Made in Cleveland: M&M Mars
By: Latricia Thomas
The secret behind the most popular letter in the league of candy can be found inside the Mars plant in Cleveland. To make the 300 tons of milk chocolate used to make these M&M's every day, 13 truck loads of sugar are pumped into the plant a week. So it's no surprise that the first thing you smell is chocolate. Employees call it a beautiful part of the job.
One machine molds the milk chocolate center of the 300 million M&M's made daily, including peanut, almond, peanut butter, milk chocolate, and specially flavored varieties. There are more than 2 miles of conveyers high above the plant, carrying the candy to the next part of the 16-hour process.
From cooling tunnels to huge drums where the first of dozens of sugar shell layers are applied, the candy makes its way through the plant. The color is built into the sugar, and then the extra layers add the crunch.
After a quick polish, it's time to blend the rainbow of candy into the perfectly mixed bag, worthy of any grocery store, movie theater or picky Mars employees. "We'll always go and pick up a bag of M&M's and see if they are made in Cleveland," technical site manager Ed Ward says. "If they are not made in Cleveland, they won't buy them."
So what makes an M&M so iconic, that "M" of course. But that process is so cool we can't even show you how they do it, creating the classic candy that's promised to melt in your mouth, not in your hand for three decades.
For more on Mars, click here to visit their website.
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