As the UK counts down the days until Easter Sunday many are looking forward to finally chomping on chocolate eggs, with a series of chocolate-themed events planned. 

The biggest of these will be in York, which will celebrate its rich heritage as home to two of the country’s most famous chocolatiers, Terry’s and Rowntree’s (now Nestlé). Its Great York Bunny Search runs until April 23 and aims to encourage locals and visitors to explore York’s historic streets and seek out brightly coloured ceramic bunnies in shop windows. 

All proceeds are going to the York Teaching Hospital Charity. 

In Birmingham, meanwhile, Easter has come early for one chocolate manufacturer. Walkers Chocolates, which was established in 1977, has secured £3.5 million in funding from Lloyds Bank to boost investment in its machinery and increase capacity. With the investment set to increase its turnover by an extra £2 million in the next year, it’s a Willy Wonka style golden ticket. 

Chocolate is estimated to be worth more than £1 billion to the UK’s economy and working with confectionery must be the dream career for all chocolate lovers . . . and one that’s come true for two UK entrepreneurs. 

James Findlay and Paul Maden were rejected on the Dragon’s Den TV show – ridiculed for planning to run their chocolate-making business from Durness in the very north of Scotland. But now they’ve landed major orders from Portugal, Japan Singapore and Norway. They have also secured investment for Cocoa Mountain’s new, purpose-built factory where they will be making hot chocolate. 

Thankfully, you don’t have to be a business whizzkid to enjoy a job working with chocolate. 

In the past few weeks Cadbury announced it was seeking professional taste testers to try out its new products before they hit the shelves in retailers worldwide. Yes, the British confectionery company wants to pay people to taste its goodies.  

COCO Chocolatier, meanwhile, one of the UK’s leading artisan chocolate businesses, has been on the lookout for a retail assistant to learn all about chocolate products, history and trivia to inform and entertain its customers – when you’re not eating the stuff, you’re talking it. 

Retail roles and product testing are both highly desired areas for chocolate lovers but everything from bars to buttons must first be manufactured. The first chocolate eggs appeared in France and Germany in the 19th Century, but they were bitter and hard. As chocolate-making techniques improved, hollow eggs like the ones we enjoy today were created. 

When coming up with a brief for a new chocolate it’s marketing professionals who often get the egg rolling, so to speak. Having analysed sweets sales and customer service feedback, their brainstormed ideas will go on to the research and development team. It’s here that products are brought to life through experiments with different shapes, flavours and textures.  

Chocolate technicians must also look at the technicalities involved to see whether the creations can work in a factory setting. This means there’s a lot of science involved so a food science and technology degree is helpful. 

A chocolate production assistant must also have an eye for detail to manage the production line and ensure the quantities and quality of everything that’s produced. Operatives are also expected to constantly monitor the workplace environment to ensure strict food hygiene standards are met. 

You might enjoy this so much you could become a hygiene operative. Ideally, you’d have some experience working in this sector but the biggest plus points on your CV for this role will be proven reliability and the ability to be flexible – in this area of production, shift work can include changing hours and night shifts. 

Operative roles are ideal for school leavers as they offer the potential to develop skills quickly. Before long you might even be looking to secure a position as department supervisor or manager. 

Of course, in this sector you won’t always work directly with chocolate – or, indeed, food and drink. 

Organisations large and small require experienced store managers and stock controllers. And don’t forget all those milk and dark chocolate eggs have to be packaged, moved from the production line to the storehouse and finally to outlets, meaning opportunities, too, for forklift truck operators and HGV drivers. 

And when a product is good to go, marketing comes back into play. 

The marketer’s creative flair and communication skills are important to advertise and sell new creations, but the digital revolution means they must also be tech-savvy.  

This means having a broad mix of personalities and skills in a marketing team to get that winning formula. 

Also involved is the events coordinator, responsible for organising shop display stands, marketing banners, transport, supplies…and even booking actors or singers necessary for a campaign.  

Anyone up for a job as a dancing Easter Bunny? 

When it comes to making chocolate, there really is a role for everyone. So, if this has whetted your appetite, take a look online for the latest vacancies.