What is behind the myth that Santas become Easter bunnies? We address this question in this article.
In 2016, 142 million Santas were produced in Germany, of which around 46 million were destined for export. In 2020, there were about 151 million chocolate Santas. The chocolate Santas that are so popular are seasonal goods for which there is no longer any demand shortly after Christmas. Rumor has it that the spurned chocolate Santas are melted down and turned into Easter bunnies. Will these actually be melted down again and reused in the form of chocolate Easter bunnies in the spring?
Would such recycling even make sense?
This question can be answered with a very clear no. Melting them down would be possible, but it would not make sense not only from a quality point of view, but also from a hygiene point of view. Also from purely logistic reasons the return of the chocolate Santa Clauses would not make sense. They would have to be unpacked, melted, reshaped and then repacked. This makes little sense not only from an economic point of view, but also from a quality point of view. Prolonged storage and transportation would result in significant quality losses. In addition, only intact Santas would be allowed to be processed.
All those with small holes in the foil may not be further used and would thus have to be sorted out, which requires additional effort.
From an ecological point of view, only "cocoa recycling" makes sense, i.e. the further use of cocoa as a resource, but, as already mentioned, this would lead to a loss of quality and a high logistical outlay.
The Federal Association of the German Confectionery Industry assumes that if Santa Clauses were taken back, unpacked and formed into new Easter bunnies, this would raise the price of the original Santa Clauses by 30 percent due to the extra effort involved. In principle, however, for hygiene reasons it is not permitted at all to reintroduce products that have left the factory into the production cycle.
So what happens to the Santas after Christmas?
That's not so easy to say. On the one hand, Santas are offered at a reduced price after Christmas to increase sales. For another, they are donated to charitable organizations and, in the worst case, actually thrown away. An official law against food waste and throwing away food does not yet exist in Germany. Even though an amendment to the Recycling Management Act came into force in 2020, it only deals with a duty of care. This stipulates that products may be thrown away when it is the last option, i.e. when it is no longer possible to sell or reuse them. When and how this is the case is not specified.
Overall, however, more is sold than would be expected. Due to the heavy discounting after the holidays, often all Santas are sold and only a few are donated.
In the arguments made here, it must be noted that it is not publicly known how much surplus of Santas is available in supermarkets.
Ideas for recycling chocolate Santa Claus
If you have a few lonely Santas sitting on the shelf, we have a few ideas for you on what to do with them. For example, how about a hot chocolate? Or a chocolate cake icing or even a chocolate fondue. A chocolate liqueur would also make a for perfect gift. But also our delicious chocolate crossies and chocolate cookies are wonderful. You can find the recipes for them on our Instagram account.
The myth that chocolate Santas become Easter bunnies cannot be confirmed. Rather, they are brought to us through heavy discounting as best they can. However, this small example also shows how important it is to change something politically in terms of the circular economy so that less food ends up in the trash that was actually still edible.