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HoustonChronicle.com -- http://www.HoustonChronicle.com | Section: Business

Jan. 29, 2002, 2:04AM

Colorful candidates

Vote planned on new hue for M&M's

Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. -- Seven years after blue became a part of its chocolate rainbow, the maker of M&M's wants the world to decide on a new color from choices the Easter bunny might like.

The maker of the multicolored chocolate candies will add either purple, pink or aqua M&M's to the mix by August, said Bob Gamgort, vice president and general manager of chocolate for Hackettstown, N.J.-based Masterfoods USA.

The company's market research shows that these three colors are consumers' top choices to add to the red, green, blue, yellow, brown and orange candies already in the bags, Gamgort said. Purple was the second choice of 10 million Americans who voted to have blue replace tan in the candy box in 1995, he said.

Masterfoods said it was advertising in 78 countries and taking votes on its Web site to decide what the new color will be.

The site and a toll-free telephone number, 877-MM-GLOBE, will take votes from March 6 to May 31, and the company will announce the winning color on June 19. The site will let consumers vote in 15 languages.

Gamgort said the new color will be available in all flavors of M&M's in August through year's end, when the company will decide whether to include it permanently. The company introduced the color blue in the same way.

The original colors of M&M's were red, yellow, green, brown, orange and violet when they were introduced in 1941. In 1949 the color tan replaced violet, and blue replaced tan in 1995. This time, all the existing colors will remain, the company said.

-- Cherri (jessam5@home.com), January 29, 2002


Voted for aqua.

-- Carlos (riffraff@cybertime.net), January 29, 2002.

Purple. :)

-- Stephen M. Poole (smpoole7@bellsouth.net), January 29, 2002.

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