M&m’s are colored chocolates in the shape of a button with the letter “m” printed on both sides of the product. M&M’s is the acronym of Mars & Murrie Ltd, the name of the joint venture created in 1941 between Forrest Mars, owner of the American confectionery company of New Jersey Mars and Bruce Murrie of the family owner of Hershey Chocolate, American confectionery company based in Pennsylvania. In 1949, Murrie sold its minority stake in the joint venture to Mars, which became M&M’s sole owner. M&M’s became the recognition business of the company. In 1950 it was printed for the first time a m of black color on the sides of the product; in 1954 the m was transformed into white. In the same year peanut M&M’s were released on the market; initially they had only a dark shade. From 1960 onwards, the various colours of the product (red, yellow, green, etc.) were introduced. In 1976 Mars, Inc. was forced to remove red M&M’s from the market, because among consumers there was a suspicion that the amaranth dye used to produce them was carcinogenic in nature, which was replaced by orange M&M’s. The suspension lasted until 1987 when Paul Hetmon, a student at the University of Tennessee, launched a campaign with some of his colleagues for their reintroduction; the idea had such a following and interest to the point of achieving the intended purpose, and so Mars, Inc. began producing the red M&M’s again. In 1995, Mars launched a promotion called M&M’s Color Campaign through which Mars, Inc. offered participants the opportunity to decide on a new color of a new range of M&M’s to be placed on the market, to choose between blue, pink, and purple: blue was chosen. A similar marketing initiative, called M&M’s Global Color Vote, was launched in 2002: this time Mars proposed to the competitors to decide which color to choose for a new variety of M&M’s between purple, pink, and turquoise; this time he won the purple, but Mars, Inc. then decided to produce the M&M’s with the new color only in edition limited, which then disappeared from the market after a short time. The letter m on each M&M’s is a printed vegetable dye with a process similar to offset printing:, the logo is not engraved directly on the product but through a process that begins with the transfer of the inking material used to make the original image onto a metal surface and ends, after a few intermediate steps , with the stamp on the candy. As for the coloring, the chocolate confetti are put in a centrifuge, where they are mixed with the sugar that makes up the colored shell. The M&M’s, being for decades a mass consumer product known worldwide, have always been supported by Mars, Inc. with expensive advertising campaigns, especially in the United States. In the Italian one, to represent the M&M’s, two were chosen: the sarcastic Red for the red M&M’s, and the more naive Yellow for the yellow M&M’s. In the United States, to promote the variants produced were also introduced the characters of Green and Orange .

These chocolates are delicious and special. I would like to go to London to visit the M&M’s World where there are all the different kinds of these chocolates. It is very similar to the famous fable of  Hansel and Gretel that go in the house full of sweets. I deeply believe that visiting the M&M’s factory in London is the dream of every sweet lover. Also mine!



Panarello Michela


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