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26th Sep 2022

People are only just discovering what the M&M initials actually stand for

April Curtin

Lots of red, yellow, green and brown M&Ms

No, it doesn’t stand for ‘mmmmmm’

M&M superfans will have consumed thousands of the little chocolates in their lifetimes – but loads are only just learning what the initials stand for.

It’s been over 80 years since the famous chocolate candies were invented in New Jersey 1941, and you’ll still catch them on every supermarket shelf today.

Whether you’re a plain, peanut or crispy M&M lover, these multi-coloured crunchy shells of goodness have long served us well while on a trip to the cinema, or a movie night in.

But despite their popularity, chocolate-lovers on Reddit have admitted to not knowing what M&M means…until now.

It turns out the initials stand for ‘Mars’ and ‘Murrie’, the surnames of the founders of the chocolate brand. Unimpressed?

Well, the story behind the chocolate’s rise is where it gets interesting…

Forrest E. Mars is said to have had a fall out with his dad and former business partner in 1932, encouraging him to move to England where he began manufacturing Mars Bars for troops.

And it was in the Spanish Civil War that Mars noticed British volunteers eating small chocolate beads encased in a hard sugar shell, which stopped them melting.

Mars was buzzing to have discovered this, and knew there would be a shortage of chocolate and sugar as World War II raged on in Europe. So, when he returned to the US, he approached Bruce Murrie, the son of Hershey executive William Murrie. He hoped the partnership would ensure a steady supply of resources needed to produce his new candy. In return, Murrie received a 20 per cent stake in the M&M product, which was named after the pair.

M&M’s were initially sold exclusively to the US military, so soldiers deployed overseas could take them and not worry about them melting – a fact that would probably explain why some Reddit users thought M&M stood for “Military Munchies”.

Others thought it stood for “MMMMMM!” or “Melts in your Mouth”.

Tim Lebel, president of sales for Mars Chocolate North America, told that, when the was over and soldiers returned home, they “missed the favourite treats”, so Mars began producing M&M’s for the masses.

Mars also ended up buying out Murrie’s shares so the company became solely owned by him, but the iconic name remains.

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