M&M: A Sweet Journey with History of Flavors and Colors

M&M is a classic Chocolate candy with a hard shell and soft chocolate core. These bite-sized candies have been available in the States since late 1941. The Letter M printed on one side of each candy is the identification of M&Ms.

It is hard to imagine a candy store without M&Ms these days. Yet there was a time when the market was flooded with hard sugar candies and their soft chocolate chewy counterparts. Both have some pros and cons.

Sugar candies were solid and hard to chew, on the other hand, chocolate candies were soft and they melt with heat as little as your palm. So it was not easy to carry them for long.

Then the idea of small chocolate candy with a solid shell changes the confectionery market. It was the year 1941 when Forrest Mars Sr. son of Frank Mars returned to the united states and started M&M Limited. It was a Newark, New Jersey-based company more of a subsidiary of Mars Company.


M&M starts its production of plain chocolate candy in late march 1941. However, it reaches total production and distribution capacity by September 10, 1941.

Do You Know?- The First letter of the M&M brand came from Forest Mars and the Second letter of the name M&M came from Bruce Murrie, Son of Hershey’s Cholocate President. Hershey controls the supply of Chocolate during the war and hence it was a great collaboration for continuous production. Initially, Hershey’s company owns 20% equity in M&M production.

Check out Marathon Bars: History with Pictures and Commercials

Famous M&M Slogans

M&M gains popularity with its iconic taste and texture. Along with these their Catchy slogans also plays an important role in promoting the brand name. Since 1941 M&M has come up with many famous Slogans and some of which are still well remembered.

“Melts in Your mouth, Not in Your hand” – A true iconic slogan that perfectly describes the texture and quality of M&M.

The Company also introduced another Slogan in 1950 to cope with duplicates-” Look for the M in every Piece”.

M&M royals 80s- “Now chocolate’s got a whisper of mint”

Who Invented M&Ms?

M&M was the idea of Forest Mars Sr. He was the Son of Frank Mars the founder of Mars chocolate Company. Although it took two persons one Forest Mars and another Bruce Murrie (i.e Son of Hershey’s chocolate President) to invent the M&M. They create and patient this iconic design for soft chocolate with a solid sugar shell.

When Was the First M&M to come into the US market?

The First M&Ms were introduced in the year 1941 in the United States. In fact, the first few orders were placed by the Army to feed the soldiers in the War. It took some time for M&M to reach common people.

Who Owns The M&M brand?

Mars Confectionery company owns the M&M brand. Mars is a well-known name in the candy industry, it makes many other popular candy brands like Twix, Snickers, and Milky way bars. Although the brand M&M is not solely owned by Mars. In fact, Hershey’s Company, the biggest rival of Mars owns 20% of M&M’s production.

M&M was born through the collaboration of these two giants of the confectionery industry.

How Did M&M Come into existence?

The idea of candy with softcore and hard sugar shells is not new. However, it is not easy to make it as perfect as M&M did. It originates as a simple need or says just a necessity during the war. Forest Mars Sr. was in Europe during the mid-1930s and he saw the need for a chocolate candy that could withstand temperature shifts as soldiers, as well as civilians, have to move from one place to another. It was not easy to contain and carry chocolate candy at that time as it start to melt easily at very little heat.

He came back to the united states in 1941 and there he patented the design process of Hardshell candy with a soft chocolate core. Later he started the M&M company with Bruce Murrie. Murrie was the son of the president of Hershey’s chocolate company. Hershey has control of chocolate rationing during the world war. It becomes easy for both to come up together and present an all-time favorite, a classic chocolate candy with a thin solid sugar coating. This gave birth to the legacy of M&Ms in the united states.

Short History of M&Ms

The journey of M&M starts in the late 1940s. Forrest E. Mars Sr, son of Frank Mars return to the United States from Europe and starts a new candy brand. It was something special and unique. The whole idea was to create a candy with a soft core and hard shell. He introduce the plain Chocolate M&M’s in 1941.

M&M becomes a well-known popular candy brand within a decade. With Popularity come many competitors and imitators. Therefore, In the early 50s, the brand comes up with an ingenious solution to mark each candy with the letter M for authenticity. They also introduced the slogan “Look for M on Every Piece”. This slogan spreads its brand name and effectively controls duplicity.

