Sweet Tooth

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Candy companies partnering with summer movie releases has been a no-brainer for many marketing execs during the past few years, but what does it take to sway a 162-year-old confectioner to partner with a movie franchise for the very first time in its long history?

Two words: teen vampires.

"We sought out a program that would help to generate awareness of the Sweethearts brand with teens and tweens, and also be relevant outside Valentine's Day," explains Jackie Hague, New England Confectionery Company's vice president of marketing. "Our group reached out to Summit Entertainment and codeveloped the product so it was a true expression of the Twilight brand. The actual phrases were even written by [Twilight author] Stephenie Meyer."

The Mass.-based candy company is rapidly producing boxes of the Twilight Sweethearts, featuring sentiments from the film such as "Bite Me," "I Love EC" and "Lamb." The entire program was created and reached the market in under 90 days.

We really loved the story and its characters and knew we could deliver an integrated story-centric product," Hague says. "Even the boxes have Bella's scent on them. We are most excited that the consumers really see the story in the product and that they love the boxes," which are becoming collectors' items.

The partnership will continue into the fall alongside the premiere of the Twilight sequel, New Moon. "We are in the process of developing chocolate-molded items in addition to the Sweethearts," says Hague. "Sky Bar chocolates in the Cullen crest, Bella's heart, and the Wolves' mark are all being offered for Halloween." And, sweetly, a double heart featuring Edward and Bella in molded chocolate will be available too.

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