ST. LOUIS, MO -- S&B Candy & Toy Co. and Smarties Candy Co. have launched a program that offers patrons of S&B's new Smarties Crane the opportunity to compete online for college scholarships. It was on display at the 2012 Sweets & Snacks Expo in early May at McCormick Place (Chicago) and is described online at smartiesland.com.
The program is based on a "one play per day" contribution for every Smarties crane in the country -- $15 a month -- to a national scholarship fund; 500 cranes earn $90,000 a year for the fund.
Coded "Smarties Cards" in the crane direct prospective college students to the Smarties Land website, where they have the chance to vie for scholarship money to devote to secondary education. The cards provide access to the website and generate repeat traffic for operators, as card collectors become engaged in Smarties Land. Among other attractions, the website includes a list of Smarties crane locations.
S&B developed the Smarties Scholarship crane program, the website and the scholarship candy crane mix. This mix contains 15 kinds of Smarties, as well as a variety of education-themed toys and the Smarties scratch-off cards, with unique codes that permit the holder to access the website.
Once there, the cardholder takes a quiz and is graded on speed and accuracy. At the end of the year, the top players will compete for a portion of the scholarship funds. The winners receive a 529B educational savings plan, set up in their names.
The program is finding favor with operators, S&B reports. Operator Terry Borden, who runs 37 Smarties cranes, said he is planning to introduce the line into 20 more pizza locations in the next few months. "I really like the idea of giving back to our community. It's good for the stores, their customers and our relationship with the accounts," he said. "And these are the best looking cranes that I have ever seen. The bright graphics, LED lighting and licensed Smarties theme really make it stand out and attract attention."
S&B introduced its original Win-Every-Time crane more than two decades ago; the Route 66 crane has been its flagship piece. The company reports that the Smarties program builds on that strong foundation, and takes crane play to a new level by adding an online dimension and an incentive for customers to work toward a long-term goal.
Headquartered at 1535 N. Broadway St. in Louis, MO, S&B can be contacted by calling (800) 773-0531.
Union, NJ-based Smarties Candy Co., founded in 1949 as Ce De Candy Inc., changed its name last year to match its signature product.