Purple M&Ms;? Is This a Great Country or What?

From Associated Press

The familiar M&M; mix of brown, yellow, orange, red, green and tan candies may be about to melt away.

Candy lovers across the nation began voting Monday for the newest color to be added to the popular sugar-coated chocolate drops.

Voters have until March 17 to pick up ballots at stores that sell the candy. The voting choices are pink, purple, blue or no change.

To drum up interest, people dressed as pink, purple and blue M&Ms; will appear at the Super Bowl on Jan. 29 in Miami and dance at the Mardi Gras in New Orleans.


M&M-Mars;, which introduced M&Ms; in 1940, makes different-hued mixes four times a year: Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Halloween and Easter.

The traditional mix has remained unchanged since 1949--except for a decade-long absence of red pieces. Red was removed over a scare about food dye but was restored in 1987.

The Hackettstown, N.J.-based company will announce the winning choice April 18. If voters go for a change, the new M&Ms; should be in stores by September, said Pat D’Amato, public relations manager for M&M-Mars.;

“I think they ought to leave it the way it is,” said Maryann Mandonia of Pittsburgh as she shopped at a Newark International Airport newsstand.


The new choices don’t appeal to her “because they are medicine colors.”

But Leslie Vasquez, 21, a cashier at the newsstand, said she likes purple.

“It’s a nice color, and I think that people are going to like it,” she said.