Sunday Night: m and its partner m gets a big W from me

By MaryHelen Swanson, editor

Wonderful, Wow, Way to go! Three big W’s for M&M’s®.

This past weekend, while on a road trip with my husband, we stopped at an isolated gas station/C-store for that inevitable break one must take after riding for hours while consuming another station’s large coffee.

On the way back to the front door, a 1.5 oz. package of mint M&M’s called to me and I was forced to purchase it. Twisting my arm, it was.

Hubby and I shared the tasty little morsels, marveling at the sweet, dark chocolate and refreshing taste.

I could have done without the candy shell, but you have to hold it together with something or it would have been a mess. There could be no “melts in your mouth, not in your hand” to that kind of M&M, and indeed, no place to put the “m.”

With a little wake-me-up sugar in our systems, and the delightful mint taste dancing on our tongues, I began to wonder about something that has been the topic of discussion in our house lately – where the pretty, little green candies were made.

It has become a concern for us, especially as holidays roll around, the kind where candy becomes a factor, such as the one soon to arrive – Easter.

The importance is, of course, because we have 9 grandchildren and there’s some kind of unwritten law about grandparents providing them with a sweet treat now and then. (BTW, we don’t make it a habit.)

So, Monday morning I checked the package and learned one thing from it, that the mint M&M’s are distributed by MARS Chocolate out of Hackettstown, New Jersey.

A little further scrutiny of the package and I found a 1-800 number under the words “We value your questions or comments.”

And soon my finger was punching out the digits.

After a voicemail directory that gives you about 8 options, the final words say if you just want to talk to someone about a product press 2.

In a flash my finger was on that 2, and the next thing I knew there was a man, a real human being, on the other end of the line.

He asked me what I was calling about and I told him.

The candy was very tasty, I said politely, and I was glad to see that it was distributed by a company in the United States.

But, I asked him, where is it made?

His pleasant voice in return said, “That’s a very good question.”

And he began to tell me that while MARS has a plant in Canada, which is used to produce the overflow candy for holidays and such, M&M’s are made at numerous plants across the USA.

If the candy is made at the Canadian plant, it will say so on the front of the package, he said, if it is made in the USA, it doesn’t say anything.

But, he assured me again and again, most of the Mars products are manufactured right here in our own country.

I was satisfied with the response, actually delighted to learn that one of the mainstays of American sweetness is still made in America.

Unless that nice man was lying, and at some point you have to begin to trust, I am extremely happy to share this news, because M&M’s made anywhere but the USA would be very SAD.

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