The folks at Mars Wrigley have introduced a new M&M’s ‘spokescandy’, a purple peanut M&M the company says is “designed to represent acceptance and inclusivity”.
Now before I go on, let me first say that I fully realize that in today’s world rife with war, violence, hyperinflation, and bigotry, this issue falls low on the importance scale, somewhere just above wearing black knee socks with shorts and sandals. But the company continues to be so tone-deaf, I need to vent.
The Mars Wrigley company is not particularly friendly to the food allergy community. The behemoth churns out tons of candy that contain or may be exposed to Top 9 allergens while providing little in the way of products that are safe for individuals with specific food allergies.
Back in 2017, a representative of Mars contacted us at SnackSafely.com to inquire about advertising their Dove chocolate line in our family of Safe Snack Guides. We informed them that we only allow food products to be advertised after they’ve gone through our vigorous process of vetting how they are manufactured with respect to the 11 allergens we track. Mars balked at our requirements and we had to turn them away.
So announcing this new mascot, it’s not surprising the company has no clue what inclusivity means.
Said Jane Hwang, Global Vice President at Mars Wrigley in a recent press release:
Mars is thrilled to debut the newest member of the M&M’S cast of characters to the world. 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. 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.
While we are all for corporations spreading the message of awareness and acceptance, the company’s concept of inclusivity falls short of the mark.
When we talk inclusivity with regard to food products, we understand this to mean allergy-friendly, allowing as many people as possible can be included, even those with food allergies and celiac disease.
But to introduce a character that purports to embody inclusivity — and a peanut M&M to boot — is emblematic of a company that pays lip service to inclusivity while missing the point.
What do you think about Mars Wrigley’s new marketing effort? Sound off below.