Solving The Mysteries Behind M&Ms, America’s Favorite Candy
Everyone enjoys M&Ms. The candy-coated chocolate is a favorite of both young and old. People eat them right out the box and on top of ice cream. But, exactly why are the little candies called M&Ms? Few people know the history. Moreover, how does the manufacturer get the M&M label on each one? Now, there is a mystery that needs solving.
Following is an answer to these questions, which are on the minds of M&M fans.
Sons Make Good
There is an old saying that one can get rich during a war. Well, the two creators of M&Ms did just that. Born into candy-making families, the men forged a successful partnership.
Forrest Mars, Sr., of the Snickers bar family, went on a tour of Europe to learn the business on his own. It was in Spain, during its Civil War, that he conceived the idea that led to the birth of M&Ms. The soldiers there often had candy pellets in their knapsacks. The chocolates came with a candy shell to prevent melting in the intense heat of battle.
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Mars came back home to the United States in time for World War II. It was then that he met with another son of a candymaker, Bruce Murrie, whose Hershey family had a contract to supply rations to the Army. The men took advantage of this access to a steady customer base and introduced a version of the candy-coated chocolates Forrest Mars had seen in Spain. Subsequently, American soldiers carried the candies with them overseas, providing global advertising. M&Ms have been a mainstay on store shelves ever since.
The M&M Process
The name M&M comes from the combination of the first letters of the two founders’ last names. “Mars and Murrie” is the actual meaning of M&M. Ever since 1950, each individual candy has come emblazoned with this now-familiar logo.
Getting the M&M design on the candy is a bit difficult. The manufacturer places the candies on a conveyer belt. They then fall into an indentation, or dimple, where an M&M inscription, made of vegetable dye, gets placed via a roller. The trick is to be gentle enough not to damage the small candy while being consistent enough to inscribe almost all of them.
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Still a Favorite
Americans love M&Ms. In fact, the treats are a perennial number one on most lists of favorite chocolates and candies. Yet, some believe it is time to insist on healthier eating habits. Should kids, in particular, still be given M&Ms and other candies on a regular basis?