The money be­hind the Easter bunny

Your Easter choco­late bud­get could go to a se­cre­tive multi­na­tional, or an ar­ti­san New Zealand op­er­a­tion.

Nelson Mail - - Business - Ja­nine Starks

The Easter bunny will emerge next week­end, all sweaty brow and pumped hind legs and with a fist full of cash. Pris­ing open the wal­lets of par­ents around the coun­try is phys­i­cal work.

Eight more sleeps and you can chase the furry tailed hi­jacker-of-cash out of the house.

This won’t make for a good church ser­mon, but for me, Easter and money have long been highly cor­re­lated.

Back in the 1970s, Enid Bly­ton was the prof­i­teer of my choco­late dol­lar.

Two wily par­ents claimed the rab­bit was open to ne­go­ti­a­tion. Eggs or books? In spot­ting my des­per­a­tion for ti­tles like

The Far­away Tree, they foiled the de­liv­ery of many large eggs. With only two paws and a bud­get, he could carry a

book and a few marsh­mal­low eggs in his pocket.

By the 1980s I was earn­ing from the an­nual binge. There was a job at the lo­cal Griffins fac­tory as an Easter egg sticker-to­gether-er. Grab half a marsh­mal­low egg, wipe it across a hot plate and slam it to an­other one.

Drop and re­peat. By day two you stop stuff­ing them in your mouth and they all make it to the tin­foil team.

Decades on, I’m now boy­cotting all un­stuck eggs. Cad­bury shall not profit from such lazy mu­ta­tions. They’ll end up like a bis­cuit-less Mal­low­puff in no time. Look no fur­ther than the ex­quis­ite green-humped Roses pep­per­mint choco­late. That woke up as an af­ter-dinner mint.

Choco­late is clearly an emo­tional pur­chase. While gold bun­nies, ki­wis and squir­rels fight for at­ten­tion in the su­per­mar­ket aisles this week, con­sider this; who ben­e­fits from your choco­late dol­lar?

Buy­ing lo­cal and sup­port­ing our New Zealand choco­late in­dus­try is some­thing many of us could con­sider. A switch to Rainbow marsh­mal­low eggs made in Oa­maru is one ex­am­ple. That’s shame­less sup­port for a com­pany that man­u­ally sticks the two halves to­gether.

At the lux­ury end of the mar­ket, New Zealand has some out­stand­ing ar­ti­san pro­duc­ers. Hog­a­rth Choco­late in Nel­son pro­duce the Andy Warhol Egg ($45) and Devon­port Choco­late in Auck­land, a Gal­axy Egg ($65).

Be­fore you shop this Easter, fol­low the choco­late drops and see where the profit ends up.

Ja­nine Starks is a fi­nan­cial com­men­ta­tor with ex­per­tise in bank­ing, per­sonal fi­nance and funds man­age­ment. Opin­ions in this col­umn rep­re­sent her per­sonal views. They are gen­eral in na­ture and are not a rec­om­men­da­tion, opin­ion or guid­ance to any in­di­vid­u­als in re­la­tion to ac­quir­ing or dis­pos­ing of a fi­nan­cial prod­uct. Read­ers should not rely on these opin­ions and should al­ways seek specific in­de­pen­dent fi­nan­cial ad­vice ap­pro­pri­ate to their own in­di­vid­ual cir­cum­stances.

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