Fact Check

Cadbury Renamed Its Chocolate Easter Eggs 'Gesture Eggs'?

By removing the reference to the Christian holiday, the alleged change was supposedly a marketing attempt to target people of all faiths.

Published March 28, 2024

Political commentators in the U.K questioned the alleged name change. (X account @toryboypierce / X)
Political commentators in the U.K questioned the alleged name change. (Image Via X account @toryboypierce / X)
Claim:
In March 2024, the British candy manufacturer Cadbury renamed its chocolate Easter eggs "gesture eggs."
Context

A store independent from Cadbury but licensed to sell its products marketed Cadbury Easter eggs as "gesture eggs," as seen in a viral poster. But the candy manufacturer said it did not endorse the sales initiative and was not making the alleged name change.

In March 2024, some social media users and political commentators were seemingly enraged after learning candy manufacturer Cadbury had supposedly changed the name of its chocolate Easter eggs to "gesture eggs." According to the rumor, the company removed the product's reference to the Christian holiday to make the candies secular.

Many social media users shared a photo supposedly showing a poster advertising the rebranded product as alleged evidence of the change. On March 27, 2024, one X (formerly Twitter) user described the alleged move as "another attack on Christianity," while another account urged people to boycott the company and posted a screenshot of an article titled "Cadbury changes Easter eggs to 'gesture eggs' in latest woke move."

(X account @liz_churchill10)

Together, the posts had amassed more than 1 million views at the time of this writing. The rumor also spread via multiple TikTok accounts and on Facebook.

However, although the photo of the promotional poster with "gesture eggs" was real — that is, it was not the product of digital-editing software — Cadbury did not sponsor it, and the company did not change the name of its Easter eggs to "gesture eggs," a spokesperson for the chocolate manufacturer told Snopes.

According to the spokesperson, the poster was allegedly displayed inside a Cadbury outlet store in Spalding, Lincolnshire, England. The individual store supposedly created the "gesture eggs" promotion without Cadbury's involvement; it did not reflect a widespread marketing initiative by the company, the spokesperson said.

Telegraph reporter Connor James Ibbetson reportedly took the photo of the poster. 

Snopes reached out to Ibbetson and the company that oversees the outlet store, Freshstores Limited, and we will update this article if we hear back from either party.

British media, including newspapers, TV channels and the BBC, covered the purported name change. As the rumor spread, Cadbury issued a statement to journalists.

In addition to saying the "gesture eggs" promotion was "not Cadbury led," the statement stressed all Cadbury Easter eggs sold in the U.K. referenced the Christian holiday on their packaging, usually multiple times. "Cadbury has used the word Easter in our marketing and communications for over 100 years and continued to do so with our new Easter product range," the company said.

The statement read:

This promotion is not Cadbury led and we had no involvement in any way.

All Cadbury Easter shell eggs sold in the UK reference Easter very clearly on the packaging — sometimes multiple times. Cadbury has used the word Easter in our marketing and communications for over 100 years and continue to do so with our new Easter product range. To claim anything otherwise is factually incorrect.

We are proud of the role we play within families' Easter celebrations and have a wide range of products that can be enjoyed throughout the Easter season.

When asked whether Cadbury sells any products named "gesture eggs" anywhere in the U.K., the Cadbury spokesperson said certain phrases may be used within the company, or between Cadbury and its partners, to differentiate between products. However, such phrases are not intended for front-facing promotions.

Cadbury provided Snopes with an image of packaging used for one of its eggs to prove it contained the word "Easter."

Cadbury Easter egg packaging referencing the Christian holiday. (Cadbury UK)

Cadbury's website displayed no results when searching for "gesture eggs."

This was not the first Cadbury controversy regarding so-called "gesture eggs." In 2018, the fact-checking outlet That's Nonsense addressed similar false claims about the company supposedly renaming its chocolate Easter eggs to "gesture eggs."

Sources

Cadbury Store Accused of Erasing Easter as It Advertises Chocolate 'Gesture Eggs'. https://www.gbnews.com/news/cadbury-easter-eggs-christian-anger. Accessed 27 Mar. 2024.

'Chocolate Gifts | Chocolate Delivery'. Cadbury Gifts Direct, https://www.cadburygiftsdirect.co.uk. Accessed 27 Mar. 2024.

Corless, Blathnaid. 'Cadbury Store Accused of Erasing Easter by Selling "Gesture Eggs"'. The Telegraph, 26 Mar. 2024. www.telegraph.co.uk, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/03/26/cadbury-accused-erasing-easter-chocolate-eggs-gesture/.

'Gesture Eggs: Cadbury Outlet Store Criticised over Easter Rebrand'. BBC News, 27 Mar. 2024. www.bbc.co.uk, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-68673505.

Haley, Craig. 'Is Cadbury's Renaming Easter Eggs to Gesture Eggs? Fact Check'. ThatsNonsense.Com, 29 Jan. 2018, https://www.thatsnonsense.com/cadburys-renaming-easter-eggs-gesture-eggs-fact-check/.

Parashar, Arthur. 'Cadbury Shop Faces a Backlash over Selling "Gesture Eggs"'. Mail Online, 26 Mar. 2024, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13241939/Cadbury-shop-faces-backlash-Christians-accused-erasing-Easter-sell-gesture-eggs-instead.html.

Nick Hardinges is a London-based reporter who previously worked as a fact-checker at Reuters.