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M&Ms; Launches Explosion Of Color Candy Maker Adding 18 Colors To Its Sweet Spectrum

Blue M&Ms; were just the beginning. Get ready for gold, silver, teal and purple.

M&M-Mars; is expanding its 56-year-old candy line to include 18 new colors that cross the spectrum.

The old standards - red, green, yellow, brown, orange and the relatively new blue - will compete with the likes of white and black, pink and maroon, aqua and light yellow.

“Color has been so integral in M&Ms;’ life span, and consumers love color,” said Marlene Machut, a spokeswoman for the Hackettstown, N.J.-based candy maker. “We felt this was the right time to come out with this.”

The new colors, however, will be sold only in specialty stores in 26 markets from Denver to the East Coast. The M&Ms;, which come in the plain chocolate variety, will not be sold in individual packages but rather by weight.

FAO Schweetz in Chicago, owned by toy store FAO Schwarz, carries the new colors, and other stores should have them in stock over the next two weeks, Machut said.

Supermarkets will not carry the new colors for now.

“This is a test in terms of this creative batch of colors,” said Machut, adding that the reaction will determine which colors may be included later in regular packages.

The traditional M&M; mix remained unchanged from 1949 until the blue debut 1-1/2 years ago except for a decade-long leave of absence by red, removed in 1976 because of what the company called misplaced concern over the food dye. Red returned in 1987.