 percent saying they must be included.
Adults may be sneaking goodies from kids’ Easter baskets because they appear very knowledgeable about the best way to eat chocolate bunnies. Eating bunnies’ ears first won hands down. “Apparently, this is the most appropriate way to enjoy a chocolate bunny,” said Graham, who admits to eating bunnies’ ears first, himself. Of 1,000 adults surveyed, 76 percent said they start with the ears when they munch a chocolate bunny. Eating bunnies’ feet first (five percent) and tail first (four percent) were not popular choices.
Those favorite chocolate bunnies and jelly beans will join hundreds of other goodies in baskets this year. From cream-filled eggs and marshmallow chicks to miniature candy bars and favorite every-day candies decked out in special Easter wrappings, all will find a place nestled in Easter baskets to continue this popular family tradition.
“Giving an Easter basket to family members or friends is an important tradition and fun way to make memories and add to the festivity of the season,” says Graham. “Through the ages, sweet foods have been associated with celebrations and have been valued as gifts, and this is especially true today.”
Last year, a CMA/NCA survey found that nearly 90 percent of parents said their children received a basket filled with goodies as part of their Easter celebration. The parents also said it was fine for their kids to enjoy those Easter goodies. Ninety percent of parents agreed with the statement, “As long as my children eat a balanced diet, candy eaten in moderation is fine as a dessert or snack.”
“Candy is a fun food that certainly can fit any lifestyle,” says Graham.