Are Purple M&M’s Being Added to Your Favorite Chocolate?
The new purple M&M is a fun addition to the candy crew, but you won't find her on store shelves
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If there’s one vintage candy that’s always innovating, it’s M&M’s. From perennial favorites like peanut, almond, mint, crunchy and peanut butter to Halloween candy fun packs and other holiday combinations (pastel Easter M&M’s, anyone?), the Mars brand is constantly releasing sweets we want to eat by the handful. In the company’s flagship store in Times Square, 20 M&M colors are up for grabs. And while you could base your favorite candy on your zodiac sign, there’s nothing like the novelty of ordering personalized M&M’s online. Pick a purple M&M and a butterfly gift box, or go with Halloween-inspired art on electric green M&M’s.
Even more exciting is the news out of Mars headquarters: The company has introduced a purple M&M, the first new “spokescandy” in a decade. Candy lovers around the country are wondering what Purple’s role will be. Will your next bag of M&M’s feature purple candy alongside the usual reds, oranges, blues, greens, yellows and browns? The announcement has come so close to Halloween that it can’t be a coincidence—but is it a trick, or a treat? As it turns out, the new M&M isn’t quite what you might expect.
Will there now be a purple M&M?
Sorry, but nope. If you immediately rushed out to the store to buy a bag of M&M’s, you probably came away disappointed. None contain even a single purple M&M.
True, you’ll find purple bags of M&M’s: The fudge brownie flavor comes in a light-purple bag, the dark chocolate variety comes in a royal-purple bag and caramel M&M’s come in a dark bluish-purple bag. But none of them has purple M&M’s inside.
Despite the introduction of the purple M&M, you’ll still rip open a bag of M&M’s and find the original six colors: red, orange, blue, green, yellow and brown.
Mars isn’t adding a new M&M’s color; it’s introducing a new candy character—a spokescandy, if you will. She’s somewhere between mauve and violet, and she’s the first-ever female peanut M&M’s character, joining her gal pals Green and Brown to form a crew of delicious personalities.
Confused? Hungry? Grab a bag of red and pink candy and read on.
Why are they adding a purple spokescandy to the lineup?
According to M&M’s parent company, Mars, Purple is “designed to represent acceptance and inclusivity.” She is charming and quirky, wears trendy lace-up boots and is “known for her earnest self-authenticity and confidence.”
If you’re wondering exactly what inclusivity and confidence look like for a purple peanut M&M, the answer is clear in Purple’s debut music video and single, “I’m Just Gonna Be Me.” Some of that charm and confidence comes from being voiced by Amber Ruffin, author, comedian, host of The Amber Ruffin Show and writer for Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Featuring both an accomplished opera singer (Anthony Roth Costanzo) and a great saxophone breakdown (by musician Grace Kelly), the song shows Purple proving she’s her own candy—certainly not just a combination of red and blue. The music video sees Purple embracing her awkward side, choosing puzzles over parties and dancing like nobody’s watching. She seems like the type to make a few candy puns too.
Even better, she’s a philanthropist: For every stream of her debut single, Mars will donate $1 (up to $500,000) to the nonprofit organization Sing for Hope, which uses music to bring hope and healing to the world.
Why did they get rid of purple M&M’s in the first place?
The story of the mythical purple M&M dates back decades (much like the most popular candy of the ’40s). The current candy may not include the color, but—plot twist!—the first bags of M&M’s did. When the candy was first introduced in 1941, the original six colors were red, yellow, green, brown, orange and violet.
Tan replaced violet in 1949, and purple didn’t get a chance to re-enter the bag until 1995. That year, Mars announced it would be releasing a new M&M color. After a two-month campaign, including Super Bowl and Mardi Gras ads, and 10 million votes cast, blue beat out pink and purple with 54% of the vote. The Empire State Building was bathed in blue light in honor of the new candy, which replaced the tan-colored M&M’s.
Purple got another chance at life in 2002, when Mars introduced the Global Color Vote. Candy lovers from all over the world voted for purple, aqua or pink as the next M&M color, and purple won with 41% of the vote. But the celebration was short-lived. Purple M&M’s were a limited-edition candy and soon gone from our shelves—but not from our hearts.
The new purple spokescandy represents a long history for the purple M&M. Although we love to see this progress, we can’t help but hope that one day the purple M&M will be right back where she belongs: in our local store.
Can you buy purple M&M’s?
You may not be able to find purple M&M’s in the bags of candy sold at your local shop—unless your local shop is the three-story Times Square M&M’s Store in New York City. If that’s a longer drive than you’re up for right now, you can hop online and buy purple M&M’s on the site.
There are three purple options for bulk M&M’s: purple plain, light-purple plain and purple peanut. There’s also a limited-edition “Be You” gift jar to celebrate Purple’s debut, which features purple, silver and light-purple peanut M&M’s.
As if that wasn’t enough, in honor of Purple, you can buy a limited-edition pack of purple, blue and pink M&M’s inspired by Lil Nas X. The musician has personalized the candy with hearts, butterflies and a photo of himself. Best of all, for every pack purchased, Mars will donate $5 (up to $100,000) to Sing for Hope.
M&M’s taste good, and they do good too: That’s all the excuse you need to fill your kitchen with purple M&M’s. There’s no dusty chocolate here!
Is Mars coming out with any other new candy?
We know that Mars loves to keep us guessing with its holiday editions and delicious new M&M’s, but there have been several tasty new flavors this year already—and another one is on the way. Crunchy Cookie debuted in March 2022, and the White Chocolate Pretzel Snowballs are already on shelves, ready for the holiday season. (Intrigued but still wondering, What is white chocolate? We got you.)
In even more exciting news, Espresso M&M’s are expected to debut this winter. Instagram account CandyHunting broke the story, letting the world know that the dark and milk chocolate espresso-flavored candies will be launching once the temperature dips. With colors including white, brown and maroon, they’re a nod to sweater season. And while we may not see a purple M&M in the mix, we won’t pass up an opportunity to start a cold winter morning with chocolate and java in one sweet handful.
Looking forward to next year, Mars Wrigley spokesperson Katie Durkin told Reader’s Digest that the company is launching a new, limited-edition flavor of its Extra gum next January: pink lemonade! It’ll be available on select shelves before rolling out nationwide. Sweet, tart and minty? Sign us up!
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- Mars: “M&M’s Welcomes First New Character in a Decade”
- AP News: “M&M Lovers Get the Blues”
- CNN Money: “M&M Lovers Pick Purple”
- Katie Durkin, senior vice president of media relations at Weber Shandwick