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M&M’s | Success Story of the Most Cherished Chocolate Candy




M&M’s are small, colorful, and flavorsome chocolate candies. Its outer layer consists of a hard candy shell. It is available in two variants. One is chocolate-filled, and the other is peanut-filled. In 1941, Forrest Mars came up with the idea of creating hard-shelled candies. Later on, Bruce Murrie joined the company. Hence, M&M stands for Mars & Murrie. The small and delectable confections are available in more than fifty flavors. It is one of the most beloved and cherished chocolates in the world. Every day, M&M produces over 400 million candies worldwide.


M&M’s is one of the most famous chocolate candies in the world. For over eight decades, it has produced delightful and innovative candies for its customers. It is one of the most prominent chocolate snacks globally with a rich history. The idea of creating hard-shelled candy came to Forrest Mars’ mind on a European trip. After he returned, he established the first M&M factory in New Jersey, USA. Today, billions of M&M’s are consumed every year. With a net worth of over $35 billion, it is one of the most successful chocolate brands in the world. 


On the 21st of March 1904, Forrest Edward Mars Sr. was born in Wadena, Minnesota, USA. He was the son of Franklin Clarence Mars, the founder of the biggest confectionaries in the world, Mars, incorporated. At a young age, Forrest’s parents took a divorce. As a result, Forrest moved to Canada to live with his grandparents. He did not get to meet his father often. After completing high school, he returned to States. Upon arriving, he joined the University of California in Berkeley. Later, he decided to transfer to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Forrest reunited with his father after earning a degree in industrial engineering in 1928.

His father had invited him to Chicago to join his successful venture. Forrest worked at the Chicago factory for two years. Under his supervision, successful chocolates like Snickers, Mars Bars, and 3 Musketeers began manufacturing. After the launch of three successful products, Forrest felt that the business would gain great popularity overseas. He talked to his father about expanding the company. However, the two disagreed. As a result, Forrest purchased the controlling share of Mars, Incorporated, and moved to Europe. He also attained the rights to sell some of Mars, Inc.’s products overseas. Forrest reached England. After that, to gain further experience in the confectionary world, he briefly worked for Nestlé and Tobler, the renowned chocolate giants. While he was in England, he created another famous chocolate, the Maltesers. 

Origin of M&M’s

Forrest traveled across Europe to explore the candy-making culture of the continent. On one such trip to Spain, he noticed some soldiers eating hard-shelled candies. At the time, the warm temperature was an issue for the chocolate-making factories. The chocolate used to melt due to heat. Forrest was surprised that the candies did not melt even in the hot weather. He quickly decided to recreate these candies. He returned to the USA and started working on recreation. By 1941, Forrest successfully began the production of hard-shelled candies. After that, he took the candies to the Hershey’s Corporation. He offered Bruce Murrie, the son of Hershey’s President, a 20% partnership. Bruce accepted the offer, and together, they named the candy M&M. 

Initially, Forrest and Bruce sold M&M’s to the US Military. The soldiers carried the hard-shelled candy in tropical climates with ease. The candies did not melt, and their lightweight made them more accessible. During the Second World War, Forrest and Bruce exclusively sold M&M to the army. Soon, the small, hard-shelled, and delectable candy started gaining recognition. As a result, the demand increased. The manufacturing began to expand production at a giant New Jersey factory. Until 1946, M&M’s were made available for soldiers only. However, they were open to the general public after the Second World War ended. 

Pathway to Success

In the late 1940s, Forrest took the sole proprietorship of M&M. After that, he started heavy advertising for M&M. By 1950, people started copying the make of M&M’s. To provide the original M&M’s to the consumers, Forrest began to imprint an ‘m’ on the candies. The customers were sure to eat the real M&M’s through this step. In 1954, M&M started making peanut chocolate candies. Simultaneously, mass production of the candies began across the USA. By 1958, over one million pounds of M&M’s started manufacturing weekly. Over the years, the company gained unparalleled success. In 1981, it created history by being included in the astronaut’s food supply on Space Shuttle Columbia. Following that, it became the official candy of the 1984 Olympics.

Worldwide Recognition 

After the 1984 Olympics, M&M became a household name. Soon, the company started international expansion. Initially, it stepped foot in Australia, the United Kingdom, Russia, Canada, Japan, Europe, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. In 1997, the company opened a magnificent retail store called the M&M’s World in Las Vegas, Nevada. Followed by seven other M&M’s Worlds in London, Shanghai, Minnesota, Berlin, Henderson, Orlando, and NYC. Between 2000-2010, M&M gained massive recognition globally. The company launched many exciting flavors and debuted new colors. In 2017, it became the top chocolate brand in the United States, with $688.7 million in sales. The net sales crossed $33 billion, making M&M the most prominent candy in the world. To date, it is one of the best-selling confections in the world. 

Also read: Lindt | Success Story of the Swiss Chocolatier Company

Why is M&M so popular?

M&M is one of the most prominent chocolate candies in the world. The reason behind the same is its unique and likable concept. Initially, the hard-shelled candies were made available to soldiers. Soon, it started gaining recognition after people realized that the candy doesn’t melt in hand and is easy to carry. At the time, in tropical conditions, most of the sweets melt. However, M&M’s distinguished production made it stand out. 

What is the net worth of M&M’s?

The net worth of M&M’s is estimated to be $35 billion. It is one of the largest chocolate companies in the United States of America. Every day, more than 400 million M&M’s are produced globally. More than 12 million Americans consume five servings of M&M’s every year.

Who owns M&M’s?

The Mars family owns M&M’s. Mars, Inc. has developed many successful chocolates like Snickers, Mars Bars, Maltesers, 3 Musketeers, and Milky Way. It is one of the largest private-owned companies in the United States of America.

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