Have you ever wondered where your Halloween candy is made? Welcome to the first in a series of articles on Halloween Meow exploring the origin of your Halloween candy. What’s the first candy up for discovery? Naturally, it’s one of the most popular candies of all time: M&Ms.
M&Ms began as a “copycat” candy of the popular British Smarties. They were sold exclusively to the US Military during World War II as a candy that soldiers could carry with them that wouldn’t melt in their pockets (“Melts in your mouth, not in your hand”). Eventually, the candy went “public” and now, the candy is so popular that it’s manufactured at three different facilities in the United States.
Since 1958, the Mars Wrigley Confectionery has been producing M&Ms at their facility in Hackettstown, New Jersey. However, as demand for the candy grew, they opened another facility in Cleveland, TN in 1978, with the facility expanding in 2018 to incorporate the hazelnut spread (read: Nutella) flavor.
In 2014, Mars Wrigley opened up a third manufacturing plant to meet the demand for the candy in Topeka, Kansas. Just this year, the Topeka manufacturer announced it would be adding three new flavors to their manufacturing line-up: Mexican Jalapeño Peanut, Thai Coconut Peanut
Given that these candies are produced at one of these three factories, it may be confusing to figure out exactly which factory produced the candies you’re munching on. However, if you take a look at the back of your M&Ms package, the package will tell you exactly which of the three factories produced your candy.
Of course, there’s one step that they might miss if your brand of M&M is one with a peanut center: the peanut. Most of the peanuts used in Peanut M&Ms are sourced at their Albany, Georgia plant. These same peanuts also find their way into Mars Wrigley other peanut centric candies such as Snickers.
Are M&Ms your favorite Halloween candy? If not, what’s your poison?