Tuesday, October 19, 2010


The M & M guys and gal

   Sweet milk chocolate drops in a colorful, crunchy shell.  Ubiquitous and delightful, M & M's candy has been part of American life for nearly 70 years.  We all know they're the chocolate that "melts in your mouth, not in your hands", but how did M & M's become such an essential American treat?
   In the 1930's, Forrest Mars, Sr. got the idea for M & M's by seeing Spanish Civil War soldiers eating chocolate pellets that had a hard shell covering the inside so the candies would not melt.
   In 1941 production for M & M's began in a factory located in Newark, New Jersey.  One M stands for Forrest Mars and the other M stands for William Murrie, the president of Hershey's Chocolate.  Murrie had 20 percent interest in the production of M & M's.  When Operations were started, the chocolates were made in five colors: yellow, brown, green, red, and violet.  They were originally served in a cardboard tube.

  • 1948, Mars bought out Murrie's 20 percent interest.  In that same year they replaced the cardboard packaging with black cellophate packaging.
  • 1950, a black "M" was imprinted on the candies.
  • 1954, they changed the "M" from being black, to white.
  • 1955, Peanut M & M's were introduced.
  • 1958, the factory moved to a bigger factory in Hackettstown, New Jersey.
  • 1960, Peanut M & M's added the colors, red, green and yellow.
  • 1976, the red M & M's were eliminated because people believed that the dye amaranth caused health problems.  They replaced red with orange.  The action was only done to satisfy the customers that were worried, the M & M's did not contain the dye.  Red M & M's were again introduced later, and they kept the orange M & M's also.

M & M's World

  • 1988, M & M's with an almond center hit the stores, but with a limited release of during Easter and Christmas times.
  • 1990, Peanut Butter M & M's were released, these M & M's are filled with peanut butter and come in the same colors as the other brands of M & M's.
  • 1995, blue M & M's came in and replaced tan.
  • 1996, M & M minis were introduced.  Smaller M & M's in plastic tubes.
  • 1998, M & M's became the official candy of the Millennium.
  • 1999, M & M's crisp chocolate make their debut.
  • 2000, "Plain M & M's" were renamed to "Milk Chocolate M & M's"
  • 2004, Personalizing M & M's begins, allowing customers to custom print on 17 vibrant colors of M & M's.
  • 2005, M & M's were offered in dark chocolate in the brands of regular and peanut for the promotion that tied in with Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith movie release.

  • 2007, M & M's were made in the flavor M & M's Razzberry Chocolate Candies.
  • 2010, Pretzel M & M's are launched, but not in the color yellow.

   Today M & M's can be customized and personalized with special colors, messages and even pictures.  Customers can choose from over 10 varieties of the candy, including coconut, pretzel, and peanut butter.  Since their creation, M & M 's have become a symbol of American culture.  M & M's were declared the official snack of the 1984 Los Angles Olympics, and in 1998 the candy of the new millennium.  Few candies have been so well known and loved throughout our history-WHY DO YOU LOVE M & M's?

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