It doesn’t matter if you prefer plain or peanut, M&M’s are always a fan favorite. Quite possibly the best thing about M&M’s is that they melt in your mouth and not in your hand. You knew we had to sneak that in somewhere! So on that note, here are the Top 10 Untold Truths Of M&M’s.
10. M&M Is The Initials Of Two Men
How many times have you opened a pack of M&M’s with friends and had a debate on what those two letters mean? And no, to any younger viewers out there M&M’s aren’t paying homage to the rapper. He became famous long after M&M’s were introduced to the world. Let’s be honest and say that it’s difficult to focus on the meaning behind the name when M&M’s are as delicious as they are. All you can think about is shovelling as many of those sweet little candies in your mouth as possible. You can’t eat just one M&M at a time. But to answer the age-old question, M&M stands for Mars and Murrie. Forrest Mars Sr., son of the Mars candy company founder, and Bruce Murrie, son of the Hershey founder, struck a deal to create a new candy. Mars Sr. had seen soldiers eating small candy-coated chocolates called Smarties during the Spanish Civil war and thought there could be a market for them if he could improve them. However, because of the impending war, Mars suspected that a chocolate shortage was sure to follow, so he needed help, and plenty of chocolate, from the Hershey company. Thus a partnership and chocolate candy were born.
9. M&M’s Weren’t Always Sold In A Bag
What would M&M’s be like without the bag? It’s one of the few candies that you can buy in a bag today. The bag makes buying M&M’s convenient. You can twist the bag, seal it and save your M&M’s for later. Although, most of you probably don’t do that unless you buy a huge bag. Those regular size bags of M&M’s are just big enough to inhale. But there may be situations, like while driving, that you have to put the bag down and attend to more important things like getting gas. It’s during those situations that being able to twist the top closed and toss them in your pocket make you glad M&M’s come in a bag. M&M’s were actually first sold in a tube. Imagine pouring yourself a handful of M&M’s from a tube. How much fun does that sound? The good folks over at M&M’s found a better way to package their product. You can still find M&M’s in specialty tubes during the holiday season. Though the tubes M&M’s were sold in back in the day weren’t like those. The tube would’ve made it fun to share your M&M’s with your friends and family but let’s be honest, something this good doesn’t get shared very often.
8. Peanut M&M’s Came Along Later On
The debate over peanut versus plain milk chocolate M&M’s continues to rage on to this day. You can’t find anyone who doesn’t have an opinion on the matter. Some won’t eat one over the other. Are you the type who loves peanut and therefore won’t go anywhere near plain M&M’s? Some of you might think that anything other than pure chocolate M&M’s is a blasphemy. This is a debate that goes deeper than Coke versus Pepsi. Entire households have been known to be divided over some family members choosing plain over peanut. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s that the peanut M&M was introduced. That’s about a decade after M&M’s first came out. Why did it take so long? The good folks over at Mars likely had the same debate that’s been held in many households around the world. Broken hearts probably never healed after the introduction of peanut M&M’s. They were right and the public was never the same again. Sometimes this sort of tension helps humanity as a whole. The public seemed to agree that the world was better off with more varieties of M&M’s than only one. Now, of course, there are many different types and flavors of M&M’s, but the debate for the best flavor may never end.
7. The People Chose A New Color For M&M’s
Back in the 1990s, Mars decided it was time to have a new color of M&M’s. As anyone could imagine, the public was in a frenzy of excitement. The public was allowed to vote which new color they wanted. The choice was between pink, purple, and blue. As anyone could imagine, such a difficult decision had to weigh heavily on the voters. How many people regretted their vote immediately after casting it? If you think it’s hard to vote for the right politician, then you should try voting for a new color of M&M. The burden was almost too much to bear for many people. It wouldn’t be all that surprising if being forced to choose among those three colors lead many people to start binge eating chocolate. The public overwhelmingly chose blue as the next color of M&M’s. A whopping 54% voted for blue. It’s clear that pink and purple were not the choices of the people.
6. Red M&M’s were gone for almost a decade
Back in the 1970s, a Russian scientist found that red food dye was a carcinogen. Red No. 2 contained something called amaranth in it, and that was a cancer causing agent. M&M’s had a red color in their delicious bags of candy, but it contained no amaranth whatsoever. However, to calm the public’s nerves and to stop everyone from boycotting red foods, the makers of M&M’s decided to pull the red candies and replace them with orange. They didn’t want anyone to think that it was possible to get cancer by eating their tasty treats. It was a big concern at the time, and many food products containing red dye were pulled off of the shelf. If you were a lover of the color red, it was a sad time for you. A campaign was waged on behalf of all of those who missed their red M&M’s. Yes, those people never forgot the color of the candy coating shell they love so much. It wasn’t until the early 1980’s that the color red was reintroduced to the public. As one could imagine, everyone was ecstatic to have their beloved red M&M’s back. As an added bonus, Mars decided to keep the orange M&M’s as well. That’s a good thing since it took around ten years to bring back the red ones. Who knows how much of a fight it would’ve been to bring back the orange.
