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May 25, 2009
M&M, Mickey Mouse make sweet partnership

mickey mouse.jpgIt's a candy dish favorite, a beloved movie snack, a little reward for a child.

But M&Ms, the famously creamy chocolate enrobed in a bright crunchy shell, are hoping to become more than just a sweet staple.

Mars Snackfood U.S. has teamed with Disney Consumer Products to launch a new line of specialized My M&Ms aimed at families.

The My M&Ms Memorable Moments blends feature nine themes based on Disney and Disney-Pixar characters and movies, including Cars, Toy Story, High School Musical and, of course, Mickey Mouse.

Mars announced the partnership last month and officials said it's too early to know whether sales of the specialized Disney M&Ms, available exclusively online, will flourish. The My M&Ms site launched in 2005.

Mars, a private company, would not disclose what percentage of its business the My M&Ms product line comprises. The personalized products are popular, however, a trend the company is hoping to continue with the Disney line, said Ryan Bowling, a Mars spokesman.

"We want it to be a big part, a big seller," he said.

Mars recently sent The Bee two of the Disney blends to sample.

We tried out the Mickey Mouse blend, which features Mickey's face, Mickey in action, Donald Duck and the phrase "M-I-C...You Know the Rest" on a group of preschoolers.

The children immediately recognized the famous characters and shouted "Mickey!" as they poked through the pile of primary-colored candy.

"They're special," said Alice Hewitt, 3. "These taste good!"

The kids pointed out that there weren't enough Donald Ducks in the mix (take that Mickey!) and one 2-year-old was disappointed that Daisy Duck didn't grace an M&M.

The phrase included on the M&Ms was lost on this generation though, which is more inclined to know the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme by They Might Be Giants than the old theme song from the bygone days of Annette Funicello.

Kendra Pfeiffer, owner of Pfeiffer Event Planning in Sacramento, scoped out the other sample sent to The Bee, which featured Disney princesses Ariel, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and the expression "Happily Ever After."

"I see it for a little girl's birthday party," she said.

Pfeiffer, who plans weddings and has frequently used personalized My M&M products as wedding favors and on candy stations, said she doesn't see the Disney Princess Wedding theme being too popular among brides and grooms.

The blend features Cinderella and Prince Charming in silhouette and in a heart, wedding bells and the phrase "Dreams Do Come True."

"There are a lot of 'Disney' people out there though, and this is a cute, subtle way to get a touch of Disney in the wedding," she said.

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