Red M&M’s Almost Disappeared Forever

All right now.
All right now. Photo: Morstan/flickr

It took the “heroic efforts” of a Tennessee college student named Paul Hethmon to get Mars to reintroduce red M&M;’s after they were removed from the market for nine years starting in the 1970s, over health concerns related to Red No. 2. Mars used Red No. 40 in its factories, but pulled the candy color to preempt any customer confusion that might arise. Hethmon’s campaign resulted in thousands of letters written in solidarity with the color, and by the time the health scare subsided, Mars sent him a letter telling him he was among the “first to receive the news” that red was coming back. The company rewarded him with a coupon for a free bag. [Priceonomics]