Tuesday, June 24, 2008

M&Ms Premiums

M&Ms Premiums AssortmentWith a smidge of fanfare last month, M&Ms/Mars introduced their new M&Ms Premiums line. The inaugural product launch includes five flavor variations that are a delightful chocolate gem with a colorful outside and a rich scrumptious inside.

These are not to be confused with the Special Edition offerings M&Ms had last year which featured such combinations as Cherry Almondine, Vanilla Crisp, Orange Creme and a few others I can’t remember. Those sold for $6.00 in a bag that held less than 6 ounces. (That bag was also unremarkable, similar to packaging for the regular M&Ms.)

Instead the new Premiums have radically different packaging, jewel tone boxes and most of all, a new type of colored coating in iridescent and speckled shading.

M&Ms Premiums Packages

The packages are narrow and tall, with curved waists. They look rather modern, but more like they have some sort of grooming product in them or perhaps even feminine hygiene products. (All joking aside, it’s rather cute how the boxes have little feet at the back that keep them standing up.)

The flavor variety is at once classic and adventurous. They use white, milk and dark chocolate in the line, often in combination with a layered effect and the only nut present in their initial offerings is the almond.

Shell Comparison between regular M&Ms and M&Ms PremiumsBut the radical departure here for M&Ms is the loss of the crisp, candy shell. Instead these morsels have no sugar shell. They have a wash of mottled colors and then a confectionery glaze to seal it all in and give it a shine.

As comparison I picked up some regular M&Ms to contrast this. The standard Milk Chocolate M&M has a clearly delineated shell, created by coating the tumbling lentil several times with the sugar syrup which dries in layers and builds up the familiar crunch.

So what is this new covering? It can’t be described as a shell, instead it’s more like a skin. It’s made from colorings, a little dash of oil and confectionery glaze (which contains shellac, a natural product but probably not vegetarian) - so it’s rather like a coat of latex paint. It’s not exactly flavored, but dissolves quickly, but into rather unappealing waxy flakes.

The new Premiums are also bigger than regular M&Ms. If you’ve have the limited edition Mint Crisp or even the Razzberry or Wild Cherry, these are more that size. Fatter and slightly irregular.

Chocolate Almond M&Ms Premiums

Chocolate Almond M&Ms Premiums

This cobalt blue and dark blue speckled egg shaped candies are milk chocolate around an almond.

They’re really not that different from the M&Ms Almond or if the shell thing is a bother, then compare them to the Dove Chocolate Covered Almonds, because other than the coloring, that’s exactly what they are.

It’s milk chocolate and to be honest, I would have preferred dark, but I have to review what’s in front of me.

The almonds are rather puny, some are smaller than peanuts. But they’re fresh and the milk chocolate is sweet and consistent and the right proportion. I can do better for the price. (Trader Joe’s.)

Raspberry Almond M&Ms Premiums

Raspberry Almond M&Ms Premiums

If I was disappointed with the classic milk chocolate covered almond, I should have kept my mouth shut. Because the twist on that is the over-engineered and under-tasty combination of raspberry flavored white chocolate over almonds covered in dark chocolate.

They smell like lipgloss and look like fake fingernails.

The texture is quite smooth and creamy, the white and dark chocolate a velvety. The almonds are fresh and crunchy, but the raspberry flavor just goes and spoils it all. It’s that fragrant raspberry essence - all flash and no real depth. I had a bunch of these mixed together in a bowl and they just polluted all the other ones. (That’s a tip if you were planning on using these for an event ... do not mix the raspberry.)

Mocha M&Ms Premiums

Mocha M&Ms Premiums

This amber and bronze little beads are a milk chocolate base lightly flavored with coffee.

The milk chocolate is moderately smooth, a bit milky and tastes rather like a mocha with a light fudgy grain to it. They’re even slightly bitter.

I’ve always wanted coffee M&Ms. These are pretty good. Pretty pricey and probably much harder to find but a nice change of pace from plain chocolate.

Triple Chocolate M&Ms Premiums

Triple Chocolate M&Ms Premiums

This is where things get exciting for this new line.

The triple chocolate is not triple the size of the others, instead if offers the three different kinds of chocolate: milk, white an dark.

The dark outer layer is buttery smooth, only a slight bitter tinge. It’s pretty thin and gives way to the slightly salty and very sweet white coating. Then the center is the milk chocolate. Kind of typical milk, a little more on the dairy side that I recall regular M&Ms tasting.

I liked chewing them up, but they’re fun to let melt through the layers.

Mint Chocolate M&Ms Premiums

Mint Chocolate M&Ms Premiums

As a twist on the ordinary minted chocolate M&Ms that are available around the holidays, the Mint Chocolate Premiums have layers as well.

Here the center is white chocolate (and it’s real white chocolate with actual cocoa butter) and then a thinner dark chocolate coating, all in the crazy mottled green.

