Who were M&M's originally invented for?
Answer: The Military
Who would've thought that the Spanish Civil War has anything to do with America's love for candy-coated chocolate? Believe it or not, the 1936 conflict helped inspire the idea for M&M candies.
It all began when Forrest Mars Sr. moved to England to make Mars bars for UK troops. Once there he noticed British soldiers eating small chocolate beads, encased in a hard sugar shell. In fact, the new candy was included in the military rations because it was able to withstand heat better than other chocolate in a day and age that lacked wide-spread air conditioning.
After observing this seemingly mundane characteristic of the candy, Forrest returned to the United States and got to work. Once home, he approached Bruce Murrie, the son of Hershey executive William Murrie, to help him with his new endeavor. Murrie was given a 20 percent stake in the M&M product, which was named to represent ‘Mars’ and ‘Murrie’, and in 1941 Mars was awarded a patent for his manufacturing process.
As timing would have it, the United States entered World War II on December 7 of that year after the attack on Pearl Harbor. At first, the candies were sold exclusively to the US military as they were generally heat resistant, easy to transport, and could be added to the soldier's rations. When the war ended, the GI's were hooked, and Mars made the treats available to the general public. Out of dire times came one of the most recognized sweets in both the United States and the World.