“Earth Shattering” Design Changes

The new M&M mascot designs have sparked different emotions from consumers.

The old M&M designs (top) from 2012 as opposed to the new M&M designs (bottom) from 2022.

Today Show

The old M&M designs (top) from 2012 as opposed to the new M&M designs (bottom) from 2022.

Nicolas Scagliarini, Staff Writer

The year is 1954 and one of the most popular chocolate candies is about to have a new variation. In addition to the original milk chocolate M&M’s that all ages enjoy, the new peanut-infused candy will filled the shelves. To help promote this, a short cartoon was made showing two M&M’s jumping into a pool. These characters would later be reimagined with CGI in 1994, along with other characters who were introduced. The designs remained fairly constant throughout the years, but that ended in Jan., 2022.

“The new designs feel less unique, “ Jared Delvecchio, 15, said.

Mascot designs for products are very important in marketing so people will be interested in the product. Recently, Forrest Mars Sr. made two simple characters, M&M’s with a face and beige-colored arms and legs. One of them was small, round and red, based on the original candy, and the other was a taller, yellow peanut M&M. Both characters sported white shoes and gloves, along with the staple white “m” on their body, which would carry over to future designs.

Over the years, more characters came and went, all with their own personalities and slightly different figures. Since 2012, there have been six “spokes candies” to represent the M&M brand: Red, Yellow, Blue, Green, Orange and Ms. Brown. The changes to their design throughout time were not too noteworthy, as they were mainly changes and added details to make them modern.

However, the biggest change in years happened in Jan., 2022. Green’s heeled boots were replaced to match the rest of the casts’ footwear. The exception is Brown, whose high heels have been slightly changed. Additionally, every spokes candy’s beige arms and legs have become white, but with a tint of the color of the candy. This confused many people, some even getting upset.

“M&M’s will not be satisfied until every last cartoon character is deeply unappealing and totally androgynous. Until the moment you wouldn’t want to have a drink with any one of them. That’s the goal. When you’re totally turned off, we’ve achieved equity. They’ve won,” Tucker Carlson, an enraged journalist said

A theory that has recently come into fruition is that Mars changed the spokes candies’ designs to draw public attention away from the lawsuit filed against many chocolate companies, such as Nestlé and Hershey. In February, 2021, eight now-adults from Mali, Africa, said that they were forced to work tirelessly without pay when they were below the age of 16 in Cote d’Ivoire, Africa, also known as Ivory Coast.

The Ivory Coast is one of the biggest outsources of cocoa, roughly 45 percent. With the high rates of child labor in poorer areas, it is safe to assume many of those workers would be children, which was confirmed by individuals who partook in the labor.

“It’s crazy that one of the biggest candy companies in the world would do something so terrible,” said Delvecchio.

Alongside the announcement of the design change, Mars, the parent company of M&M’s said that they wanted their characters to represent a wider audience and backgrounds, and to make everyone feel like they fit in, calling this “for all funkind.”

Some people, such as Carlson, believe that it is part of a larger conspiracy to make people “woke.” Not much has come from Mars or M&M’s after the initial announcement, but Mars had already recently made strides in inclusivity.

In June, 2021, the Skittles Twitter account changed their profile picture to a grayed-out version of their normal profile picture, the Skittles logo. The packaging and candy itself were also grayed out for the month. Skittles did this in honor of Pride Month, stating that rainbow belongs to the LGBTQIA+ community.

These recent changes that Mars has made have helped them by showing their consumers that they understand the current world, as well as being one of the only companies to take a step in this direction.