DFHC 12/28/2011

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Ask Cool Daddy gets M&M’d

Dear Cool Daddy: I might be crazy, but didn’t red M&Ms disappear for a while, then return…do you know the story behind this confectionary conundrum?  …from Mindy in Montauk

Dear Mindy: Comes to that, we all might be crazy…but you’re right, Red did go bye-bye for a bit…here an AP blurb explaining it from 1976…

Notice 3 strikes you’re out for the morons at Mars Candy: (1) Red Dye #2 wasn’t confirmed as a carcinogen….(2) red M&Ms weren’t made with Red Dye #2…and (3) “you can’t please everyone?” Of course you can: just make bags with and without Reds…give the people a choice!

Reminds me of Crayola in 1995, replacing  lemon, linme, peach, strawberry, cherry, chocolate, and other “food” smells in their Magic Scent crayon assortment with cedar chest, shampoo, new car, baby, powder, fresh air, even smoke (!!)…on the grounds that kids might eat the food-smelling crayons, which in any event are non-toxic to start with. But when asked how many cases of that happening were they actually aware of, they admitted…none. Morons. Anyhow, as you can see by Xmas 1977, Reds were out of the picture…

But notice the old tradition of using food to decorate the tree…I don’t see that too much anymore…well, maybe candy canes, but hardly anybody strings popcorn or cranberries as a general rule. And how about making hot chocolate with M&Ms in the blender…snazzy! So forward in time to 1985, and the morons have their “Coca Cola Classic” moment…maybe we can bring Reds back under the guise of special Christmas candies…And so they did, taking added pains to make it clear that these weren’t actually M&Ms, but merely “from the Makers of M&Ms.”

“Holidays” were a hit, and the trade dress evolved faster than the latest retrovirus…from Holidays on the bottom, to Holidays on the top, transitioning from solid color to white fronts, then adding M&Ms prominently above Holidays…

…to finally a very attractive diamond-shaped design…then in 1994, they’re not Holidays anymore, but full-fledged M&Ms.

And as per the plan, the Reds were quietly snuck back into the regular mixture in 1987, not to mention the new Blues a decade later. The other major branch of the Holidays family was the Easter pastels, undergoing a similar evolution…

Others were tried too, like Valentines, Hallowe’en (or “Harvest”) …even the 4th of July. But in time, marketing shifted from differently branded varieties to “line extensions” of the tried and true core product…and so it is today. Even M&M “Minis” and “Premiums” are still M&Ms…

Wicked Ballsy

But speaking of “differently branded varieties,” anybody remember “Royals”…as I recall, they were quite tasty, introduced in 1980…eventually morphing into “regular” mint M&Ms…

shameless P&L&U&Gs...

Podcasts at http://stolfpod.podbean.com  and   http://thewholething.podbean.com

Deep Fried Hoods Cups Daily Blog:    https://deepfriedhoodsiecups.wordpress.com/

Other Daily Blog at http://stolf.wordpress.com  (the legendary Stolf’s Blog)

More bloggage at  http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com  and  http://www.examiner.com/retro-pop-culture-in-watertown/mark-john-astolfi

Updated Resume at http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com/p/resume.html

Audio samples at  http://stolfspots.podbean.com

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