M&M’s are multi-colored round chocolates with an “m” printed on each one.
The original colors of M&M’s were red, yellow, violet, green and brown.
Since 2020, M&M’s have been available online in 24 colors.
They also come in many different flavors such as milk chocolate, dark chocolate, mint chocolate, orange chocolate, crispy, peanuts, almonds, caramel, hazelnuts, peanut butter and coconut.
The candy shell is made from a blend of sugar and corn syrup.
The color from the candy shells has no taste.
Each package of traditional milk chocolate M&Ms should have 30% brown, 20% each of yellow and red and 10% each of orange, green and blue.
A typical 1.69 ounce bag of plain M&M’s contains about 56 candies.
A milk chocolate M&M weighs about 0.91 grams / 0.032 ounces and has about 4.7 kilocalories (a unit of energy of one thousand calories)
Over 400,000,000 M&M’s chocolate candies are produced each day.
In the U.S. they are made in New Jersey and Tennessee.
Forrest Mars, Sr., son of the Mars Company founder, Frank C. Mars, copied the idea for the candy in the 1930s during the Spanish Civil War. He saw soldiers eating British-made Smarties, chocolate pellets with a colored shell of what confectioners call hard panning (essentially hardened sugar syrup) surrounding the outside, preventing the sweets (candies) from melting.
Mars received a patent for his own process on March 3, 1941.
Production began in 1941 in a factory located at 285 Badger Avenue in Clinton Hill, Newark, New Jersey.
The two ‘M’s represent the names of Forrest E. Mars Sr., the founder of Newark Company, and Bruce Murrie, son of Hershey Chocolate’s president William F. R. Murrie, who had a 20 percent share in the product. The arrangement allowed the candies to be made with Hershey chocolate, as Hershey had control of the rationed chocolate at the time.
The company’s first big customer was the U.S. Army, which saw the invention as a way to allow soldiers to carry chocolate in tropical climates without it melting. During World War II, the candies were exclusively sold to the military.
M&M’s had become so popular by 1950 that an ingenious solution for consumers to distinguish the real M&M’s from inferior imitators was to stamp each candy with the now famous “m”.
M&M’s Peanut Chocolate Candies were introduced in 1954 and the color used to print the “m” on M&M’s Plain and Peanut Chocolate Candies was changed from black to white.
Also in 1954 the world famous M&M characters made their first television appearance.
M&M’s was the first candy in space. They were chosen by the first space shuttle astronauts to be included in their food supply.
In 1980 M&M’s were sold across the world.
M&M’S Plain and Peanut Chocolate Candies become the “Official Snack Foods of the Olympic Games” in 1984.
In 1986, M&M’s launched Holidays Chocolate Candies for Easter and Christmas, with the Easter candies having a bunny, chick, and egg symbols on pastel-colored shells, and the Christmas candies having pine tree, bell, and candle symbols on red and green shells; with the latter also having a special mint flavor. By 1993, the holiday symbols were replaced with the standard trademark “M”.
M&M’S Peanut Butter Chocolate Candies were introduced in the U.S. in 1989.
The tallest stack of M&M’s is 4 and was achieved by Silvio Sabba (Italy), in Rodano, Milan, Italy, on 21 December 2016.