Americans eat a whopping 16 billion jellybeans and buy more than 700 million Marshmallow Peeps every Easter. Easter is also the second most popular time of the year for eating chocolate. And Cadbury Creme Eggs — the chocolate eggs filled with yellow and white fondant that resembles a real egg yolk — are the most popular Easter confection in 24 states.
Eggs have long been a symbol of spring and renewal regardless of faith or tradition. The earliest Easter Eggs were hen’s or duck’s eggs decorated and painted in bright colors with vegetable dye and charcoal. In the 1600s and 1700s, egg-shaped toys were often given to children in the springtime. The Victorians had cardboard satin-covered eggs filled with Easter gifts and chocolates.
The first chocolate Easter Eggs were made in Europe in the early 1800s. Most early chocolate eggs were solid, because to make hollow eggs, the molds needed to be lined with chocolate one at a time. By 1875, John Cadbury’s company was making smooth, dark chocolate Easter Eggs filled with dragees (sugar coated chocolate drops). The Cadbury Creme Egg first appeared in 1971. Television advertising helped to make it a hit. Today, the company produces 500 million creme eggs a year. All Cadbury Creme Eggs are manufactured in the UK, at the company’s chocolate factory in Birmingham.
On February 11, 2023, a British police department thwarted what they called an “eggs-travagent theft” when they arrested a man driving a semi-truck filled with 200,000 Cadbury Creme Eggs. The police stopped the 32-year-old man, Joby Pool, on the highway in Telford, a town in central England, shortly after the theft. Pool allegedly used a metal grinder to break through a gate at the factory and into the truck. The seized chocolate is worth approximately $48,000. Some are suspicious Pool was part of an inside job, being tipped off by an employee as to the contents of the truck and the timing of the theft.
According to prosecutor Owen Beale, “This clearly wasn’t spur-of-the-moment offending, if I can put it like that, because he had taken with him a tractor unit and he had to know that the load was there in the first place. It’s clearly a leading role and it’s clearly significant planning.”
Pool entered guilty pleas to theft of a trailer, theft of its contents, and damage to a chain lock. He is expected to be sentenced in March.
The West Mercia Police quipped in a lighthearted statement, “Shortly after the theft a vehicle, presumably purporting to be the Easter bunny, was stopped northbound on the M42 and a 32-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of theft.”
Chocolate is considered a highly desirable item to steal—whether it’s a candy bar from the store shelf or a truckload of chocolates from a factory. The theft may be spur-of-the-moment shoplifting, or a significant theft coordinated and perpetrated by employees. Luckily, Cadbury Creme Egg fans everywhere can rest assured that there won’t be 200,000 less of these cult-classic eggs on grocery store shelves this year.
Archie, Ayana. “English police say they foiled an ‘eggs-travagent’ plot to steal Cadbury chocolates.” NPR, February 16, 2023. https://www.npr.org/2023/02/16/1157400258/cadbury-creme-eggs-stolen. Last accessed February 16, 2023.
Pollard, Aidan. “Man arrested for stealing truck filled with $48,000 worth of Cadbury Creme Eggs.” Business Insider, February 16, 2023. https://www.businessinsider.com/man-arrested-stealing-truck-filled-with-cadbury-creme-eggs-england-2023-2. Last accessed February 16, 2023.