Whittaker's tickled pink with pupils' brainwave

JODY O'CALLAGHAN
EDUCATION REPORTER
Last updated 07:28 31/08/2012
Samuel Marsden College
CRAIG SIMCOX/Dominion Post

IN THE PINK: Samuel Marsden College year 12 pupils involved in the making of pink chocolate, from left, Ellie Cook, Claudia Beaumond, Maddy Williams, Katie Fitzsimons and Morgan Archer.

Samuel Marsden College
Supplied
FUNDRAISING YUM: Whittaker's White Raspberry chocolate with the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation sticker.

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Teenage Wellington entrepreneurs have inspired Whittaker's to launch a new pink-flecked chocolate to help raise funds for breast cancer awareness.

Five year 12 students from Samuel Marsden Collegiate School came up with a Young Enterprise project idea of pink chocolate to raise money for the Breast Cancer Foundation. They hoped to make about 5000 blocks to raise money for the charity.

But their pitch to Whittaker's was so convincing that the Porirua chocolate-maker adopted their idea and included a raspberry white chocolate in their line. It will launch on October 1 to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness month, but may be in shops by mid September.

Pink managing director Katie Fitzsimons, 16, said they went to a smaller chocolate manufacturer first, "but they didn't really see our vision".

"We went to Whittaker's and they fully understood and were keen to get it going.

"I'm pretty excited. It's gone over my head a bit."

But it would "hit home when it gets in the stores", she said.

Communications manager Ellie Cook, 16, said each of the girls had some connection with breast cancer and thought it was a good chance to raise funds for charity.

Breast Cancer Foundation chief executive Evangelia Henderson was delighted to see young women who were aware and energised enough to come up with such an ambitious idea.

"We were blown away.

"We're delighted that they are so socially minded to think about a cause [like breast cancer]."

Young Enterprise Wellington co-ordinator Sasha Webb said Pink's chocolate idea coming so far was the "business success story of the year" and "quite a coup".

The girls came sixth in the Wellington Dragons' Den presentation competition. They will sell their first blocks at a market day tomorrow and hand in an annual report later this year. The national winner will be chosen on December 4.

Whittaker's brand manager Holly Whittaker said it was the first time the company had worked with students on a product concept before, but they jumped at the chance to get behind the "genius" idea.

"Their positive energy has touched everyone involved at Whittaker's, and we have all been very impressed with their charitable business objectives.

"We thought 'pink chocolate' was genius. Every female loves pink, to treat themselves and to know they're giving something back."

For each block of the chocolate sold, 20 cents will go to the Breast Cancer Foundation.

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- The Dominion Post

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