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M&Ms for grownups

Mars debuts Mega M&Ms--half again as big and in new "adult" colors--today in New York.

Oh please! Isn't this just messing with perfection?

Maybe it's because I recently finished Steve Almond's romp of a book Candy Freak, but this seems like an idea somewhere between silly and absurd. Not to mention one born of marketing, not product development.

Look at an M&M and tell me that that little oval of goodness needs an upgrade. Nonetheless, I've watched as Mars drug M&Ms through all sorts of "improvements"--and crispy is almost good in a niblets of Krunch bars kind of way--but this one seems reaching.

First, it's been engineered to have just the right amount of hard shell covering the melty center, but make it 55% bigger and the proportions go to hell. I'll obviously have to sacrifice and try them, but I have this sneaking suspicion that this is one step over a line that shouldn't be crossed. Not to mention that they say it's an "average" of 55% larger. Average? Like there isn't a machine that makes a kabillion M&Ms a day, each of them the exact same size. No, they apparently want you to envision a grandmother lovingly shaping each morsel individually; so of course they aren't exact and need to be averaged.

Second, can we talk about the colors? Teal, beige, maroon, gold, brown and blue-gray. WTF?

Article here includes a picture of the box. Blah, ugly, deadened colors. How is it that a candy company that believes adults need their very own version of a kid's candy could think that we wanted them in such dull colors? I feel like I've been tossed into a bad time machine that takes me back to the days of Miami Vice--this is exacerbated by some friends of mine who are currently discussing the esthetics of Don Johnson style stubble in the new century.

Are the colors supposed to be more serious or something? Did they miss the part where you're going to be stuffing chocolate marbles in your mouth, trying to look adult and sophisticated while doing so is unlikely at best. Making the marbles blah colors doesn't make you look more mature, just like Trading Spaces got ahold of your candy. (But not Hilde, then you'd have feathered marbles...) I can see the overdecorated folks buying them because they "go" with their decor.

Besides, how could you make "adult" M&Ms without including a double helping of green ones? Heck, they even did a commercial a while back with the green M&M all tarted up acting like "she" charged by the hour. And that was for the G-rated version of the candy!

btw, Mars, if you are reading this and want to ship a box of these babies to a left coast tester, let me know. Until they show up on my shores, I'll wait to hear from a NY'er who has had them, but I remain unenthused.

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