M&M’s has created a market share that has yet been unmatched by the competition. In 2004, M&M’s achieved an impressive $201 million in candy sales in the U.S. alone, making it the number one selling bagged or boxed chocolate candy in the country, beating out its nearest competitor, Hershey’s Kisses (Candy Industry). The success of M&M’s is due to many factors such as attractive and unique advertisements and promotions, customer participation and feedback defining the produced output, and a wide range of customized product possibilities.
The creation of M&M began when Forrest Mars Sr. made a trip to Spain during the Spanish Civil War (M&M’s website). While there, he came across some soldiers who were eating chocolates pellets covered in a hard sugar coating. The main purpose of that hard sugar coating was to maintain the chocolate freshness and prevent it from melting. Upon his return to the United States, Mars Sr. returned to his kitchen and invented the recipe for M&M’s Plain Chocolate Candy (M&M’s website). As could be deduced from the name, the founder is a member of the Mars family, the group responsible for Mars Inc (M&M’s website). Mars today owns many companies producing and distributing products worldwide, one of which is MasterFoods; which produces M&M’s (www.masterfoods.com).
By late 1940, M&M’s Plain Chocolate Candy became widely available to the public and received a great reception (M&M’s website). The public was impressed with the unique qualities of the product that were previously unmatched in the market. It was soon after that the candies became a favorite among American Soldiers serving in World War II, for the same reason that they were popular in Spain (M&M’s website). They were durable candies that could withstand heat and wouldn’t perish over a long journey.
By the 1950’s, the intense television and advertising campaigns designed to market M&M’s Plain Chocolate Candies had made them a household name (M&M’s...