Who knows what M&M stands for? Give up? The answer is Mars and Murrie. They were two chocolate mogul's sons who struck up a deal in 1941. Neither of them approved of the way their father
ran their businesses and Forrest Mars had a nifty way of enclosing chocolate in a hard shell which he learned about overseas. Hershey, who supplied the chocolate, anticipated a chocolate shortage during the war. Mars was granted a patent to manufacture the melt in your mouth, not in your hand product in Newark, New Jersey in 1941. Murrie negotiated a 20% share in M&M’s. Can you imagine? At first, M&M’s were sold exclusively to U.S. Armed Forces but when our soldiers came marching home, they wanted more. As M&M’s became more and more popular, Murrie ended up accepting a million dollar buy out in 1948 just to be rid of the difficult, impatient and unbending Forrest E. Mars.
Does sugar make you cranky? Or is it success? Or maybe it’s sugar and success. What is 20% of the 699 million worth of sales of M&M’s in the United States today? Well...turns out it’s almost 140 million.
How much cranky would you put up with for 140 million? I guess Bruce Murrie could only put up with a million dollars worth of cranky, and I have to admit, that’s probably all I’m willing to put up with myself.
Did you know M&M’s made history again in 1981 when they were launched on the Columbia space shuttle becoming the first candy in space? And again in 1984 they were the official snack of the Los Angeles Olympics?
The Mars company is rumored to make over 35 billion a year. I’m jealous. And they don’t even file Federal tax returns. Now I’m depressed.
I have hopes for Venita’s Gourmet Sweets being sent into space one day, maybe Jeff Bezos will take some up.