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“Melts your m not in y hands.

s in mouth, your .�


bestselling chocolate in the USA Top 5 Best Selling Candy Products M&M’S® Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Hershey’s bar Snickers Kit Kat

M&M’S® $673.2 million

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups $516.5 million

Hershey’s bar $475 million


M&M’s were created by Forrest Mars, who encountered the candy in the Spanish War. During WWII, they were only sold to the military. It was the time of Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and Forrest Mars saw soldiers eating chocolate pellets with a hard chocolate shell. The shell prevented the chocolate from melting. Forrest Mars noticed the chocolate shortage after the war. He ask Bruce Murrie, the son of Hershey’s, to join his company and make hard shell chocolate.

Forrest Mars received a patent for his own process of hard shell chocolate on March, 1941. Murrie had 20% interest in the product. This stake was later bought out by Mars when chocolate rationing ended at the end of the war, in 1948. The arrangement allowed the candies to be made with Hershey chocolate, which had control of the ration.

M&M’s is named after Forrest Mars of Mars and Bruce Murrie of Hershey’s.

Forrest Mars the son of Mars Candy Company’s owner, Frank Mars. He started the family candy business in 1902 with Musketeers Bar. Frank’s son Forrest was brought into the family business, but did not get along with his father. Forrest was sent to Europe to run the company overseas. It was there, rumor has it, that Forrest observed soldiers during the Spanish-Civil War, eating chocolate pieces encased in a hard sugar candy shell. He was traveling with another man from the Rowntree family, who ended up inventing a similar candy in 1937, one that Nestle’s manufactures in Europe. Forrest Mars even created a recipe for M&M’s.


Bruce Murrie


the son of Bill Murrie, the President of Hershey’s chocolate. The founder of Hershey’s Milton Hershey and Bill Murrie worked together in the chocolate business. Murrie became President of the Hershey Chocolate Company in 1908 when the company was incorporated. Shortly before the war, Forrest Mars was interested in marketing a new chocolate product. Forrest anticipated a chocolate shortage developing during the pending war. After wartime ended in 1948, Forrest Mars maneuvered Bruce out of the partnership and went on to become Hershey’s largest competitor.

1982 M&M’s went to space as part of the first Space Shuttle astronauts’ food rations.

1980 M&M’s were introduced internationally to Australia, Canada, Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and the United Kingdom.

How to make M&M’s




The liquid chocolate is poured into tiny molds to create the chocolate centers of the candy. After the candies are formed, they are “tumbled� to make the chocolate center smooth and round. Finally, they are set aside to harden.

When the chocolates are hard they are transported on a conveyor belt to the coating area, where the process called panning is performed.

The color is added to a finishing syrup and applied as the final coat. Each batch is a different color. Finally, the liquid candy dries into the hardened shell.



They are transported to the machine that stamps the “m� on the shells. A special conveyor belt carries each piece, which rests in its own indentation.

A special packaging machine weighs the candies, pours the proper amount into individual bags, and heat-seals the package.

The finished packages are moved along a conveyor belt to a machine that assembles the shipping cartons and fills them with the appropriate number of candy packages.

Aachen SB-Medium ITC Lubalin Graph Demi

In 1950, the first “m” was originally printed on the sugar-coating in black. Afterwards, the lower case letter “m” was printed in white and stamped on each one with a machine specially calibrated not to break the candy shell. The M&M’s is designed by two similar letter forms: the letter “m” is used by Aachen SB-Medium, and the & is identified as ITC Lubalin Graph Demi.

20% 10% 10%




is No.1 In a plain M&M’s package the colors are approximately: 30% brown, 20% yellow, 20% red, 10% green, 10% orange,10% blue. The brown M&M’s is the original. The red M&M’s is the most common on holidays, such Valentine’s Day and Christmas. In addition, the blue M&M started to appear in 1995, because it was the color voted to replace the tin M&M’s.

Color revolution



In the beginning, chocolates were made in 5 colors: red, yellow, brown, green, and violet.

Purple discontinued.

1975 The red dye amaranth was suspected as a carcinogen. Due to health concerns was replaced with the color orange.




Red M&M’s were back as a sixth color.

Over 10 million people vote to add Blue to the M&M’s color mix.

21 colors!

21 colors In 1996, the range of M&M’s colors was extended to 21, including teal and pastel colors maroon and silver. In addition, The Mars Company introduced “M&M’s Minis,” smaller versions that are usually sold in

plastic tubes. In 2004 people were able custom-print M&M’s in any word. The variety of colors and customized M&M’s have brought the brand to never before seen heights.

M&M’s New Future

After WWII, M&M’s had expanded their market from the military to public. People eat and love M&M’s, and they start to think about how they can play with them in daily life.The first reimagining of M&M’s that applied on the daily object is the massaging cushion. “Grandmother’s Massaging Chair Cushion” is made by using M&M’s hard shells to comfort the muscles while sitting on a chair for a long time. The colorful massaging cushion brings grandparents good moods and help them sit longer.

The sugar-coating shell is key. Remember M&M’s slogan ”Melts in your mouth, not in your hands”? The sugar-coating shell is key. It not only keeps your hands clean, but also protects people from devastating disease. Between 2002 to 2003 SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)

had strongly attacked Asia with 8,422 cases and 916 deaths worldwide. M&M’s company provided unlimited M&M’s masks to keep people safe from this severe virus. But luckily, today, the spread of SARS has been fully contained in the world.

Let’s plant the M&M’s tree. The latest M&M’s mission is to plant your own M&M’s beans. The idea came from the English folktale “Jack and the Beanstalk” and the color wheel. For example, if you plant red and yellow M&M’s together they will grow orange M&M’s. People can play with color wheel and have their customized color M&M’s combinations.

Since Forrest Mars founded the candy brand from 1941, they have never changed its M&M’s shape. Chocolate has a long history: it dates back before the Olmec people 1500 BC, but nearly all of its history has been used as a drink. The Spanish were also the first to use chocolate in solid form, but it was nothing like M&M’s. Since 1941, M&M’s never changed its shape. Today, M&M’s is one of the most iconic symbols in the food industry. It has been a staple of childhood experiences (and adults!) for over 70 years. That is why the Museum of Modern Art considers it is a humble masterpiece of the 20th century.

M&M: Humble Masterpieces  

M&M chocolate is one of the simple objects collection from the Museum of Modern Art. These humble items are used every day, and we often tak...

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