The Story Behind M&M’s

Image from partycity.com

Image from partycity.com

M&M’s have been one of the most popular candies, and are still today. The “M” on the rainbow coating is what makes the candy unique. But where’ve they come from and what’s the backstory behind them?

It all started in 1932, when Forrest Mars Sr. of the Mars candy company moved to England after falling out with his business partner and father. During the Spanish Civil War, he caught British volunteers eating small chocolate pearls coated in a hard shell that prevented the chocolate from melting. Sometime in an age when chocolate sales dropped in the summer months due to an air conditioning shortage, Mars became thrilled by the concept of creating a product that’d resist melting in hot temperatures.

When he then returned to the United States, he encountered Bruce Murrie, who was known as the son of Hershey executive William Murrie. Mars wanted to partner with him in a business venture. Although a chocolate and sugar shortage occurred as World War II went on, Mars sought a partnership that would guarantee a good amount of resources needed to make his new creation of candy. In return, Mars would earn a 20% stake in his product, which would represent Mars and Murrie (or as we call M&M’s).

Soon after wartime quotas came to an end and the candy was issued to the general public, Mars bought out Murrie’s shares in the company and took full ownership of the M&M brand. The brown packaging (which we see today in M&M products) was then introduced in 1948. Then two years later, the candies started to imprint a black “M” (but changed to white in 1954), which encouraged customers to “Look for the M on every piece” to guarantee they understood the concept of it.

To learn more about the history of M&M’s, click the link: https://www.history.com/news/the-wartime-origins-of-the-mm