The delicious confection has always made me wonder…what the heck do the initials stand for? And I know somebody here will have the answer.
“Forrest Mars, Sr., the reclusive billionaire patriarch of the global candy and pet-food empire that bears his name, died July 2, 1999, in Miami, Florida. In her book The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside The Secret World of Hershey and Mars, author Joel Glenn Brenner describes him as a brilliant and fascinating entrepreneur. In many ways, Forrest Mars, Sr., was one of the century’s first modern businessmen. …”
Hopefully, they will be cooperative…
(I didn’t know that David Sedaris worked part time for M&M’s)
Here’s the history page.
I seem to recall that the second M was for his mother, but I can’t seem to find it as fast as I’d like.
But nowhere is that nagging question answered: “Which two Mars’ are the company named for, Frank&wife or Frank and Forrest”. The official history page is found by all the search engines but not available. (Maybe it’s just off-line at the moment for maintenance )
The roots of M&M/Mars can be traced to 1911, when Frank C. Mars and his wife began making buttercream candies in the kitchen of their Tacoma, Washington home.
The Milky Way candy bar developed in the Midway district between Minneapolis and St. Paul by confectioner Frank C. Mars, 39, is a mixture of milk chocolate, corn syrup, sugar, milk, hydrogenated vegetable oil, cocoa, butter, salt, malt, egg whites, etc. Inspired perhaps by his own astronomical name, Mars names his creation after the distant star galaxy and will see Milky Way sales leap in one year from $72,800 to $792,000.
In 1926, the company moved to a new plant outside Chicago where the MARS® Almond, 3 MUSKETEERS® and SNICKERS® bars were introduced.
Founded in 1940 as M&M Limited by Forrest E. Mars, Sr. (son of Frank Mars) in Newark, the company began by manufacturing "M&M’s"® Plain Chocolate Candies. These new confections were conceived as a neater, more convenient way to eat chocolate. During World War II, they were included in American soldiers’ C rations because they withstood extreme temperatures. In the hot tropics, these candies were especially practical. After the introduction of "M&M’s"® Peanut Chocolate Candies in 1954, the combined success of the two candies eventually required a larger manufacturing facility, and the firm moved to its Hackettstown plant.
In 1940, his son, Forrest, devised a candy modeled after a British confection: a circle of chocolate covered with a crunchy coating.
For my LAST (promise) tidbit on this thread, here’s some other Mars name surpises.
1929 M&M Mars introduces the Snickers Bar, named for a favorite horse owned by the Mars family.
1933 M&M Mars debuts the 3 Musketeers Bar, originally made as a three-flavor bar featuring chocolate, vanilla and strawberry nougat. In 1945, it was changed to all chocolate nougat.
From http://www.m-ms.com/cai/mms/faq.html: "M&M’s"® stand for Mars and Murrie, the founders of the company.
[sup][Speaking only for myself, **Thank you! ** I was afraid this would be haunting me days from now. [/sup]]
The Emperors of Chocolate is a great book. I highly recomend it. It is all about Milton Hershey and the Mars family and the battles between them.
“The truth is, the second M stands for Murrie - as in R. Bruce Murrie, the son of William Murrie, longtime president of the Hershey Chocolate Co. and Milton Hershey’s dearest friend.”
And what was that one called? Is it still in existence, or did market pressures drive it under?
Originally posted by annalamerino
“Inspired perhaps by his own astronomical name, Mars names his creation after the distant star galaxy and will see Milky Way sales leap in one year from $72,800 to $792,000.”
Distant star galaxy??? We are in the Milky Way.
I think that line is in reference to M&Ms…though I’d have thought it would go before the paragraph directly above it.
You mean that they’re from the Red Planet?
Oh, hold on…
British products Smarties, Revels and Minstrels are all in some way similar to M&Ms but I’d have to do some research to see which were available in the 1940s. I would guess that Smarties are the oldest, but I’ll check.
I have tried looking at various sites but can only find the following:
Nestle Rowntree make Smarties which are similar to M&Ms. US Smarties are a different product and the brand is not held for Smarties in the US.
Mars manufacture Revels and Minstrels.
I cannot find a definitive history of chocolate branding- tried Google without much luck.
I have found a statement that Smarties were based on a French confectionery called dragees.
Smarties were available in the UK long before M&Ms which were introduced IIRC in the seventies.
I’d guess the British product on which M&Ms is based is Smarties.
Further note: M&Ms were introduced to increase summer sales of chocolate- to avoid the melting problem.
Quote: "The Emperors of Chocolate is a great book. I highly recomend it. It is all about Milton Hershey and the Mars family and the battles between them.
“The truth is, the second M stands for Murrie - as in R. Bruce Murrie, the son of William Murrie, longtime president of the Hershey Chocolate Co. and Milton Hershey’s dearest friend.”"
I read the book too. Really great book! M&M stands for “Mars and Murrie”