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Known as the candy that melts in your mouth and not in your hands, Peanut M&Ms are a delicious treat loved all over the world! Since the early 1940s, these deliciously crunchy candies have been a hit with candy lovers, chocolate enthusiasts, and hungry individuals all across America!
So where did these delicious chocolates come from, and how did it all get started? When was the Peanut M&M invented? What other kinds of M&Ms are out there? In this in-depth Peanut M&Ms guide, we’ll go over all of this and so much more!
At the bottom of this guide, we’ll even tell you where to buy Peanut M&Ms in bulk at close to wholesale prices! Not to mention, we’ll be giving you an awesome Peanut M&M cookie recipe to think about making. Without further ado, let’s dig in!
A Bite-Sized M&M Overview
Originally, M&Ms were invented in the United States by Forrest Mars Sr. in 1941. Back then, M&Ms were only produced in a handful of locations. Today, over 100 countries around the world offer M&Ms for sale or produce them domestically!
M&Ms are a type of multicolored button-shaped chocolate. Sold in bags containing about 100 candies each, every one of these chocolates has a distinctive “M” printed on the front of their shells. In these multicolored candy shells, M&M candy won’t melt in your hand. Instead, it melts in your mouth!
Mars is the Maker of M&Ms
Additionally, the candy shell of each M&M surrounds an interior of creamy milk chocolate. With that being said, the interior candy filling will depend on the type of M&M you’re eating. For example, Peanut M&Ms contain a peanut surrounded by creamy semi-sweet milk chocolate and a candy shell. Caramel M&Ms are filled with caramel, and so on.
Although M&Ms used to only come in two varieties, now there are various types of M&Ms! As the flagship product of the Mars Wrigley Confectionery division of Mars Incorporated, these are some of the most iconic chocolates of all time!
The Sweet Start of the M&M Company
It all started in the year 1930. At the time, Forrest Mars was looking for a way to offer convenient candy consumption solutions for snackers on the go.
When he saw soldiers from the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s eating colorful chocolates with a hard confectioner shell, he decided to create a similar candy.
Since these candies didn’t melt easily, they were a convenient choice for a range of people, especially soldiers. At the time, the only other candies like M&Ms were British-made Smarties. Smarties were chocolate pellets colored and coated with what was called a “hard panning” shell.
The Manufacturing Process Begins
In the United States, Mars received a patent for this hard-coating chocolate shell process on March 3rd of 1941. Soon, production began in a factory located in Clint Hill, New Jersey. When the company was founded, it was named M&M Limited.
The two M’s in the name represented the last names of Forrest Mars and Bruce Murrie. At the time, Murrie was the son of the president of Hershey Chocolate. This partnership and company founding allowed Mars and Murrie to collaborate on this candy using Hershey’s chocolate and a delicious candy shell.
This arrangement was convenient indeed because chocolate was being rationed in the United States at the time. This was due to the war going on. In fact, the first big customer of the M&M company was none other than the US Army!
M&Ms and the Army
The Army saw this invention as a convenient way for soldiers to carry chocolate in tropical climates without it melting. Throughout the war, these candies were exclusively sold to the military. The resulting demand for M&Ms from the US Military caused the Mars Chocolate Company to increase its M&M production.
Soon, they had to move to a larger factory in Newark, New Jersey. The factory remained in Newark until 1958. Eventually, a larger factory was opened in Hackettstown. Since this candy was quickly becoming popular across the United States, yet another factory was opened in Cleveland, Tennessee in the year 1978.
Today, around 50% of US M&M production occurs at the New Jersey factory while the remaining production takes place at the Tennessee factory.
Changes in the 1950s
In the year 1949, the M&M company introduced the tagline “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.” Later, in 1950, a black “M” was imprinted on the M&M’s candies. This gave them their unique trademark! In 1954, they changed the letter “M” to the color white.
Early in the 1950s, The Institute of Midwestern research in Kansas City, Missouri, began working on behalf of the M&M brand to perfect the company’s process of candy coating. With modern technology, the MRI Global institute was able to coat 3,300 pounds of M&Ms every single hour!
The History of Peanut M&Ms
Peanut M&Ms were introduced in 1954. At the time, peanut M&Ms only came in one color: tan. Later in the year 1960, M&M added red, yellow, and green color options to their Peanut M&Ms. Later, the color orange was added to replace red.
