7 Things You Never Knew About M&M’s

You can never have enough facts about M&M's! Here are answers to the most popular questions about this bite-size chocolate candy.

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While M&M’s weren’t the first candy to be produced by Mars, Inc., they’re definitely one of the most popular. In fact, the iconic ‘m’ stamped in the middle of each candy was to make sure customers could differentiate them from copycats. M&M’s were also the first candy in space, chosen by the shuttle astronauts as part of their food supply.

Those are just a few of the interesting facts about M&M’s. There’s plenty you might not know about this iconic sweet treat!

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Why did M&M’s update their characters?

M&M’s frequently updates their characters or “spokescandies”, and the latest update came as recently as January 2022. The update was subtle: Green’s go-go boots were changed to sneakers, Brown’s heels were shortened, Orange’s laces were tied, and the other colors had small updates made to their shoes. According to CNN, the change was made in an attempt to make the characters—particularly the female ones like Green and Brown—more “current” and represent their consumers better.

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Miami International Airport, M & Ms display
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Why are M&M’s called M&M’s?

It comes from the last names of the candy company’s founders, Forrest Mars and William Murrie. The name has stayed the same since the candy was introduced in 1941. Of course, the packaging has changed considerably since.

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Five squared bowls with small red, yellow, blue, green and orange coated chocolate candies similar to m&ms in a squared bowl isolated on white background, top view
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Do M&M’s taste different because of their color?

The classic milk chocolate M&M’s have the same formula for each piece of candy: a hard, colorful candy shell with a milk chocolate filling. The candy shells aren’t color-coded according to flavor, so each piece should taste exactly the same—though of course, many M&M’s have different centers. With Peanut, Pretzel and even M&M’s Mix Packs, it’s a hard decision to make!

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Why do Mini M&M’S taste better?

This one is a question with no real answer, because the ingredients are the exact same in both regular-sized M&M’s and Mini M&M’s. However, the Sustainable Nano blog did some in-depth research and concluded that it’s because the candy-to-chocolate ratio is higher for Mini M&M’s, making them sweeter. It’s definitely one of the more interesting facts about M&M’s we’ve come across!

If you prefer a higher chocolate-to-candy ratio, we recommend the Crispy M&M’s Chocolate Spread.

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How many M&M’S are in a Fun Size bag?

Every Fun Size bag of M&M’s weighs in at approximately 0.47 ounces, but with production differences, you’re not likely to have the exact same amount of M&M’s in every pack. The internet is divided on the subject, with counts coming in anywhere from 17 to 22 pieces per pack.

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m&ms in a glass container from above
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Are M&M’S gluten-free?

Unfortunately, some M&M’s do contain gluten and most are manufactured in facilities that process gluten. If you’re unsure, look for allergen warnings on the product packaging. And if you’re following a gluten-free diet, check out our favorite gluten-free snacks—with sweet and savory options.

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colorful m&m candies
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Are M&M’S vegan?

Unfortunately, if you’re vegan, M&M’s may be a no-go for you. An M&M’s PR rep told us, “We know the definition of vegetarianism can vary for many and given that many of our products possess dairy—or an animal by-product—we typically classify them as not being vegan or vegetarian friendly.”

If you’re a vegan, consult our list of vegan candy instead.

Amrita Thakkar
Amrita is an Assistant Digital Editor at Taste of Home. As a writer and amateur photographer, she often ends up applying these skills to her one great love: food. She can usually be found researching global cuisines, at the farmers market, doing yoga, or looking up new places to travel to.