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Earning is Learning with 27th Christmas Cookies Campaign

Media release
5 November 2012

Earning is Learning with 27th Annual Christmas Cookies Campaign

The cookie sellers

Cookie Time’s 27th annual Christmas Cookies campaign kicks off today with a fresh new look and a new programme for mentoring a handpicked group of young Kiwi entrepreneurs.

Each year Cookie Time Limited, voted best New Zealand owned business by the grocery industry earlier this year*, selects a team of university students to run independent cookie selling businesses throughout the country.

Competition for a place on this year’s Christmas Cookies team was especially fierce, with a record number of applicants for the fourth year running, and more than 750 university students applying for just 73 places. Each seller is allocated a geographic territory (73 from the Far North to the Deep South) and operates as an independent business over the seven weeks of the campaign, helping to fund their studies while learning invaluable business management and operational skills.

This year, a new programme for mentoring sellers has been introduced, with formal mentor roles created to provide support, training and advice to sellers throughout the campaign. The product itself also has a fresh new look. While the recipe remains unchanged, new bucket packaging is being launched courtesy of Cookie Time’s biggest rebrand in 20 years. The new look is further showcased with festive content on the company’s website and a Christmas Cookies online store launching tomorrow.

Christmas Cookies campaign manager Olivia Burtt says the campaign is much more than just another summer job.

“For the company, the campaign provides a unique opportunity to nurture a new generation of young entrepreneurs. For students, this provides coveted experience with one of New Zealand’s most iconic brands along with a thorough grounding in sales and marketing, distribution, and inventory and time management,’ she says.

“We believe entrepreneurship is an incredible asset in business and we see real value in coaching young people to harness this initiative and drive within a framework that brings home the realities of running a business.

“The Christmas Cookies role combines intense sales demands with all the operational and administrative rigors of being your own boss. Whether sellers go on to work for other people or become entrepreneurs in their own right, the feedback we get shows the experience shapes leadership skills and gives a great grounding in business basics,” Burtt says.

Before the campaign starts, sellers attend a full-scale training conference, including face time with company co-owner Guy Pope-Mayell. This year, new mentor roles have been added to provide support, training and advice to sellers throughout the campaign. From Taupo, Kelsey Allen will look after sellers in the lower North Island from Hamilton through to Wellington. A veteran seller, Kelsey has had a long involvement with CTL as father Gordon is the Taupo franchisee. The South Island mentor is Josie O’Grady, also an ex seller herself. Upper North Island sellers will be supported by the Christmas Cookies head office team.

Part of the proceeds from this year’s Christmas Cookies campaign will again go to the Cookie Time Charitable Trust, with more than $1.4 million raised to date. This year, a $50,000 donation will be made to the Trust, which is dedicated to helping Kiwi kids discover their gifts. As principal sponsor of Dyslexia Foundation of New Zealand, the Trust’s work has made a significant difference to the one in ten New Zealanders who have dyslexia, particularly in supporting children to reach their potential. Dyslexia can bring learning challenges and low self-esteem. However, if understood and addressed, it can be an awesome creative force.

Christmas Cookies has also teamed up with Kiwi band dDub to support local music this year, giving away a complementary dDub CD with every three Christmas Cookies buckets sold. The CD is a mix of dDub's two albums (Awake at Dawn, Medicine Man), plus a couple of unreleased tracks. Some 30,000 CDs have been allocated for the promotion.

Christmas Cookies come in three delicious flavours: Chocolate Chip; Apricot Chocolate and Cranberry White Chocolate. The bite-sized cookies are made from a special Christmas recipe and packaged in 600g reusable buckets. People wanting Christmas Cookies can make sure their business is visited by calling 0800 XCOOKIE (0800 926654) or visiting


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