Mars has introduced its first new M&M character in more than a decade. The new purple “spokescandy” is a peanut M&M designed to represent acceptance and inclusivity, the brand’s parent company Mars said in a press release.
Purple joins the company’s other characters, Red, Yellow, Green, Brown, Orange and Blue, who recently got updated looks and new personalities earlier this year.
The character’s “charm and quirky nature” come from her “keen self-awareness, authenticity and confidence,” Mars said.
When Mars redesigned its M&M characters in January, Green’s transformation stood out – she no longer had her original white heeled go-go boots, but instead “cool, laid-back sneakers to reflect her effortless confidence.”
The change came after Mars received criticism for Green’s sexy characterization and said she would now represent “confidence and empowerment, as a strong female, and known for much more than her boots.”
The company also changed the backstory to Green and Brown, the two women M&Ms. They now have a more friendly relationship, showcasing a “force supporting women.”
Mars originally added purple M&Ms to the batch 20 years ago, after a poll found fans preferred purple to other potential M&M colors, according to the Associated Press. Purple took home 41%, beating out aqua and pink. Purple was available from August 2022 through the end of the year, but the company ultimately decided not to include it permanently.
The blue M&M was introduced the same way in 1995 – but that color stuck, the AP reports.
It looks like Purple has found her way into hearts – and candy bags – again. “There is so much about our new spokescandy that people can relate to and appreciate, including her willingness to embrace her true self – our new character reminds us to celebrate what makes us unique,” said Mars Wrigley Global Vice President Jane Hwang in a statement. “Our purpose story is just getting started and the introduction of our newest M&M’S spokescandy is the next chapter, as the brand continues to delight fans with fun in a way only M&M’S can.”
In announcing Purple, Mars put out an ad with the character singing an original song, “I’m Just Gonna Be Me.” The song features four real-life artists: saxophonist Grace Kelly, dancers and choreographers Devin Santiago and Colo Cag, and opera singer Anthony Roth Costanzo.
Mars also launched M&M’S FUNd, with a mission of increasing a sense of belonging for 10 million people by 2025. One dollar from every stream of “I’m Just Gonna Be Me” will be donated to Sing for Hope, a nonprofit that uses arts “to bring hope, connection and purpose to millions of people around the world through music,” Mars said.