The Easter holidays are coming closer and millions of chocolate Easter Bunnies and other figures are waiting on supermarket shelves to grace consumers’ Easter baskets.
In Germany alone 220 million chocolate Easter Bunnies were produced in 2018 (compared with 202 million in 2017, an increase of 8 per cent), of which 121 million are sold in Germany while almost 100 million are exported to other countries. The primary export regions are the European Union, the United States, Canada and Australia.
Chocolate Easter Bunnies even outperform their greatest rival – the chocolate Santa Clause, with only 150 million being produced 2018. But the Bunny and Santa have one big thing in common – they both prefer to be wrapped in a shiny coat of aluminium foil printed in a variety of colours.
“Aluminium foil continues to be the packaging material of choice for many reasons,” explains Marika Knorr, deputy executive director of the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA). “Firstly, aluminium foil provides great barrier functions, offering complete protection from the light and other external influences that might be harmful to maintaining food quality. Secondly, the dead fold properties of aluminium foil allows it to be wrapped securely to the product, adhering to the contours of the shapes, where it remains until ready to be unwrapped by the consumer.”
“After consumption the aluminium foil ideally is scrunched and can move on to its next life. At the moment the recycling rate of aluminium packaging in Germany is over 80 per cent,” Marika Knorr adds. “All over Europe aluminium foil is increasingly collected and recycled and at the same time we observe to an increasing consumer awareness for recycling and sustainability.”
Many European packaging companies have a long history of producing printed foil for Easter Bunnies, Santa Clauses and other chocolate figures. The patented method, which involves aluminium foil being produced industrially and rolled, has been in existence for more than 100 years. Since then, chocolate producers in Europe and the USA have been wrapping their high quality products in aluminium foil.