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Free Easter treats for NHS workers as demand for eggs plummets

PUBLISHED: 16:23 02 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:23 02 April 2020

Kinnerton makes 30 million Easter eggs a year but is donating stock to people in need because of coronavirus. Pic: Archant

Kinnerton makes 30 million Easter eggs a year but is donating stock to people in need because of coronavirus. Pic: Archant

Bosses of a chocolate firm in Norfolk which produces more than 30 million Easter eggs a year are donating surplus stocks to NHS workers.

The Kinnerton factory in Fakenham. Picture: ArchantThe Kinnerton factory in Fakenham. Picture: Archant

At Kinnerton, Britain’s largest independent chocolate manufacturer, the firm has been hit with customers slashing their usual Easter orders. So it is giving chocolate away free to local front line NHS workers, vulnerable groups as well as food banks and shelters.

And retailers like Norfolk’s Digby Eddison, who runs the Harald’s chocolate shop in Cromer, said he may have to give away chocolate stock he could not sell because of being closed over coronavirus, is also now hoping to donate it to people in need.

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Kinnerton makes 30 million Easter eggs in a year  but because of coronavirus is donating some to people in need. Pic: ArchantKinnerton makes 30 million Easter eggs in a year but because of coronavirus is donating some to people in need. Pic: Archant

Fakenham-based Kinnerton, which employs 8,000 staff across six sites, including its headquarters in Oxborough Lane, have also just launched an online delivery service to sell some of the stock after it said there had been “a sharp decline in demand” because of coronavirus.

A spokeswoman said: “The next two weeks will be critical to demand picking up. Recent reports indicate that Easter confectionery sales are tracking significantly behind last year. The bulk of Easter sales happen in the last two weeks every year so there is still time for things to improve.

“Some of our surplus stock has been created by customers cutting back on orders. We have been actively donating Easter eggs to front line workers and those supporting them along with vulnerable groups, food banks and food shelters.

“To try and help our customers who can’t get delivery slots we have set up an online shop for our NOMO Easter eggs so that we can deliver directly to them.

“We have seen a very recent sharp decline in demand from one of our biggest customers regarding Easter this week. We will be carefully assessing available government aid and steps to safeguard our employees’ jobs.”

Chocolate shop owner Mr Eddison is now hoping to make a donation of chocolate to staff and patients at Spire Healthcare in Colney, Norwich. This is a private hospital but currently providing support for the NHS by arranging urgent operations and cancer treatments which are not related to coronavirus.

A spokeswoman from Spire said: “It would be a huge morale boost at this time.”

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