Easter weekend is here, and it’s one of the biggest holidays in the US and the UK. In fact, it’s the biggest holiday for candy consumption among Americans—beating out other sweet celebrations Halloween and Valentine’s Day.

According to Statista, 84% of Americans and 75% of people in the UK celebrate Easter, with up to 73% planning to give presents for the big day. Spending on this holiday is also increasing across both nations, with UK spend up 6.7% last year.

So, when Easter rolls around, people will research how to buy their candy and chocolate eggs, plan their parties, and celebrate Easter with their loved ones.

This provides US and UK publishers with a major opportunity to reach audiences with Easter-related content.

The question is: What kind of content should you publish? What exactly do people want to read about?

To help, we dug into our data from over 7 million readers and 10 million minutes of engagement over April 2018 to find out which Easter topics US and UK readers engage with most—and how these audiences compare. We also analyzed which referral sources these readers came from, including search, social, and direct.

Here’s what we found.

Content featuring words like ‘hunt’ and ‘spring’ is more popular in the US.

Among US audiences, these topics drew over 2 million readers apiece. In comparison, among UK audiences, content related to the words ‘hunt’ and ‘spring’ drew just 480,000 and 229,000 readers respectively. In the UK, chocolate related content topped the charts at 1.5 million readers.

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A look at engagement, or the minutes spent with each piece of content, tells a similar and possibly even more striking story. UK readers only spent 380,000 minutes and 169,000 minutes with these content topics respectively, while US audiences spent over 2 million minutes with each of them.

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One possible explanation for this is that Easter egg hunts are a more popular holiday activity in the US. According to Statista, 57% of Americans partake in this tradition, while just 43% of people in the UK do the same. Instead, a favorite tradition in the UK is eating hot cross buns, 56% of people in the UK do this, compared with only 6% of Americans.

‘Chocolate’ content is more popular in the UK

Where UK publishers failed to draw readers to ‘hunt’ and ‘spring’ related content, they succeeded in pulling in huge numbers for ‘chocolate’ related content. ‘Chocolate’ was the number-one topic for UK audiences, generating 1.7 million readers and 1.8 million minutes of engagement.

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Over in the US, ‘chocolate’ related content brought in only 977,000 readers and didn’t even rank for engagement minutes. The US also had a lower overall audience size (630,000 versus 2.4 million) for content about specific chocolate brands, which we’ll get to in the next section.

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It turns out that chocolate isn’t as big of a deal during Easter in the US. There is even a whole reddit thread and Internet freakout about this. While Americans’ peak candy consumption happens at Easter, their peak chocolate consumption doesn’t happen until Halloween. Instead, they likely fill their baskets, eggs, and bellies with other sweets such as marshmallows and jelly beans.

Across the pond, the UK tops the charts for the highest chocolate spending in the world. During Easter, 80 million chocolate eggs sell each year, making the market worth £220 million ($289 million).

Cadbury wins among chocolate brands

We analyzed how UK and US audiences interacted with content about a range of different chocolate brands, including Cadbury, Aldi, Hershey, Nestlé, and Lindt.

Cadbury drove the highest readership and engagement among both audiences, but most starkly among UK readers. US readership and engagement was more evenly distributed across four major brands: Cadbury, Aldi, Hershey, and Nestlé.

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In the UK, Cadbury content generated 1.2 million readers—50% of the total readership (2.4 million) across all chocolate brands. It also generated 1.2 million engagement minutes — roughly 50% of the total engagement time (2 million minutes) across all chocolate brands.

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Based on this data, you can assume that people in the UK associate Cadbury, more than any other chocolate brand, with Easter. And the sales confirm that assumption.

Cadbury is the best-selling chocolate brand in the UK according to Amazon. Cadbury itself also claims to dominate 50% of the chocolate egg market in the UK, matching our 50% readership and engagement stats exactly.

When we look at engagement, Cadbury still emerges as the clear winner, but Hershey falls down the ranks in the US and Nestlé emerges as a dominant second place in the US.

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Most referrals come from search

Among UK audiences, search and shares—defined as shares inside apps like WhatsApp, Google Chat and others—were the biggest referral sources to the most popular topics such as ‘Sunday” and ‘chocolate’. For content about chocolate brands, referrer search won out by a long shot, driving over a third of all referrals to this content.

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Among US audiences, referral sources were more evenly distributed, though search similarly came out on top.

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This Easter holiday, focus on circulating content that will not only capture your readers attention, but keep them engaged and celebrating with their families and friends.

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