5. M&M’s Are A Favorite Snack Of Astronauts
Astronauts don’t leave their earthly sweet tooth’s behind when traveling into the great beyond. As you can imagine, anything with plenty of crumbs would be hazardous in space. Just think about what cookie crumbs do to your lap after scarfing down a sweet treat. All of those crumbs can wreak havoc on the sensitive equipment that is needed to maintain safe living conditions in space. That’s one of the many reasons why M&M’s are eaten by so many in space. Also, it has to be pretty fun to munch on a piece of candy while it floats in the air. That alone is more than enough reason to stockpile M&M’s on your next space flight. No one knows if the astronauts argue over the colors or varieties of M&M’s, although we wouldn’t be surprised if someone was found hoarding all of the peanut M&M’s. It just goes to show that no matter where humans are, they take with them the need to have a bag of M&M’s in their back pocket. Don’t be surprised in the next decade or two if Mars finds a way to build an intergalactic vending machine and stock it with everyone’s favorite M&M’s varieties.
4. A Two Million M&M’s Reward
Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” was stolen from the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway, and the makers of M&M’s rose to the call of duty. They offered a reward of two million M&M’s for the safe return of the painting. How can anyone not want to become an instant detective in hopes of getting two million M&M’s? Just think about how many pieces of chocolatey goodness that is. Two million M&M’s is enough to last a person at least a week or two. Candy this good can’t be left around to sit and get old. No one ever has stale M&M’s. Those two million would be scarfed down faster than a turkey at Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, it seems that no one was able to collect the two million M&M’s reward. While this was one amazing reward that any M&Ms fan would have loved to cash in on, it was actually the Norwegian police who ended up finding the painting, just days after the M&Ms campaign was launched. So the real question becomes, did anyone ever get those 2 million M&Ms? Well, 2 million M&M’s equates to around 40,000 bags of M&M’s, which would come in at a weight of about 2.2 tons. So the logistics of even trying to present someone with 2 million M&Ms was never realistic to begin with. So no, neither the police, nor anyone for that matter got their hands on the M&Ms. Instead the value of said M&Ms, which was approximately 140,000 Norwegian kroner, or about $26,000, was given to the Munch Museum.
3. M&M’s Are The Choice Of American Presidents
We all know that M&M’s are delicious. And the knowledge of their deliciousness isn’t lost on the presidents of the United States either. Ronald Reagan was always known to be a lover of sweet treats. Who can ever forget his jar of jelly beans? Because of his love of candy, it probably won’t come as any surprise that Reagan made M&M’s the official presidential candy. There are special packages of M&M’s that bear the president’s signature on them. Also, these M&M’s don’t come in a bag. No, they come in a box. The boxes themselves are worth more than their M&M’s content if you’re a collector of presidential memorabilia. Anyone who finds themselves lucky enough to have a box of these prized M&M’s should do their best to save the packaging. If for nothing else, you’ll be able to tell future generations how you were able to get your hands on them. Also, who knows, you may need some cash someday and need to hawk the box of M&M’s. You can probably sell them on eBay right now and come away with a small score of loot. Though we suggest you eat the candy and save the box. Let your future offspring get their own M&M’s. Something this good shouldn’t be allowed to waste away.
2. M&M’s Were Almost A Favorite Snack Of E.T.
We all know that ET loved Reece’s Pieces. Who can ever forget that the little extraterrestrial seemed to go crazy over the candy? So much so that it might make you wonder just why did he love those candies so much? Well, it turns out the answer to that question is far more straightforward than anyone would like to believe. You see, the people making ET first approached the Mars Corporation and they were asked if they would like to feature a product in a new movie. No one knows for sure why Mars turned down the offer. Some say it was due to the high cost of advertising in a movie, and others say the company felt the flick was going to be a dud. But turn it down they did. So, in short, ET could’ve been eating M&M’s while phoning home. Hershey’s ended up taking the movie company up on their advertising offer instead. They had a brand new product called Reece’s Pieces that needed to gain a little traction. The rest is, as they say, history. Everyone now associates Reece’s Pieces with ET, and the two have lived happily ever after since. Who knows how history would’ve changed if Mars decided to splurge and get the advertising. There’s nothing to worry about, M&M’s have already been to space. Though, no word if any aliens have ever eaten them.
1. Van Halen’s outrageous request
The ’80s were a decade of decadence and no one lived higher on the hog than rockstars. Van Halen was one of the top-grossing bands of the decade. So, it should come as no surprise that a band with such clout would have some demands and would probably get anything they wanted. Van Halen requested a bowl of M&Ms in their dressing room for every concert. That doesn’t sound out of the ordinary in the slightest. However, their contract explicitly stated that there were to be no brown M&M’s in the bowl. That meant someone had to pick out all of the brown M&M’s before the band got there. No doubt, there were a few concert venue workers who had to explain why they came home with a sack full of brown M&M’s. What did Van Halen have against brown M&M’s? Well, it seems that the reasoning behind the now infamous request may not be what it first appeared to be. Van Halen was concerned that concert venues weren’t paying attention to their demands. As you can see, such a thing could put the fans and also the performer’s safety in jeopardy – which at one time, it did. Asking to have a bowl of M&M’s with the brown candies removed was their way of seeing if the venue was paying attention to their requests. The request was buried deep in the legal document. If the concert venue had provided them with a bowl of M&Ms with the brown ones in it, legally, it would’ve been in their right not to put on the show. That sounds crazy, but it was right there in black and white.