M&M's World in Times Square is New York City's largest candy store. This huge 25,000 square feet store is really one of a kind. It is a three story store and has many types and colors of actual M&Ms and lots of M&M memorabilia. The store has clothes, candy by the pound, NY themed souvenirs, and just about any other M&M related thing you could want. The store is open every day from 9AM till 12AM.
Mars, the company that makes not only M&M's but Snickers, and Milky Way chocolate bars traces its origin to the beginning of the 20th century. The company is entirely owned by the Mars family. Mars family was called the richest family in America by Fortune magazine in 1988.
The founder of the company Frank C. Mars started the Mars Candy Factory in 1911 with Ethel V. Mars, his second wife, in Newark, New Jersey. Frank’s son, Forrest pushed the company into chocolate bars—the Milky Way debuted in 1924, soon followed by Snickers.
Since their introduction in 1941, M&M's have become an iconic American candy. M&M's is an abbreviation for the names of their creators, Forrest Mars and Bruce Murrie. Forrest was the son of the founder of Mars company and Bruce was the son of William Murrie, the president of Hershey’s from 1908 to 1947. The two men called their new company “Mars & Murrie.” M&M for short.
In March of 1941, Mars was granted a patent for his manufacturing process of the new product - a candy-coated chocolates .
After production began in Newark, New Jersey, M&M cut a deal to sell the sweets exclusively to the US Armed Forces so soldiers could have sweets in their rations no matter where they were in the world. The candy-coated chocolates were resistant to heat - the slogan was "Melts in your mouth, not in your hand." Originally sold in cardboard tubes, M&M’s were covered with a brown, red, orange, yellow, green or violet coating.
In 1976 the red M&M disappeared. This decision came as a result of public controversy surrounding a synthetic red dye called FD&C Red No. 2, also known as amaranth. Amaranth was the 20th century’s most widely used food coloring; by 1970 it was being used in $10 billion worth of products.
The dye was linked to cancer in a 1971 Russian study. Mars removed the red candies from production and replaced them with orange M&M's, which were added to the traditional brown, green and yellow lineup of colors. According to M&M’s public relations department, “the red candies were pulled from the color mix...to avoid customer confusion.”
Ten years later, in 1987, once the panic surrounding anything red had passed Mars reintroduced red M&M's, but kept orange in the bag. Forrest Mars retired in 1973, passing the business on to his children. Rumor has it the Mars heirs are forbidden from ever selling any portion of their ownership in the company. Mars now produces 400 million M&Ms each and every day.