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  Magic Kinder - Online egg-stacy
Magic Kinder
online egg-stacy
by Kimberly Maul
November 19, 2007

Kinder Surprise Egg, one of the Kinder products from Italian confectioner company Ferrero S.p.A., is a chocolate egg with a small toy "surprise" inside. The candy is not available in the US due to a 1938 law prohibiting non-nutritive items in candy and a 1997 ban by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), as the toys inside could be considered a choking hazard for children under the age of three.

But the lack of a US market has not hurt Kinder Surprise at all. The company, which markets the candy specifically to children over the age of three, combines the kid-friendly idea and name (Kinder means children in German) with the stellar reputation of a well-known Italian confectioner company that also produces Nutella and Ferrero Rocher products. The candy has a worldwide following and has even earned cult status, especially in countries where it is not available.

While the candy is clearly made with kids in mind, many adults collect the toys inside and even rank the quality of the toys. With different manufacturers in different countries, connoisseurs of Kinder Surprise Eggs know which countries produce higher-quality toys.

As the Internet has grown in popularity worldwide, Kinder has used this to its advantage, including a code in each Kinder Surprise Egg that can be used online to play games, get music, and create virtual worlds with the toys found inside the eggs.

After breaking open the Kinder website, we see that there are no surprises on Aimed toward kids, the site is colorful, focuses on the candy, and features games and animated kids having fun. The worldwide homepage has images of all the flags of the 31 different country websites, ranging from Canada to Finland to Greece to Serbia. Because of the language barrier, we will use the English Canadian site (it also is available in French) to see how the Kinder Surprise brand makes its way into the web.

Magic Kinder - Online egg-stacy Simply with its international-themed homepage, the Kinder Surprise website reinforces the international focus and reach of Kinder Surprise. Though the parent company may be Italian and the name German, the company shows its commitment to its international scope through the variety of websites, which cater to different markets and consumers that speak different languages.

Once you get into the Kinder website, called Magic Kinder, it really is all about the kids. There are interactive games to play on the site or to download to your computer. Kids can start an account to use all their Kinder surprise codes. There is even a family section with activities like print out games and guides for the perfect picnic or party. The site also links to mini-websites that show the different Kinder characters and toys that can be found in Kinder Surprise Eggs.

The Kinder site also encourages kids to get away from the computer. The Sports section of the site teaches about different sports and even has essays explaining certain sports and how to participate. There are also plenty of games to print and cut out so visitors can keep their Kinder experience going offline.

The slogan of the site is "Play with the Adventures of your Surprises!" The site is basically a great resource for kids to have fun. It offers so many activities and games, but also has an informative aspect. In addition to the essays about different sports, the site also features a section on environmental issues like the greenhouse effect and what kids can do to help save the environment, including energy-saving tips. The company is sneaking in some educational material into the crazy, creative website for kids.

While is definitely a lot of fun, it doesn't deal much with the products—where to find them, what candy products they sell. But with this specific audience, the website is perfect for growing the brand. First, it gets customers to interact with the products online, and it also encourages users to buy more products and get more involved. It also instills the brand name into the minds of the users of the site. Kids don't want to know all the basics of Kinder candy. They just want to have fun. And since the site gives them that chance, it will keep the "kid-stomers" coming back for more, even well into adulthood.

But while the site really caters toward the kid-fans of the candy and toys, it could do more to reach another big chunk of customers: adults who still love Kinder Surprise, whether it is for the novelty or for the collector's value. There isn't much on the site for those customers, who have to go to either the Ferrero main site, which has more corporate information, or the Kinder Chocolate site, which just focuses on the chocolate bars and not the Kinder Surprise Egg.

The Magic Kinder site takes what the company knows—making kids happy—and brings it online, which reinforces the overall brand reputation and helps it grow into something bigger. But it is missing out on a chance to reach the older Kinder fans and turn its cult status into something more mainstream. But even for adults, the games and activities on the site could be a fun, guilty pleasure, just like the candy and toys themselves. Egg-cellent, work Kinder Surprise.


Kimberly Maul is a freelance writer living in New York.

*Due to the constantly changing environment of websites, some reviews may no longer reflect the current website for this brand.
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