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Upgrade/Downgrade: Darth M&Ms

by Nanc filed under blog on April 15, 2005 01:49 PM

Taking my cue (okay - actually stealing the idea) from Best Week Ever, I'm going to start regularly posting 'Upgrade/Downgrade' reviews every Friday. These will totally be of my own, not-so-humble opinions perhaps with a little help from my friends.

The premier issue? Dark chocolate M&Ms

M&Ms/Mars® finally came out with dark chocolate M&Ms after much of my quiet pleading for this product. Okay so I probably had little to nothing to do with it, but it can't just be a coincidence, right?

This candy's introduction into our world rides on the v. clever coattails of another great product: Star Wars®. (® specifically placed so I don't get attacked by Ewoks or lawyers.) I can't imagine the number of marketing folks that had to lose their souls to come up with this bit of genius. And I mean genius! Darth Chocolates. The Chocolate Mpire!? It's pure marketing gold, um... well, chocolate, which is sometimes better than gold.

More than just good advertising, this is a wondrous merger of brands. Oh, sure - it reeks of ET® and Reeses Pieces. (Was Lucas jealous of Stevie's candy exploits? Hmmm?) But it's better planned and really quite brilliant. (And I'm certain that it was quite a bit pricier for Mars than Hershey's deal in '82.)

Not only does this marketing agenda (Oh, yes - this IS an agenda. Don't be fooled.) give attention to the new candy-coated sweet, but it incorporates and rejuvenates the milk chocolate morsels, too. Each flavor is produced in new and exciting colors: Jedi colors are light and earthy (although I'm not certain what 'Chewbaca Tan' is?), while the Sith colors are dark and moody (the names, like Maul, Dooku, and Grievous, may make you rethink putting them in your mouth).

Some of it is a bit irksome. On their website, you're asked to choose between the Sith (dark chocolate) side and the Jedi (milk chocolate) side. Now is this mere chocolate preference or morality? If I go out and maim someone, can I claim temporary insanity from eating Sith chocolates? Will children (and some mentally challenged adults) get confused and learn poor values from liking dark chocolate? Troubling, no?

And then there's the issue of "dark" chocolate. (And no, it doesn't always gotta be a "dark" thing, but this time it is.) Apparently Mars® and most Americans consider semi-sweet to be dark chocolate, where as Europeans (and many dark chocolate lovers I know) prefer bittersweet as their dark chocolate fodder.

What am I bitching about? Nothing, really. Only that the plain dark chocolate M&Ms taste like candy-coated chocolate chips. Which is okay (yeah, I still gobbled 'em up like a greedy bastard), but it's no 'dark chocolate' in my book. The more alert of you will have noticed that I was pretty specific right there: the plain M&Ms taste "eh", but the peanut dark chocolate M&Ms? - Yum.Me!

"So blah, blah, blah. What's my verdict?" you ask? Well, instead of getting snippy with me you could've gone out and bought a bag already, Mr. or Ms. SnarkyPants! Sheesh. My thoughts on Dark/Darth Chocolate M&Ms:


the Force is strong with that one

Bonus comments:
When you start promoting the dark side, things may start going wrong. Evil begets evil; sith begets sith. See that freakish "M" in the pic? That's just not natural. Who was working quality control that day, Jar Jar?!

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read comments

Hi, this blog has been upgraded, but I'm leaving the old pages online until the search engines catch up. If you want to join the discussion, this may be the page you're looking for on the new site.

Posted by: Pamelalala on April 15, 2005 04:05 PM

I agree with you completely! Not a true dark chocolate but still scarfin' good! Thanks for sharing them!

(E-bay! E-bay! E-bay! E-bay!)

Posted by: WackedEbayBidder on April 15, 2005 04:20 PM

I am VERY interested in the RARE M&M you have in your posession. Might we discuss -offline of course- terms for transferring said "M&M" to my posession? You could find the deal financially lucrative.

Mr B

Posted by: Jennifer on April 15, 2005 04:28 PM

Said "Dark M&Ms" are difficult to locate in the Western World (Fort Worth). I am relentlessly searching various Targets to locate a replenishable source.

In the meantime, I'll be coveting my one bag given to me as a gift.

Will you name your source?

Posted by: Nanc on April 15, 2005 04:36 PM

I gain no power from hiding my source (only weight - ugh). First I could only find smaller bags at Toys 'R' Us, but yesterday I found big bags (and the peanut ones) at Tom Thumb groceries.

Good luck and may the farce, er... force be with you.

Posted by: Aubyn on April 15, 2005 04:49 PM

I prefer the Jedi variety personally but i do agree that the dark choclates are not quite dark-so there is time to save them still

Posted by: Beth on May 21, 2005 06:08 AM

Lovin' these "dark" chocolate M&Ms... and I think you're right. The plain dark ones taste more like semi-sweet, but I think the peanut ones do have a more bitter flavor and just may qualify.... at least the bags I'm currently scarfing seem to have different chocolate qualities. Do you agree?

Posted by: Beth on May 21, 2005 06:09 AM

By the way, KMart was my source of purchase... I got the big bags of both plain and peanut.

Posted by: Gail on July 1, 2006 01:31 PM

They're Back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dark Chocolate M&M's have appeared in my BJ's (food club) store. They are in a purple XXL bag. The pieces are regular size and colors rather than the Darth colors. I've been hoarding my stash of dark M&M's since last fall's promotion. Now I can enjoy them a little more frequently.

Posted by: yvette on July 17, 2006 02:55 PM

I had been searching and pleading with M&M company to bring back the Dark M&M's too!...I still have not been able to find in my immediate area (Metropolitan Chicago)...if anyone out there finds them around here, please post! : )

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