They introduce the Peanut M&M in 1954 and since then it became a hit for the brand.  In 1954 they change the printing to a standard white which is still widely in use all across the globe. Previously a black dye was used for the M mark.

Meanwhile, the brand evolves with new technology and manages to coat 3300 pounds of candy every hour by mid-54. This was the time when new colors were introduced other than Tan to give M&M their present rainbow look.

M&M became a huge brand by the early 60s. It reaches every candy store and many of the major sports leagues within 20 years of its launch. The 60s was the time of expansion for the M&M brand. They introduced chewable fruit candies which later became Starburst.

the Next Decade was a transition phase for the brand. They come up with many colors and innovative ideas. The Orange candies were introduced to replace the current red ones in 76. The Red makes come back after 11 years in 1987.

The 1980s was a wonderful decade for M&M. It brings many great events and M&M became the first choice for every candy lover. It becomes the first candy to travel into space. Also, M&M became the Official Snack food for the 1984 Olympics. Moreover, M&M becomes global in the 80s by starting its sales in Asia pacific- mostly in Japan, Hong Kong and Malaysia, Australia, Europe, and Russia. the Peanut Butter Chocolate M&M was first sold in the US in early 1989.

The 90s bring a lot of colors and variety to M&M. We get the MINI Silk and Peanut Butter Candies in the 1990s. They also introduced the popular Blue color replacing the original Tan in 1995. Crispy M&M was late for this decade. They were first sold in 1999.

The new millennia comes as a surprise for M&M. They grew big with a lot of new products. They also expand to many countries even in the Indian Peninsula. Later they also introduced online customization features. This allows customers to choose colors and design their own M&Ms. The Faces features that were introduced in 2008 were a game changer for the brand. It allows customers to print their images on one side of each candy.

Super Bowl 2012 witnessed the debut of Ms. Brown, a mascot character for M&M. The journey continues to date.

Ingredients in M&M

The main ingredients in an M&M are Chocolate i.e Cocoa fat & butter. It also contains Milk fat, Sugar. They use some food colorings and natural wax to give it the look and feel, we all like. The crunchy outer shell is made of sugar with a beautiful coat of food coloring. This shell gives you the flavor else the core is simply a chocolate filling. If the product contains any nuts then this is the right spot to find one.

Checkout the complete list of ingredients in M&Ms 
  • Sugar
  • Cocoa mass
  • Skimmed milk powder
  • Cocoa butter
  • Lactose
  • Starch
  • Milk fat
  • Palm fat
  • Glucose syrup
  • Shea fat
  • Stabiliser (gum arabic)
  • Dextrin
  • Glazing agents (beeswax, carnauba wax)
  • Colours (E100, carmine, E132, E133, E150a, E150c, E150d, E153, E160a, E160e, E162, E163, E170)
  • Beetroot concentrate
  • Emulsifiers (soya lecithin, E445)
  • Salt, flavorings
  • Palm kernel oil
  • Antioxidant (E306)
  • You can also get M&M with nuts where you’ll get Peanut and  Almonds in its center.

Nutritional Value in M&M Candy

Each bag of M&M contains approx 56 candies. They all weigh a total of 1.69 ounces or 48g approx. Suppose you divide each bag into two servings then you will get around 29 grams each. Each of these servings will give you 140 calories.

You will also get 9% Fat, 7% Carbs, and 36% Sugar compared to the daily value of 2000 calories. It also contains sodium, calcium, and little amount of Protein.

  • Amount Per Serving: 0.8 ounces or 29 grams
  • Calories: 140
  • Total Fat: 6g 9% of the daily value.
  • Saturated Fat: 3.5g 18%
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 2.5mg 1%
  • Sodium: 20mg 1%
  • Total Carbohydrates: 21g 7%
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.5g 2%
  • Sugars: 19g
  • Added Sugars: 18g 36%
  • Protein: 1g
  • Calcium: 30mg 2%

This is an approx calculation, the measurement may vary with ingredients, quantity, and variety of M&Ms.

