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The true story of the history of M&M’s sounds like something out of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
“They melt in your mouth, not in your hand!”
Anyone who considers themselves any kind of candy connoisseur has heard the phrase before, and most likely indulged in the candy it’s describing. Since being released to the masses in the 1940s, M&M’s have been a staple of the candy lovers diet. But, have you ever wondered where the name came from?
Most people believe that the famous M on the candy shell stands for Mars Incorporated, the company that produces M&M’s. But, that’s just half the story. The truth is, there were once two famous candy makers, both of whom had the initial M, who were responsible for the production of the beloved candy, and whose story ended in a twisted, Willy Wonka-Slugworth-esque scenario.
In 1911, Frank C. Mars founded Mars Incorporated, a small confectionery business in Tacoma, Washington. When it came time for Frank to retire, he groomed his son to take his place, provided he spend some time overseas to learn how to start his own business.
- The “M&M” was modeled after a candy Forrest Mars, Sr. encountered while in Spain during the 1930s. During the Spanish civil war there, he observed soldiers eating chocolate pellets with a hard shell of tempered chocolate. This prevented the candies from melting, which was essential when included in soldiers rations as they were.
- During WWII, production of M&Ms skyrocketed due to the fact that they were sold to the military and included as part of United States’ soldiers rations.
- The original M&M colors were: red, yellow, brown, green, and violet.
- M&Ms were served in cardboard tubes when they debuted.
- The “M” printed on the M&Ms was originally printed black. This was changed to white in 1954.
- William Murrie, father of Bruce Murrie, was originally hired by Milton Hershey in 1896 as a salesman. In his first week on the job, he managed to over sell the plant’s production capacity. This so impressed owner Milton Hershey, that he tabbed Murrie to be the future President of Hershey; this later happened in 1908, a position he held until retiring in 1947.
- When William Murrie first took over running Hershey, the annual sales of the company was $600,000. Upon his retirement in 1947, he had grown the company to now have a gross annual sale amount of 120 million dollars; which means, over the span of those 39 years he increased the annual sales rate an average of around 15% per year.
- In the 1920’s, Murrie tried to convince Hershey that they should produce a chocolate bar with peanuts. Hershey didn’t like the idea, but let him go ahead as long as the bar wasn’t under the Hershey brand name. And so, in 1925, the “Chocolate Sales Corporation”, a fictitious company Murrie came up with, debuted the “Mr. Goodbar”, which was wildly successful.
What does the name of the M&M candy stand for?
Step 1 : Introduction to the question “What does the name of the M&M candy stand for?“
…In 1941, Forrest Mars Sr., of the Mars candy company, struck a deal with Bruce Murrie, son of famed Hershey president William Murrie, to develop a hard shelled candy with chocolate at the center. The name thus stood for “Mars & Murrie” the co-creators of the candy. The partnership allowed the candies to be made with Hershey chocolate, as Hershey had control of the rationed chocolate at the time. The story didn’t end sweetly for Murrie, though. When chocolate rationing ended after the war, Mars bought out Murrie’s interest in the product and went on to become one of Hershey’s biggest competitors.
Step 2 : Answer to the question “What does the name of the M&M candy stand for?“
Mars and Murrie:
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Which brings us to the second M in M&M, Bruce Murrie.
Like Forrest Mars, Bruce Murrie was the son of a candy magnate – William Murrie, the president of Hershey’s. And like Forrest Mars, he didn’t agree with the way his father was running his company, so he was looking for someone to team up with to change the industry.
Fortunately, Murrie met Mars, and the rest was history
While Mars had the patent for the candy, Murrie had the chocolate. Together, they began to produce the first batches of their coated chocolate candies under a new company, known as Mars & Murrie.
M&M for short.
At first, M&M’s were sold exclusively to the U.S. armed forces, as the candies were heat-resistant and traveled well. The partnership was successful, and upon the GI’s return home they would sing M&M’s praises. The good reviews helped spur demand and send production to an all-time high. To this day, M&M’s continue to be included in MRE field rations for U.S. soldiers.
Though the candy is famous amongst Americans, not much is known about the candy making process itself. Mars Incorporated is still privately owned and funded, and rumors have swirled for decades about the goings-on inside the factories.
Legend has it that contractors hired to repair machines once had to be led in blindfolded, that executives would disguise themselves for meetings with competitors and outsiders, and that the decision-making process is extremely cutthroat.
According to Frank Mars’ files, not even the company bankers had access to the financial records, a tradition that may continue to this day — the company is rumored to make over $35 billion per year, which would place them around 83 on Forbes Fortune 500 list, though because they do not file federal tax information they’ve never been included.
M&M;’s are based an older British product called “Smarties”. Forrest Mars Sr. saw soldiers during the Spanish Civil War eating chocolate pellets that were coated in sugar to prevent chocolate from sticking to their fingers. After the rights were purchased by Americans Forrest Mars Sr. and R. Bruce Murrie in 1939, they had to reintroduce them to the domestic market with a different name because there was already a candy product sold in the U.S. under the name Smarties. To identify their new brand, they combined the first initials of their last names: M & M. M&M;’s were first sold in the United States in 1941. By World War II, American soldiers were given the candy by the United States Army because they were a convenient snack that traveled well in any climate; soon after this it was marketed to the public. M&M;’s soon became a hit because, in those times when air conditioning was not usually found in stores, homes, or the automobile, melting chocolate candy bars were a problem; but with M&M;’s, the candy coating kept the chocolate from getting messy.
History of Milky Way
The Milky Way bar was created in 1920 by Frank C. Mars and was the first filled candy bar. Its taste was inspired by the chocolate-malt milkshake that was popular at the time.
On March 10, 1925, the name Milky Way became a trademark. In 1926, the Milky Way bar was introduced nationally in two flavors, chocolate and vanilla, each for a nickel. In June of 1932, the Milky Way bar was sold as a two piece bar, but just four years later, in 1936, the chocolate and vanilla flavors forever parted.
The vanilla Milky Way bar, which was covered in dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate, was renamed the Forever Yours bar. The Forever Yours bar remained available until 1979 when it was discontinued. Due to popular demand, the Forever Yours bar returned in 1989 renamed as the Milky Way Dark bar. In 2000, it was renamed again, creating the now-popular Milky Way Midnight bar.
History of Baileys
In 1971 Gilbeys of Ireland set out to create a uniquely Irish drink that would embrace two of the country’s finest products: fresh dairy cream and Irish whiskey, and celebrate one of Ireland’s finest traditions – just passing time and chilling out with friends.
No one had managed to blend cream and whiskey before and it took years of patient work, plus a little chocolate and vanilla, to create the truly amazing taste.
Finally, on November 26th 1974 there was an almost magical accident and a new type of drink was born: the cream liqueur. It took real genius to succeed where others had failed and create this unique blend of cream and whiskey – we can’t say how they did it, but we’re very glad they did.
The original Baileys® bottle shape was inspired by the shape and style of the old Irish whiskey crock. Since 1974, the branding and packaging had gradually changed but it was only recently that the bottles underwent a significant redesign. Our new bottle is a twist on the traditional shape and hopefully reflects the modern moods of modern Baileys® drinkers.