Interestingly enough, red M&Ms were discontinued in a response to the Red Dye Scare of the late 1970s and early 1980s. In fact, for many years the public was wary of red food coloring. In 1987, when red food coloring was proven to be safe, red M&Ms were reintroduced.
M&Ms are Sold Around The World
With widespread success in America, it was time for M&Ms to expand globally. In the 1980s, M&Ms were first introduced to Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Malaysia.
Although, in the United Kingdom, M&Ms were very different than they were in the United States. In 1980, the UK first saw M&M Royals. These UK M&Ms were marketed as chocolate with a whisper of mint. The official slogan was, “Now chocolate’s got a whisper of mint.” When you read it, we recommend using an English accent to really get the gist of the slogan.
These European chocolate candies were pale green or brown in color and displayed a crown on the candy shell instead of the traditional “M” from the M&M’s logo.
Changes and Holiday M&Ms
In 1986, holiday chocolate and Easter M&Ms were launched with bunnies, chicks, and egg symbols in pastel colors on the shells. Also, Christmas candies had pine trees, bells, or candles stamped on red and green M&M candy shells. By 1993, these holiday symbols were replaced again with the standard trademark letter “M”.
M&Ms have gone through many changes over the decades. Originally, M&Ms came in different colors like tan! In 1995, tan M&Ms were discontinued to be replaced by Blue M&Ms. To introduce the new color, the Home Shopping Network was used for a promotional ad campaign.
To make way for the blue M&M, producer John Watson became the first man to ever wear the famous Blue M&M T-Shirt. This blue t-shirt featured the large “M” logo and was the exact same shade of blue as the famous new blue candies.
A Range of Awesome M&M Flavors
By 1991, the M&M company was working hard to release a range of delicious M&M styles and flavor options. In this section, we’ll discuss all of the different types of M&Ms that have ever been available in the United States and around the world!
To be sure, this list doesn’t include every single type of M&M ever available everywhere on earth, but it certainly covers most of them.
First and foremost, we have to acknowledge traditional and all-original regular M&Ms. These are the standard candy-coated chocolate buttons that we all know and love! They can be used to cook with, snack on, or given out as gifts.
The first new type of M&M ever released was the peanut M&M. Released in 1954, these candies feature a fresh peanut in the center coated by chocolate and a hard non-melting candy shell. Peanut M&Ms are shaped differently than regular M&Ms because they have a peanut at the center!
Peanut Butter M&Ms
Another original alternative flavor was the peanut butter M&M. Peanut butter M&Ms have a peanut butter filling inside of a chocolate-lined shell. These tasty treats offer a creamy, nutty crunch!
In 1996, Mars introduced M&M minis. M&M minis were smaller than regular M&Ms and sold in fun plastic tubes instead of standard M&M bags.
In 1999, crispy M&Ms were introduced. Crispy M&Ms were slightly larger than the regular milk chocolate M&M variety. Also, they featured a crispy wafer center. These Crispy M&Ms were temporarily discontinued in the United States in the year 2005. However, they remained available in Southeast Asia and Europe. Later, in January of 2015, Crispy M&Ms were returned to the United States markets.
Dulce De Leche M&Ms
In July 2001, M&M introduced a special dulce de leche M&M flavor version. These dulce de leche M&Ms were initially introduced to Hispanic populations in California, Florida, and Texas. The flavor never became popular with the Hispanic community, since they preferred traditional M&M flavors. So, dulce de leche M&Ms were discontinued in most areas by 2003.
Pretzel M&Ms are sweet, salty, crunchy, and delicious! In the year 2010, pretzel M&Ms were released. Pretzel M&Ms have a crunchy salty pretzel center inside of a chocolate coating and standard candy shell. Pretzel M&Ms are about the same size as Peanut M&Ms but tend to have a more spherical shape.
M&M Chocolate Bars
The M&M Chocolate Bar gives you a double dose of delicious crunchy chocolate. In 2013, M&M chocolate bars were first released. These tasty chocolate bars are filled with mini M&Ms for a tasty crunch!
Mega M&Ms were a fun phenomenon from the early 2000s. Mega M&Ms were originally created to promote the Shrek movies. They were marketed as oversized “Ogre Sized M&M Candies.”
M&M Flavor Contents and Flavor Winners
The M&M company has also held flavor contests for new chocolate flavor recipes. In 2016, Honey Nut, Coffee Nut, and Chili Nut M&Ms were offered in a famous flavor contest. Coffee Nut M&M’s won. The vote was announced by Tony Hale.
