The Creme Egg divides people like little else: some absolutely love them, some hate them with a passion. But regardless of how you feel about that sticky fondant filling with its six teaspoons of sugar, it is an absolute design classic.
The sheer brilliance of an item of confectionary designed to look like another item of food is unsurpassed, even by its predecessor the Chocolate Orange. There is something just so iconic about the Creme Egg’s simple skeuomorphic design: no packaging, just like a real egg, the liquid interior mimicking perfectly the albumen and the yolk.
It stands alone as a confectionary item in its own right: not a bar, not a pack, just an egg. There are other contenders for great design in the chocolate world for sure. There is the Toblerone with its mountain range of nougat strata and the Kit Kat with its two and four finger classic design and brilliant red and white packaging. But there is nothing quite like the Creme Egg, not even the other eggs that have followed. We have had caramel eggs, truffle eggs, mint chocolate eggs, even an attempt at making a creme egg into a bar (Twisted – it was discontinued) but none have challenged the original.
It is also unusually seasonal, selling only from January to Easter when it is the UK’s best-selling confectionary item. Cadbury tried selling them all year round but found they were better loved when having a more limited availability. Still they manufacture 1.5 million per day of them in Birmingham, home of Cadbury, where they have been made since their invention in 1963 and were initially called the Fry’s Creme Egg. Manufactured as a half shell and then filled with white fondant crème and topped with yellow in the middle and then quickly sealed together and wrapped in their trademark blue, purple and red foil.
There was a brief furore in 2016 when Cadbury changed the chocolate exterior and sales dipped but we seem to have got over our hissy fit and resumed buying them in great quantities. There really is no substitute although the mini version is possibly a better chocolate-to-filling ratio from a practical standpoint. But the original is the best and the most enduring, having barely changed packaging or formulation over the decades which shows just what a giant of design it is.
Did you know….?
Terry’s introduced a Chocolate Lemon in 1979 but discontinued it unsurprisingly three years later. Only to be seen in museums now, they also have an unfortunate slang meaning but you’ll need to look that up for yourself. I’m saying nothing.