You Probably Wouldn't Recognize The Original Peanut M&M

M&M's debuted in 1941 and have become a staple of American candy culture that can be found in gas stations, grocery stores, and candy shops, (via M&M's). Its slogan — "melts in your mouth, not in your hand" — was invented eight years later, and it is a solid jingle that hasn't changed. Let's be honest — when you hear those words, you immediately think of your favorite candy.

These sugar-coated chocolate morsels are a central part of celebrations or a must when you simply want something sweet to enjoy. Whether it's a special holiday, such as Valentine's, Halloween, or Christmas, you can always find special packages with themed color M&M's. If you're so inclined, you can even special order personalized M&M's. Shoppers can choose from 27 different colors and add messages and graphics directly from the M&M shop.

Initially, the plain chocolate M&M's came in different colors — red, yellow, green, brown, and purple. Yes, in 1941, there was a purple M&M that was later changed to tan in 1949, according to Teen Vogue. Thirteen years after the bite-sized chocolates debuted, the company launched a new version of M&M's that included peanut butter (via Lovefood).

But what may come as a surprise is that peanut M&M's initially came in only one color.

Peanut M&M's debuted with a different color

If you picked up a package of peanut M&M's between 1954 and 1960, you would only have one color to nibble on. And maybe you'd feel less inclined to eat the whole bag in one sitting because there wouldn't be the excuse to sample each color and see if there was any difference in taste.

The colors of red, green, and yellow first appeared in 1960 for peanut M&M's. In 1976, orange was introduced and then replaced by blue in 1995, per United Press International. The candy makers are aware of how color influences sales and the role customers play in marketing campaigns, too. In the 2004 interview with United Press International, M&M'S spokesperson, Jeffrey Moran, said, "The various promotions we do invariably deal with color. We had done a lot of brainstorming about what it would be like if the color was removed."

In case you're still questioning the decision to launch peanut M&M's in tan or why they would replace orange for blue, the introduction of colors and changes over the years has been carefully planned out.

Next time you reach for a pack of peanut M&M's, you can consider that the colors that you can munch on today have gone through multiple changes over the decades. If you host a dinner party, you now have some candy trivia to quiz your guests with.