Easter 2018: Fun Facts, Big Bunnies, and Tiny Trivia

Here are some bits and pieces of Easter-related news and trivia (most of which is food-related) to entertain you as you prepare for this weekend’s Easter activities:

AllSpice_Ethereal_Easter_Chocolates1. Go ahead and buy that Easter candy. Everybody else is doing it. Jeanette Rowan of The Food Institute, a consumer and food business trends think tank, reports that Easter spending is expected to total $18.2 billion this year, just a hair (or should we say a hare, eh?) less than last year’s record of $18.4 billion, according to an annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. About 81% of Americans will celebrate the holiday, and 89% of those folks are expected to spend $2.6 billion on candy.

They also forecast that, among those who celebrate Easter, 58% will cook a holiday meal and 17% will go to a restaurant. If you’re in that former category, please browse our Easter recipes and blog articles at this link.

2. That’s a lotta jelly beans. The Today Show had a story about the favorite Jelly Belly flavors in the US. The top three Jelly Belly jelly bean flavors in America are very cherry, buttered popcorn and licorice. (Seriously? Licorice? As kids, we made the Easter Bunny leave the licorice jelly beans completely out of our candy baskets. ::shudder::) CandyStore.com ranked each state’s most popular flavor of jelly bean. Cherry is Iowa’s favorite. There were 15 billion Jelly Belly jelly beans eaten last year, and 1/3 of those (5 billion!) jelly beans are eaten at Easter.

More ridiculous jelly bean facts to share: Jelly Belly can make 1,680 Jelly Belly beans per second. If you laid all those Jelly Belly beans eaten last year end to end, they would circle the earth more than five times.

Source: 10+ years bulk candy sales data from CandyStore.com.
3. Easter candy, by the numbers, from Chuck Dinerstein of the American Council on Science and Health: We spend roughly $28 a person or about 2.1 billion dollars on Easter candy. After an interesting meta-analysis of cost-per-calorie of Easter candy vs. other “healthy” foods (spoiler alert: healthy foods like apples and steaks cost less per calorie than Peeps and Cadbury chocolate eggs), and throwing around analytics terms like p-values, the organization throws down are some hilarious facts about Easter candy, including these:

  • 89% of Americans feel that chocolate bunnies are best-eaten ears first, while a dissident minority (6% p-value <.05) believe feet first is more appropriate. An additional 5% began by eating the tail.
  • As many as 5,000,000 Peeps are made daily in preparation for the carnage of Easter eating. This suggests that many of the Peeps eaten have an extended shelf life. [For comparison purposes the shelf life of the beloved Twinkie is 45 days.]

4. A terrible rabbit pun. Q. What do you call a row of rabbits, all hopping backwards?
A. A receding hare-line.

Farmhouse-Inn_Cadbury-Creme-Egg_YorkshireCake_00215. Oh, but they’re weird and they’re wonderful. Oh, Bunny, it’s really keen. A report on the BBC about some very weird Easter-themed “Frankenfoods” has us glad that we are celebrating Easter in the good old U S of A. Tasty abominations that include Hot Cross Bun-flavored gin, a “candy” egg made of cheese, and a Yorkshire pudding that is stuffed (and topped) with Cadbury Creme Eggs (pictured), make our weird chocolate-covered cookie dough bunny poop seem absolutely boring.

Planet-Easterbunny-aka-Makemake6. Fantastic voyage, to the Planet Easterbunny. And finally, not an Easter food story, but one about space and the solar system. Mental Floss has an astronomy story with an Easter connection:  A few days before Easter 2005, a dwarf planet was discovered in the Kuiper Belt region (the neighborhood out by Pluto, another recently re-categorized as a dwarf planet). A celestial body 4.26 billion miles away, out on the outer edge of our solar system, Caltech astronomer Mike Brown dubbed the new discovery Easterbunny, until it got its official name, Makemake.*

Photo credits:

*”When deciding what name to submit to the IAU, the proximal holiday led Brown to its namesake island (itself first visited by a European around Easter 1722), which led Brown to its people and their religious heritage. Makemake is the creator god of the Rapa Nui people of Easter Island.”