Here's Why Purple M&M's No Longer Exist

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According to the company website, M&M's have been around since the 1940s. A classic bag of these candies contains little chocolate discs coated in red, orange, green, blue, yellow, and dark brown candy shells (via Two Sisters Crafting), but have you ever wondered why there are not purple M&M's in this seeming rainbow mix of colors? You are not alone. Users on Reddit have also been pondering this deep thought, with one poster asking on the message board r/explainlikeimfive: "Why didn't Mars make purple M&M's if they bothered to make every other color of the rainbow and brown?" It seems like a fair question, after all, Mars remembered to include purple when they created their chewy Skittles (via Mars). So what gives? Why no purple love for M&M's?

Per Spoon University, the lack of purple in a standard pack of M&M's was not always the case. When the melt in your mouth not in your hand candies first made their way to consumers in 1941, a cardboard tube of these chocolate treats originally contained red, yellow, green, brown, and purple candies. For some reason, purple found itself displaced in 1949 when Mars changed up its candy colors and decided to go with tan over this royal hue — but that's not actually why purple M&M's do not exist in a package of these candies today.   

M&M lovers voted for blue over purple

The answer why there are no purple M&M's in a package of classic M&M's is kind of complicated. According to CNN Money, in 1995 M&M decided once again to make a shift, and the company asked Americans to vote on a color change, this time pushing out the tan coated M&M. The winning color in this contest was blue, claiming 54 percent of voter turnout according to SFGate.

Purple was once again shut out of the candy bag, but the journey for a purple M&M didn't end there. In 2002, the candy maker decided to hold a global vote to add a new color to its M&M candy palette. Three colors were put forward: aqua, pink, and purple. 10 million M&M fans from the United States and 200 other countries took part in this decision with purple emerging as the victor, claiming 41 percent of the popular vote. The people spoke, and finally this trendy color was added back into the standard M&M mix after years of exile — but the rejoicing was short lived. Unfortunately, this was a limited time promotion, and purple is, once again, unavailable in your standard package of classic M&M's (via CNN Money). That said, if you really need to have this vibrant shade in your candy jar, you can buy purple M&M's in bulk online or pick-up one of the brand's seasonal color mixes at Target (like the Halloween variety) depending on availability and the season.