How Many M&Ms in a Bag? And More M&M FAQs

You gotta give it up for M&Ms, one of the all time classic candies. They’re a movie theater staple, a must-have for trick-or-treaters, a perfect combination of candy coating and delicious milk chocolate. As their slogan told us, “They melt in your mouth, not in your hands.” What more needs to be said? Well, we rustled up some frequently asked questions about M&Ms along with their answers. Let’s solve these MMini MMysteries. 

How many M&Ms are in a bag?

There are of course many different sizes of M&M bags, from the humble fun-size you hand out on Halloween to the mighty bulk-size available at Costco or Sam’s Club. But if you’re talking about your classic bag of M&Ms, the kind you’d pick up at the grocery store check out aisle, there are about 56 M&Ms per bag. 

Are M&Ms gluten free? 

Yes, most versions of M&Ms are gluten free (at least those produced in the U.S.). Keep in mind that varieties such as pretzel M&Ms use wheat and thus do contain gluten.

Are peanut M&Ms gluten free?

Once again, yes! The peanut variety of this candy chocolate combo is free from gluten, as long as you’re stateside.

Who makes M&Ms?

M&Ms are made by the Mars Corporation (one of the Ms stands for Mars, more on that below), and they are, in fact, the company’s most popular candy. Though originally Hershey’s owned a 20% stake in the company in exchange for providing the chocolate, Mars bought them out and is now the full owner of these colorful confections. 

What does M&M stand for? 

The Ms actually stand for the two men responsible for M&Ms: Forrest E. Mars Sr. and Bruce Murrie, son of Hershey Chocolate’s president William F. R. Murrie. Pretty fortunate both these men had surnames that started with M, or this candy might have had a totally different, weird name. A&Ts? H&Bs? O&Us? It just doesn’t have the same ring. 

When were M&Ms invented?

M&Ms were invented by Forrest Mars Sr. in 1941, who got the idea after encountering the British-made Smarties during the Spanish Civil War, which also use a hard candy coating to protect the chocolate inside. 

How are M&Ms Made?

Because M&Ms are made with both candy and chocolate, there are several steps to make these treats. The website MadeHow goes into detail about the process, but essentially chocolate must first be molded into its classic M&M shape. From there, the chocolate is added to a tumbler to get the pebbles smooth and rounded, and they’re left to harden. After the chocolate hardens, the panning process occurs. This means the chocolates are placed on trays and sprayed with candy coating at timed intervals, to ensure uniformity in the coating. The coloring is added as the final coat. Finally, the single-colored batches are combined into mixtures and brought to the machine that stamps the “M” on them. 

Do M&Ms go bad?

The good news is that M&Ms won’t spoil anytime soon if stored in proper condition. The bad news is that nothing can last forever. The general internet consensus is that M&Ms will stay fresh for about two years, unopened. And eight months after you open the bag. This information is credited to the Hershey Company, though, and, since Hershey no longer owns any part of M&M, the Hershey Company site no longer contains any of that information. Therefore, we can’t fact check it.  

That’s about it for the M&M FAQs, or Mars & Murrie Frequently Asked Questions, if we’re being specific. Hope you learned something and that your next bag of M&Ms will be even more delicious for your knowledge.

About the Author

Matt Crowley

Matt Crowley is a comedy writer living in Los Angeles. He likes maple-flavored snacks, loves every kind of cheese, and is slowly learning to accept mushrooms.

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