What Does M&M Stand For? Things You Should Know

m&m chocolates in a glass jar

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One of the best-known chocolate treats out there is M&Ms.

Many of us grew up watching those fun little characters on the TV and long to snack on a few pieces of the treat. Which color is your favorite?

No matter, all the colors are all good.

Over the years, the company has transitioned from just plain chocolate M&Ms to caramel or even those with nuts. But have you ever wondered what does M&M stand for?

Most of us can guess that the First M probably stands for Mars. After all, the company, which owns the brand, is Mars Inc.

But What Does The Other M In M&M Stand For

m&m chocolates in a white bowl

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That is what the other M in M&M stand for. This is taken from the name of the other gentleman responsible for the lovely little candy treat.

So, M&M stands for Mars and Murrie.

Now you are probably curious about whom Murrie is and to which mars are we referring? Was it the father or the son?

Well, you are right in thinking that. The Mars represents Forrest Mars, who is the son of founder Frank Mars.

The Origins Of M&Ms

The company was created by Frank Mars. This we already know. But what you might not know, is that he had polio from he was a child.

This never held him back in life. He grew up being wheelchair bound, but in 1902, married Ethel G. Kissack. Mars started his own wholesale candy business, which was the first.

His son came into their lives in 1904, but by 1910, they were bankrupted.

Ethel asked for a divorce and took their son, Frank when she left. This caused Frank to be estranged from Forrest.

Frank Marries Another Ethel

As luck would have it, Frank moved to Tacoma after being married to a second Ethel. Back then, they tried their hand at a making nougat and that went the same way as the first.

Searching for his dream, Frank moved the family to back to Minnesota in 1920.

On return, he started the Mar-O-Bar Company. They produced a chocolate, nuts and caramel candy bar. This company thrived more so than the others.

It was the catalyst for his son’s return. He helped him in business. Even so much as to get the name of the company changed to Mars, Inc.

Enter The Milky Way

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Making the business over $$$ initially, Milky Way was one of their most successful products back then in 1923. It catapulted their business and they were now in the ranks of Hershey’s. So they then became the second-largest candy maker.

By 1930, they released the Snickers bar.

In 1932, they also launched the 3 Musketeers Bar.

Their chocolate, for all their products, was sourced from the Hershey company. They did that from 1930 to 1965. Hersey sold chocolate to other chocolate manufacturers at the time.

Now, we know them as producing the famous Hersey’s kisses. However, the majority of their revenue came from distributing 8.3 million pounds of chocolate, every year, to other businesses.

A Quarter Of That Chocolate Was Bought By Mars Inc.

This made Mars Inc. the biggest candy bar company in America.

Though the company was doing extremely well, Forrest wanted more. He had bigger dreams, greater visions but Frank would not allow him to expand, as he wanted.

This caused much dissent. Eventually, his father gave him international rights to Milky Way.

Forrest Mars went to Europe with his family and $$ from his father. Kidney disease killed Frank Mars within a year and a half.

Such a sad end for Frank with him being estranged from his son twice in his lifetime.

The Launch Of A British Milky Way

m&m chocolates inside glass jar

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Feeling dejected about his quarrel with his father and being separated from the family fortune, Forrest spied out Toblerone and Nestlé’s businesses by working as a factory worker.

After that, he moved to London, and with renewed vigor started his own candy business.

The Competition Was Fierce

It was not easy. There were several companies who were hugely successful and he had to contend with them. This included Kit Kat bar’s the Rowntree & Company, and with Cadbury Brothers, Ltd.

Nonetheless, he persevered. He started in his own kitchen eventually. At this point, things got very rough and his wife and son moved back to America.

However, his new product the Mars Bar steadily gained recognition.

No longer able to source chocolate from Hersey, he got his from Cadbury. Once business got better, he was able to move to a Slough, opening a small factory there.

Forrest Manufactured Pet Food

Ever the progressive businessman like his father, he ventured into the dog food world in 1934. It took only five years for it to become hugely successful and was considered Britain’s largest pet-food manufacturer.

This helped to gain attention to the Mars Bars. So, he tapped the number three spot by 1939.

In Times Of War

The success allowed him to open a bigger factory in Brussels and cater to all of Europe. But World War II began soon after.

Foreign business owners were asked to pay very high taxes. Forrest Mars would not concede to doing this. So he came back to the USA. The company was left in the capable hands of his senior British manager Colin Pratt.

Ever the innovator, Forrest had the idea of making a candy that did not melt in the hot summer months.

His strategy was to make chocolate more appealing during that time.

This would set him apart from others and his sales would not dip in summer, as it did for others on the business.

The Genesis Of An American Smarties Candies

m&m chocolates in a jar

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Many hold the idea that Forrest Mars got this idea from Rowntree. Back then, in Britain, they produced Chocolate Beans. Not to mention the fact that Forrest was said to be a friend of the family.

Regardless, Forrest boldly requested a meeting with his longtime chocolate source Hersey’s.

Seeing as they supplied him with chocolate before, when he was running his father’s company, he needed their backing again. Only he needed it in a different way.

His dream was to make a chocolate that “melts in your mouth but not in your hands.”

Forrest Mars And William Murrie Meet

William Murrie was now in charge at Hershey.

Mars went there to get backing for his new venture. Many say that on that day mars had some sample Smarties in his pocket. Because it was a hot summer day, Murrie bought into the idea.

Even though to this day, M&Ms denies this tale. Many said that Smarties was too popular back then for the product not to be a rip-off. That did not matter.

Mars and Murrie thought the idea could enough to launch.

The Art Of The Deal

Forrest Mars was quite convincing and he had a game plan that would benefit both Murrie and Mars.

Hershey would supply the chocolate. However, the partnership would not be with William Murrie directly, but with his son Bruce Murrie.

Mars already knew him. Again, he proposed that the company be named M&M Ltd.

All of this sounded good to William, so he agreed.

So, as you now see initially when you considered what does M&M stand for, you thought of William Murrie, not Bruce Murrie. That little misconception should now be cleared up.

The company launched in 1940.

What Happened After M&Ms Was Launched?

Forrest Mars can be considered a very shrewd and possibly selfish businessman. Yes, he achieved great success, but he did not play nice with others. This is especially true of his partners in business.

To get M&M Ltd up and running, Hersey’s invested 20%, chocolate and equipment. They also provided plant engineers.

This gave the company a solid foundation, one that saw the company making a profit and becoming quite popular. Mars, however, did things his way. As soon as he was able, he pushed Murrie out and paid him off with one million dollars.

Soon afterwards, he had his eye set on another major project.

So, M&M Ltd became Food Manufacturers, Inc. and he invested in a small rice mill in 1942. After all, his business was making him $$$ million every year.

That rice mill too was a success. It helped to launch Uncles Ben’s Rice.

But Forrest Mars was not done. He would not rest until he got back into his father’s company. He got half of Ethel Mars, in 1945, after she passed away.

His foot was through the door.

So he became one of the directors and had an office there. William Kruppenbacher who had control was his nemesis and they did not agree. However, after some estrangement, Forrest got one-third more control from Krruppenbacher, eventually.

With this, Forrest Mars had full control. Enough for him to have the company modernized, merged with Food Manufacturers, Inc and renamed to Mars, Inc. eventually.

It makes you wonder, in another way what does M&M stand for.

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