In 2019, the M&M company offered another flavor vote cast. This vote allowed people to choose between English toffee, Mexican jalapeno, and Thai Coconut M&Ms. The English toffee flavor was the winner!
In 2017, a special new Caramel M&M was released in the United States of America. This caramel M&M featured a gooey caramel center surrounded by milk chocolate in a crunchy candy shell.
In 2019, hazelnut M&Ms were also released in the United States. These hazelnut M&M’s feature a hazelnut center that tastes a whole lot like Nutella!
Fudge Brownie M&Ms
In 2020, fudge brownie M&Ms were released in the United States. These tasty treats have a delicious brownie center surrounded by chocolate and a signature hard candy shell.
Other Flavors and M&M Styles
There are still many more flavors to go! Keep in mind, some of these candies are, or were, only available for a limited time.
For instance, white cheesecake M&Ms were only available for Easter. Alternatively, pumpkin spice and white candy corn M&Ms were only around for Halloween in one specific year.
Chocolate Flavor Options
Kinds of M&M chocolates have included milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate.
M&M Interior Filling Options
Interior nut and fruit options have included peanuts, pretzels, caramel, crispy wafers, coffee beans, almonds, strawberries, peanut butter, hazelnuts, dark chocolate-covered peanuts, and white chocolate-covered peanuts.
Holiday and Spiced M&M Flavors
Spiced and flavored M&Ms have included mint chocolate, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, white chocolate peppermint, crunchy mint, pumpkin spice latte, mocha, raspberry, cherry cordial, tropical, orange chocolate, pineapple, coconut, candy apple, and cherry, coffee nut, honey nut, holiday mint, gingerbread, hot cross buns, mint crisp, and chili nut.
M&M Dessert Flavors
Dessert M&M flavors have included red velvet, dulce de leche, white chocolate carrot cake, crunchy caramel, salted caramel, vanilla shake, crispy, three milk (tres leches), white chocolate pecan pie, caramel, fudge brownie, birthday cake, white chocolate candy corn, lamington, and pretzel.
Apart from traditional colors, M&Ms come in a range of other colors as well. In the United States, for Memorial Day, Labor Day, and the 4th of July, M&Ms are often available in red, white, and blue colors.
Easter regularly sees M&Ms in pastel colors. For thanksgiving, yellow, orange, and brown M&Ms are often available. Christmas bags of M&Ms are known to have green, white, and red M&Ms.
Best Peanut M&M Cookie Recipe to Try
Now, let’s go over one of the tastiest Peanut M&Ms recipes around!
Without a doubt, one of the most delicious recipes to try is this recipe for peanut M&M cookies. These delicious cookies are like clouds of soft peanut butter with a tasty candy crunch! Best of all, they’re easy to make.
To make peanut M&Ms cookies, all you have to do is whip up a batch of your favorite peanut butter cookies. From there, you simply add in M&Ms as the last step before baking. Here’s a recipe to help you out!
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- ½ cup (1 stick or 113 g) salted butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup (55 g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup (185 g) creamy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups (150 g) of all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (100 g) packed light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ cups (305 g) Peanut M&Ms
Peanut M&M Cookie Instructions:
In a large bowl, cream together butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until your dough is light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and mix everything until it’s combined. Add an egg and vanilla, and mix your dough again until combined.
With the mixer on low, slowly mix in your flour and baking soda. Do not overmix. Using a spatula, fold in the peanut M&Ms. Chill this dough in the fridge for around 30 minutes.
Next, preheat your oven to 350° F. Grease or line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator and roll out dough balls that measure 1 1/2 inches wide. Place them on the cookie sheet.
Now, gently press the balls down until they’re slightly flat. Otherwise, they won’t spread out properly while they’re baking.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will be soft at first but don’t worry, they harden as they cool. Allow your tasty cookies to cool fully and enjoy!
Peanut M&Ms in a Nutshell
So there you have it! Now you know where Peanut M&M’s come from, what other types of M&Ms are available, and how everything got started. You’ve even got a delicious peanut M&M cookie recipe to try!
Without question, nothing can top the crispy crunchy goodness of famous Peanut M&Ms. Are you ready to order some delicious M&Ms for yourself? If so, simply follow this link!