New M&M packaging sparks ‘culture war’ outrage

New York

M&M’S makes a statement with its latest candy pack, which features an all-female set of characters, including Purple, its latest addition.

Candy maker Mars has announced that the limited-edition, all-female pack will only include Purple, Brown and Green – the candy’s trio of female characters, which are upside down on the packaging – to “celebrate women around the world. that overturn the status quo. The packs are currently on sale.

Purple, the “lucky charm” announced last year (and the first new M&M’S character in a decade), is a purple peanut M&M. According to the brand, she’s a singer who forgoes high heels for lace-up boots and has a quirky, confident personality.

“The M&M’S brand is on a mission to use the power of pleasure to create meaningful connections, as we work to create a world where everyone belongs,” said Gabrielle Wesley, Chief Marketing Officer, Mars Wrigley North America. , in a press release. .

An all-female M&M pack is now on sale.

The packs come in three options: milk chocolate, peanut butter and peanut. Mars said a portion of the proceeds will go to organizations that “uplift and empower women,” including She Is The Music and We Are Moving the Needle, nonprofits that support women in the music industry. music.

The all-female pack quickly sparked “culture wars” outrage in right-wing media, including Fox News. A network presenter said that the avant-garde feminist pack embolden china.

“If that’s what you need for validation, an M&M that’s the color you think is associated with feminism, then I’m worried about you,” presenter Martha MacCallum said Monday. “I think that makes China say, ‘Oh, well, keep focusing on that. Continue to focus on giving people their own colored M&M’S as we support all mineral deposits worldwide.

A graphic on a show even called the “woke” candy.

As well as adding Purple to the lineup, M&M’S has made other changes to the 82-year-old brand in recent months, including tweaking its logo and giving its six characters new shoes in a bid to modernize the candy.

Green traded in his go-go boots for sneakers. Brown wears lower, more sensible heels. Red’s and Yellow’s shoes now have laces. Orange shoe laces no longer untie. And Blue’s shoes, while minimally modified, look like what Anton Vincent, president of Mars Wrigley North America, described as “a bad take on Uggs.”

However, there was an overreaction to Green’s new shoes last year.

An opinion piece in the Washington Post said, “M&M’s changes are not progressive. Return his boots to Green. In a provocatively titled article, Rolling Stone described the change as “nothing more than tectonic”. Thousands of people have signed a petition to “keep green M&Ms sexy”.

Changes to beloved characters can cause a strong reaction on social media. When Lola Bunny got a new look for the new Space Jam movie, for example, fans were also outraged.

Jane Hwang, global vice president of M&M’s, previously told CNN that the reaction to Green’s switch was “unprecedented.”

“We were incredibly overwhelmed,” she added. “Now we know for sure that M&M’s are a cultural icon.”

M&M’S has no plans to restore Green’s look. “The characters…continually evolve to reflect the times we live in,” Hwang said, adding that the brand hopes consumers will “get to know our characters for more than just their shoes.”

– CNN’s Danielle Wiener-Bronner contributed to this report.

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