M&M's are colorful button-shaped chocolates, each of which has the letter "m" printed in lower case in white on one side.
The original candy has a semi-sweet chocolate filling, although other variations exist. Peanut M&M's, which consist of a peanut coated in milk chocolate, were the first variation to be introduced. Numerous other variations use ingredients such as peanut butter, almond, pretzel, crispy, dark chocolate, and caramel. Some of these variations are limited in geographic availability.
The candy originated in the United States in 1941 and M&M's have been sold in over 100 countries since 2003. They are produced in different colors, some of which have changed over the years.
The candy-coated chocolate concept was inspired by a method used to allow soldiers in the Spanish Civil War to carry chocolate in warm climates without melting. The company's slogan reflects this: "Melts in your mouth, not in your hand."