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M&M’s packaging sparks controversy (again)

M&M’s new packaging features a set of all-female characters and a campaign to donate money

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M&M’s candy is seen in Overland Park, Kan.

M&M’s candy is seen in Overland Park, Kan., Friday, Jan. 21, 2022.

Charlie Riedel, Associated Press

M&M’s new packaging, which features a set of all-female characters, has caused controversy online.

One of the female characters includes the newest edition — Purple. Deseret News reported that this M&M was described as representing inclusivity and that “keen self-awareness, authenticity and confidence are the driving forces behind Purple’s charm and quirky nature.” The company said it added Purple to better represent the modern world.

Now, according to CNN, candy company Mars released a limited edition pack of M&M’s featuring Green, Brown and Purple to “celebrate women everywhere who are flipping the status quo.” The all-female M&M’s packages come in milk chocolate, peanut and peanut butter, and proceeds from these M&M’s will be donated.

According to Fox News, “This move is the latest in a series of marketing moves M&M’s has made to promote inclusivity. Its previous announcement involved the introduction of the purple female M&M who represents body positivity and self-acceptance.”

People reported, “$1 from each pack sold will go toward women-empowerment organizations including She Is the Music and We are Moving the Needle. The special packages are available at grocery stores nationwide through the end of March. In total, the brand will donate up to $800,000 to other organizations elevating women.”

But the release of these M&M’s hasn’t been without controversy. According to CNN, a Fox News anchor described the candy as one that “emboldens China” and a graphic shown on Fox News labels it “woke candy.”

These M&M’s are also associated with a campaign to give women grants.

According to the press release, “As part of the additional donation outside of the limited-edition packs, M&M’s is inviting fans to visit MMS.com from January 5–15 to nominate women in their lives who are flipping the status quo, for the chance to be featured on M&M’s platforms and receive $10,000 grants to further fund their flip. Ten winners will be identified in partnership with the M&M’s FUNd Advisory Council and revealed on International Women’s Day.”

These M&M’s will be released this month.