M&M Flavors & Colors

A standard pack of M&M contains 6 different colors. These are Brown, Yellow, Green, Red, Orange, and Blue. Although M&M allows creating your custom Candy with 17 specific colors. You can choose any one or two of these and make an M&M as you like. These colors mostly include shades of Red i.e Red Orange, Soft Pink, hot Pink, and Light Shades such as Stone, Cream, and Cloud White. Some shades of Green such as Apple Green, Emerald Green, Lialac, and Polar Blue, and the final one is dark Blue.

These colors aren’t just for looks and attraction. They also add unique flavors to your M&Ms. This candy comes in all sorts of flavors ranging from sweet milk chocolate to fruity raspberry, and strawberry or try something strong as dark chocolate, maybe espresso is your favorite.

Read This: Welcome Back Trix Yogurt: History, Ingredients & All

If you are looking for a flavor list then here’s one for every M&M lover.

M&M Flavor List

The flavors may vary from one country to another.

  1. Almond
  2. Birthday Cake
  3. Boo-ter scotch
  4. Chocolate Popcorn
  5. Cinnamon
  6. Classic Mix
  7. Coconut
  8. Coconut Eggs
  9. Coconut Peanut
  10. Coffee Nut
  11. Cookies and Screeem
  12. Creepy Cocoa Crisp
  13. Crispy
  14. Crispy S’mores
  15. Dark Chocolate
  16. Double Chocolate
  17. Dulce De Leche
  18. Easter Sundae
  19. Eggs
  20. English Toffee
  21. Espresso
  22. Café Mocha
  23. Candy Apple
  24. Candy Corn White Chocolate
  25. Caramel
  26. Carrot Cake
  27. Cheese Cake
  28. Chili Nut
  29. Fudge Brownie
  30. Gingerbread
  31. Hazelnut Spread
  32. Holiday Mint
  33. Honey Nut
  34. Hot Chocolate
  35. Hot Cocoa
  36. Jalapeno
  37. Key Lime Pie
  38. Malt Mini Eggs
  39. Mega
  40. Milk Chocolate
  41. Milk Chocolate Cherry
  42. Mini
  43. Mint Crisp
  44. Mint Dark
  45. Neapolitan
  46. Orange Chocolate
  47. Vanilla Cupcake
  48. White BOO-tterscotch
  49. White Cheesecake
  50. White Chocolate
  51. White Chocolate Candy Corn
  52. White Chocolate Carrot Cake
  53. White Chocolate Marshmallow
  54. White Chocolate Peppermint
  55. White Strawberry Shortcake
  56. Wildly Cherry
  57. Orange Vanilla Cream
  58. Peanut Brittle
  59. Peanut Butter
  60. Peanut Dark Chocolate
  61. Peanut Mix
  62. Pecan Pie
  63. Pretzel
  64. Pumpkin Spice Latte
  65. Raspberry
  66. Razzberry
  67. Red Velvet
  68. Salted Caramel
  69. Strawberry
  70. Strawberry Nut
  71. Sugar Cookie
  72. Toffee Peanut
  73. Triple Chocolate
  74. Triple Chocolate

How many M&M Colors are there?

A regular Original pack of M&M contains Six Different Colors. These colors are Brown, Yellow, Green, Red, Orange, and Blue. Although the range contains a pallet of 14 different colors you can choose to customize your own M&Ms. There are a total of 21 color M&M available although some of them may not be available worldwide.

These colors are Stone, Cream, Cloud White, Hot Pink, Soft Pink, Red, and Orange. Then you can try Yellow, Green, Apple Green, Emerald Green, Lilac, Polar Blue, and Dark Blue.

How many M&M are There in each Pack?

Each standard pack of M&M contains 56 candies. In total, they weigh around 1.6 ounces or 48 grams. Although the count may differ as the pack weighs more in some countries. A 180gm pack may contain 120 or more candies.

How is M&Ms Made?

M&M is made by pouring the chocolate mix into tiny shells. Then it is allowed to cool down and harden. The next step is to spray a layer of sugar and corn syrup over this chocolate core to create a hard shell over it. The peanut or the almond was placed in the core part replacing the extra chocolate. the final step is coloring which requires specific food colors. It is applied as a spray coat and then the identity i.e. the M mark is labeled on each candy with white food coloring.

credit: https://www.mms.com/en-gb/history

Recent Posts