Pricenomics.com reveals the dark and dirty secret…
When the first M&M’s rolled off Mars’ production line in 1941, they originally came in five colors: brown, yellow, green, violet, and red. And by the late 1960s, the red M&M had established himself as the brand’s unheralded spokesman: early commercials and advertisements featured the carmine character dancing alongside his yellow-coated peanut friend with unadulterated joy. He was riding high, recognized by millions of adoring fans.
Then, in 1976, the red M&M disappeared.
For a decade, the color was nowhere to been seen in the candy’s packets, relegated to non-existence by incredibly flawed Food and Drug Administration research. The death and rebirth of the red M&M tells a tale of both governmental incompetence and the collective power of consumers.