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Unleash the Power of M&M’s with This Secret Recipe!

The Oscars are right around the corner and the time to catch up on the movies that you still need to see before the big night is getting tighter. This gives you the opportunity to eat plenty of popcorn, and if you’re anything like me, you pour M&M’s (peanut only for me) into the bucket to get some salty and sweet action. These unmistaken bits of candy covered chocolate are as American as apple pie. If you dive into the history of the candies and how they became one of the most recognizable brands in the world, it’s more nuanced than selling colorful treats.

Who Invented M&M’s?

Forrest E. Mars, Sr is the son of the candy giant, Frank C. Mars, the creator of the Milky Way and 3 Musketeers candy bars. After a riff in their father and son relationship, Forrest left his father’s company to start his own. After traveling overseas to Europe and working under another food giant Nestle, he learned more about the candy and food business to aid in his quest to start his own. It’s said that during his travels, he came across soldiers during the Spanish Civil War eating small pellets of candy-covered chocolate and that’s what gave him the idea to start his own. 

When Were M&M’s Invented?

During the start of the Second World War, sugar was in short supply in the USA and was therefore rationed. However, there was one company that got away with endless supplies of sugar: Hershey. Hershey was able to lobby with the government to allow them to have access to sugar for production. They feared the rationing would destroy their business. In turn, The Hershey Corporation would provide chocolate for the troops (a delicacy and moral booster for them while they were out in the field). Mars knew this and used this upper hand to make his new candy creation happen. He struck a 80-20 deal with the son of Hershey executive William Murrie, allowing Hershey to supply chocolate, capital, and technology to make the new candy that will be named “M&M’s” from both of their last names. Yep! M&M’s are made with Hershey’s chocolate.

Why Were M&M’s Invented?

But that’s not the only reason M&Ms were brought to life. Since Hershey’s was supplying chocolate to soldiers, it needed a way to keep it from melting in tropical climates during the war. The solution: M&M’s patented candy coating. The candy became a hit with soldiers for their convenience and mobility. After the war, the candy still swept the nation, allowing Mars to buy out Murrie. He even printed “M” on the little candies to inform consumers they were genuine.

So it’s not a coincidence that M&M’s are the perfect candy to drop into a hot bucket of freshly popped popcorn without fears of a melty mess. They were literally made to stay contained inside their candy coating even when melty.

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