Australians ‘Hopping’ for a Simpler Easter in 2013

By KIM CARTER, ADMAeaster

Ah Easter! Hot cross buns, eggs, bunnies, bilbies … apps and sales. Are they now synonymous? Here’s our look at what people will be doing for Easter around the world.So when is it?

Want to count down the days to when the Easter bunny (or bilby) arrives? Here’s a free app from Apps Zoom that will let you do the countdown to Easter. Lil Sugar also has rounded up some cute apps to get tots prepped and ready for Easter.

Pin it, for Easter

To get you further into the festive mood, why not take a look at all the fun and pretty things about Easter that people are posting on Pinterest, the virtual billboard?

I thought this gal, Lili, had some particularly adorable pins that made me want to go out and buy things to create a gorgeous Easter table, do Easter crafts or baking with the kids or even create an Easter tree. Andrea also pinned some good ideas.

Back to basics holiday

This year though, apparently we’re hopping back to basics. Business analysts are tipping that Australians will be returning to the barbie this Easter, eschewing the overseas getaways and elaborate restaurant meals of other years.

That’s the news from IBISWorld which publishes an annual report into what Australians spend at Easter.

Analysts say Australians spent big travelling overseas at Christmas last year and thanks to where Easter falls in the calendar in 2013, Australians are opting to celebrate the four-day break at home or undertake short domestic getaways instead. Easter holiday and travel spend is expected to grow by only 3.9 per cent.

Hop to the dark (chocolate) side

Easter is the biggest time of the year for the chocolate industry with spending during the Easter week about 50 per cent higher than a typical week. And it is often quoted that Australians rank among the largest consumers of Easter eggs in the world, eating on average about 20 eggs, ranging from little foil wrapped ones to more elaborate, larger confections.

This year IBISWorld says Australians will spend $185.7 million on chocolate, up 5.2 per cent from last year. But what’s different, according to IBISWorld Australia’s General Manager Karen Dobie, is that Australians will be turning to dark, organic and fair trade options more often in 2013.

“Australians are becoming increasingly health conscious, a trend that has resulted in growing demand for low-fat and low-sugar treats. Dark chocolate is expected to be a popular choice this Easter as it is regarded as a healthier option. Sustainability will also be on people’s minds with fair trade chocolates tipped to be a favoured gift,” she said.

Premium brands like Lindt and Haigh’s are expected to do well because consumers feel more optimistic about the economy.

Fish … Good Friday’s favourite goes further

Since many of us are staying put, butchers, fishmongers, supermarkets and liquor outlets should look forward to a bustling trade this Easter. IBISWorld predicts that there will be more spending on traditional barbeque choices as a result.

Fish and seafood spend is expected to increase by 4.9 per cent, with many Australians eating seafood across the four days, rather than just on Good Friday when many Australians traditionally choose fish over red meat. Prawns and fish are also expected to take pride of place at Easter Sunday lunch or dinner across the nation.

Overall, the report also says Australians will spend more than $3 billion this year on Easter, equating to $132.85 per capital – up slightly from the $130.33 per capita spent in 2012. What will you be buying?

Egg-cellent hunts around the world

Spending aside, a lot of us will also be thinking about organising a traditional Easter egg hunt at home or attending one put on by a local company, council or charity. Some terrific ones are held in Biarritz, Amsterdam, Brussels and New York to name a few.

Time Out London reports about the amazing UK Lindt Big Egg Hunt, now in its second year, where 100 eggs created by designers have been hidden in cities around the UK to raise funds for charity. And the First Family in the USA will be hosting the 135th Easter Egg Roll with 35,000 people expected to enjoy music, stories and coloured eggs on the South Lawn of the White House.

In Australia, there are massive hunts like the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt and Family Picnic at Werribee Park in Victoria which raises funds for the Good Friday Appeal at the Royal Children’s Hospital (sold out this year). Bendigo, Victoria, also has a huge egg hunt. This year, nearly 3,000 children will hunt for over 75,000 eggs hidden in Rosalind Park on Good Friday. The hunt is organised by Vision Australia, a charity that works with visually impaired people.

Bilbies could rule down under

As we all know, it’s usually the Easter bunny that brings the eggs to children (although in France it’s the church bells that do the honours). Meanwhile, down under, many Australians now tell their children the treats come from the Easter Bilby, a cute, long-nosed rodent.

For 20 years, the Foundation for a Rabbit Free Australia has been lobbying for a more Australian Easter animal — the bilby — because they consider rabbits to be feral pests that cause enormous damage to farms and the environment.

Haigh’s Chocolates agrees. They stopped making chocolate bunnies in favour of the bilby in the mid-1990s. This year the company will produce more than 500,000 chocolate bilbies to sell in their stores across Australia.

Hot cross bun fight

Meanwhile, to that other great Easter treat: thousands of hot cross buns spiced with cinnamon, dried fruit or, yes, chocolate are being baked across the country. But, in truth, the baking often starts as soon as the Christmas tree has been taken down. And that, according to the Daily Telegraph, can cause a holy ruckus as some people feel that’s way too early and we should only eat hot cross buns at Easter, the holiest time of the year

And get this: you might even smell hot cross buns at your local bus stop. Woolworth’s has partnered with Reed Pacific media, Adshel and JCDecaux to launch a series of hot cross bun scented outdoor displays as part of its ‘Happy Feaster ‘campaign.

Imperial eggs

But if you prefer Easter finery over eggs and buns, you can always consider buying one of the lavishly ornamental egg pendants made by design house Fabergé. Or more likely you’ll do what I’m doing if they’re a tad out of your price range and have a cozy read about the amazing Easter eggs Peter Carl Faberge created for the Imperial Russian Family.

On with the (Easter) show

Besides all the shopping for food and the odd bit of finery, Easter is also a time for entertainment! For Sydneysiders there’s the Royal Easter Show. Celebrating the city meeting the country, the Royal Easter Show is 193 years old this year and will attract 900,000 people eager to see agricultural competitions and enjoy farm animals, carnival fun, and of course the shopping. There are 300 show bags to choose from!

But if you think you should be doing something that celebrates the true meaning of Easter (eg Jesus’ death and resurrection) you could always go to Easterfest (formerly the Australian Gospel Music Festival) in Toowoomba, Queensland. It’s billed as the festival about Easter for Easter. Something for the 61.1 per cent of Australians who claimed to be Christian in the 2011 Census to consider?

Sentimental journey

Okay I know I talked about bilbies earlier on, but I confess: I’m a Canadian who still has a soft spot for bunnies. And to that end, I can’t go past this sweet Easter commercial that Saatchi and Saatchi Sydney has made for Cadbury. It just made me want to go out and buy lots of pretty eggs to scatter around a sun-kissed lawn. Watch it on YouTube:

Happy Easter!

Kim-Carter-Pic     

Kim Carter is the Public Relations Manager for ADMA

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