New M&Ms flavour is ‘one of the biggest launches in brand’s history’

The inside of the new M&M
The inside of the new M&M Credit: Mars

A new variety of M&Ms is set to hit shelves in May next year.

M&M's Caramel, set to join the Peanut, Milk Chocolate and Peanut Butter in stores from May, took two years to develop.

Described by Mars as “one of the biggest launches in the brand’s history,” the new M&Ms are larger than their more established counterparts, to give more space for its soft and chewy filling.

"It was a big technological challenge for us," said Hank Izzo, VP of research and development for Mars Chocolate North America. "We never before had a M&M lentil with a true soft centre, so we had to figure out how to not make the chocolate too sticky or too soft that it could collapse.”

The new M&M caramel packaging Credit: Mars

The US release date is seven months off – and it’s currently not known how long chocolate-lovers in the UK will wait for them to cross the Atlantic.

Izzo told CNN: "Caramel is extremely trendy. It's a $2.2 billion flavor segment and the fastest growing segment in food right now. We want to be part of this category."

“Chocolate and caramel is such a popular flavor combination, especially with the fans of M&M'S," added brand director Tanya Berman. "In our research, our fans were enthusiastic at the possibility of a caramel variant."

Mars has invested about $100 million in new manufacturing site in Kansas to produce the sweets, and has plans to recruit 70 employees there to work on the brand.

M&M's were developed by Forrest Mars, Sr., son of the Mars founder, in the 1930s. The name is drawn from Mars’ initial, and that of business partner Bruce Murrie. They first went on sale in 1941, and were an immediate hit with troops serving in the Second World War.

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