Sometimes packaging can be the difference between the ordinary and the special.  M & Ms has learned this through the packaging of its candies in special holiday theme colors:  the pastels for Easter; red and white for Valentine’s Day; browns and oranges for fall; red and green for Christmas.

Customized M&Ms have been available online for several years, allowing people to purchase the candies in single or selected colors.  This has been a popular options for weddings, school spirit events, baby showers and other individual holidays.

Apparently the marketers at M&M/Mars decided that they should bring the single-color option to the stores instead of relying on web traffic.  There are now displays of “premium” M&Ms that dispense colors not found in the ordinary bags.

Unlike Jelly Bellies or other candies where a different color equates to a different flavor, all of the M&Ms taste the same.  The only difference is the color of the candy coating on the outside…

… and the price.  Premium M&Ms retail for $8.99/lb (56 cents/oz).  A bag of regular M&Ms sells for $2.60 (21 cents/oz).  Is it really worth more than twice as much to have a certain color?  Teal M&Ms may be worth it if you are hosting an Ovarian Cancer Research event, but not for a child’s birthday party.

Sometimes it is worth it to have that extra touch to make an event truly special.  At other times, the difference is imperceptible.  Think about the impact of the whole before you focus on the details.  

— beth triplett

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