iPhoneOgraphy – 13 May 2016 (Day 134/366)
M&M’s (styled as m&m’s) are “colorful button-shaped chocolates” produced by Mars, Incorporated, and similar to and inspired by Smarties. The candy shell, each of which has the letter “m” printed in lower case on one side, surrounds a filling which varies depending upon the variety of M&M’s. The original candy had a milk chocolate filling which, upon introducing other variations, was branded as the “plain” variety. “Peanut” M&M’s, which feature a peanut coated in milk chocolate, and finally a candy shell, were the first variation to be introduced, and they remain a regular variety. Numerous other variations have been introduced, some of which are regular widespread varieties (such as “peanut butter”, “almond”, “pretzel”, “crispy”, and “dark chocolate”), while others are limited in duration or geographic availability.
M&M’s originated in the United States in 1941, and are now sold in as many as 100 countries. More than 400 million individual M&M’s are produced every day in the United States. They are produced in different colors, some of which have changed over the years. The candy-coated chocolate concept was inspired by a method used to allow soldiers to carry chocolate without having it melt. The company’s longest-lasting slogan reflects this: “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”
Forrest Mars, Sr., son of the founder of the Mars Company Frank C. Mars, copied the idea for the candy in the 1930s during the Spanish Civil War when he saw soldiers eating British made Smarties, chocolate pellets with a colored shell of what confectioners call hard panning (essentially hardened sugar syrup) surrounding the outside, preventing the candies from melting. Mars received a patent for his own process on March 3, 1941. Production began in 1941 in a factory located at 285 Badger Avenue in Clinton Hill, Newark, New Jersey. When the company was originally founded it was M&M Limited. The two “Ms” represent the names of Forrest E. Mars Sr., the founder of Newark Company, and Bruce Murrie, son of Hershey Chocolate’s president William F. R. Murrie, who had a 20 percent share in the product. The arrangement allowed the candies to be made with Hershey chocolate, as Hershey had control of the rationed chocolate at the time.