Spotlight – A Look Back at the Spring Series
The D&I Council’s Spring edition of its new bulletin, Spotlight, was as insightful as it was creatively inspiring. In this blog post, the team explore the motivation behind it and share some of the most popular cultural traditions, recipes and trends from across the series.
A warm hello from the D&I Council! We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their engagement with our new bulletin, Spotlight.
Designed to recognise the yearly cultural events that celebrate the diversity of our communities, Spotlight is our first step, as a D&I Council, in getting everyone involved with our mission of building a welcoming environment that encourages and nurtures mutual respect.
As a company spread across several locations with multiple teams, collaboration and communication are integral to everything we do at Equator. Learning from and about each other’s cultures and differences, ultimately brings us closer together.
In line with our company-wide ambition to normalise courageous conversations, the Spring series of Spotlight delved into the history and meaning of three cultural occasions: Easter, Passover and Eid-al-Fitr. Through Equator’s design-focused, foodie lens, we examined seasonal trends to see how retailers and brands are (or aren’t) engaging with these events.
So, what were the key learnings, trends, and recipes of the Spring series?
As the most significant religious Christian festival, Easter also has roots in Pagan and Jewish traditions. It’s observed around the world to mark the resurrection of Jesus but is also celebrated in secular society with Easter Egg hunts.
Our Head Food Stylist, Joe, shared his chocolate orange hot cross bun bread and butter pudding (a mouthful to say and to eat). We also explored consumer trends ahead of our 2022 Spring Audit, and revealed that, in the UK, around £299m is spent on Easter Egg chocolate each year.
Also known as the ‘Festival of Freedom’, Passover is one of the three occasions in the year when Jews were to go to the Temple of Jerusalem, according to the commandments of the Torah. The Feast of Passover (known as Pesach in Hebrew) commemorates the liberation of Jews led out of Egypt by Moses.
Passover food has to be certified with the ‘OU-P’ symbol, indicating that it’s ‘Kosher for Passover’. Costco is a great example of a retailer that has made its private brand, Kirkland Signature, kosher-friendly. Meanwhile, brands like Heaven & Earth are blending a touch of innovation with the traditional, introducing more ‘novelty’ items for a younger market.
The final instalment of Spotlight’s Spring series covered the Muslim festival of Eid-al-Fitr, sometimes referred to as ‘The Sugar Feast’ due to the high prevalence of sweet treats during this time. Eid-al-Fitr is one of two major Islamic holidays and – as the ‘festival of the breaking of the fast’ – takes place at the end of Ramadan.
In the UK and US, Eid hasn’t always been widely recognised by retailers. However, this appears to be changing, with clothing retailer Next introducing a selection of clothing and gifts, including kurtas and pyjamas, and M&S creating a ‘Countdown to Eid’ calendar filled with hand-decorated date bites. Moons feature heavily in designs, as the timing of Ramadan coincides with the lunar cycle.
We hope you enjoyed our Spring series recap, and we look forward to announcing what’s up next as we cast a lens over Pride across each of our studios, to demonstrate just how far LGBTQ+ rights have come and the origins and significance of the event.