They’re fresh tasting, smooth and really enjoyable.

I have to say that after I got over the no-shell shock, I really liked the Mocha and Mint (and the Triple Chocolate were also nice). The pricing is far better than I expected for a product called Premiums. I picked up this set at Target for $3.99 per package. They’re six ounces inside a little reclosable cellophane pouch. They’re far less expensive than the 7 ounce packages of single color M&Ms that are sold on the M&Ms website for $7.99 a package.

These are likely to be popular with brides and other folks planning large parties. I can only hope that M&Ms will provide more efficient packaging for that purpose.

M&Ms are by no means the first to create this sort of product. Koppers Chocolates has been selling jewel-toned chocolate covered almonds (and these are huge almonds) for at least 18 months and little flavored unshelled chocolates called Savouries (I tried the cayenne one here) for years. Koppers has also been making Mocha Lentils & Mint Lentils at least since I was a kid. Madelaine’s Chocolate has also been marketing jewel looking Malted Milk Balls for a couple of years.

Related Candies

  1. Head to Head: M&Ms vs Koppers Milkies
  2. Naked Chocolate Maltballs
  3. York Mints
  4. Fairway NYC
  5. Head-to-Head: Smarties vs. M&Ms
Name: M&Ms Premiums
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Mars
Place Purchased: Target (Hollywood)
Price: $3.99
Size: 6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 162
Categories: Chocolate, White Chocolate, Nuts, Mint, Coffee, United States, Mars, M&Ms, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:58 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. thanks for the timely reviews, cybele!  i saw these over the weekend but decided to wait until i saw an overwhelmingly positive review or they went on sale, whichever came first smile  i will definitely try the mint and mocha varieties.

    Comment by ruffy- on 6/24/08 at 8:16 am #
  2. Ah yes, I saw these last week at Target and got a box of the Mocha.. I was amazed with how beautiful they looked when I opened the package….... I almost didn’t want to eat them they are so pretty. It was soooooo good the mocha. So good in fact, that I want to buy another flavor, thank you for warning me about the raspberry and almond ones, which I won’t be buying now. I think I will try the triple chocolate next smile

    Comment by Summers Love on 6/24/08 at 8:33 am #
  3. That is an impressive review.  Now I can’t decide which one to get.  I bet that these Premimum M&Ms;are going to popular as a wedding favor before too long.

    Comment by Elizabeth on 6/24/08 at 11:11 am #
  4. Top notch reviewing Cybele very insightful - ive been desperate to try these ever since you raised awareness about their existance from the Candy Expo…the mocha and triple choc intrest me the most…the mocha one especially..mmm coffee flavoured M&Ms;sounds likea great idea to me.



    Comment by Jim on 6/24/08 at 1:35 pm #
  5. I saw these in the store a few weeks ago and since I could not decide which to buy, did not get any. Now I know!

    I fell in love with them visually on the spot. They are soooo shiny and pretty. The magpie in me was delighted.

    Comment by KateC on 6/25/08 at 8:37 am #
  6. Wow - I didn’t even know they were coming out with these. They’re so pretty!

    The boxes look rather small though. How much do they sell for?

    Comment by Hillary on 6/25/08 at 8:50 am #
  7. I saw these last night at Target for the first time and fell in love with the look, but decided to wait to see if you reviewed them before buying. 

    Thank you for timing it so well!  I would have bought the raspberry ones out of hope and been disappointed.  Now I can go back and pick up the pretty purple ones. smile

    Comment by Maura on 6/25/08 at 9:11 am #
  8. Thank you Cybele for the wonderful photos and reviews on this amazing new M&Ms;offering! Im a huge M&M;fan so this is mega major news for me- I finally found them at Target too (the store with all the cool new choc) and WOW they are so great looking with the metallic and groovy colors- but im bummed theres no hard candy shell! Love the new flavors but its just not as fun to eat without the crunchy shell. Other than that the packaging is awesome, colors outstanding, and flavors rock- I posted pics on my blog too but yours are way better and closer! choc on!

    Comment by Chocoflyer on 6/26/08 at 12:22 pm #
  9. Hey,

    this edition looks amazing and I would love to see them in the German stores but I don`t think that this dream will come true *lol*

    I am a huge fan of ur blog and u are a inspiration for lots of candy bloggers!

    Comment by Franzi on 6/27/08 at 7:16 am #
  10. For anyone interested, King Soopers has these on sale for 2/$7, this week.  Not a fantastic deal, but $3.50 beats $5.  I actually enjoyed the Raspberry Almond and Triple Chocolate ones the most.

    Comment by Justin on 6/28/08 at 10:56 am #
  11. They look pretty.  Too bad they’re not vegetarian. :(

    Comment by Rita on 6/29/08 at 6:12 am #
  12. I bought the mocha ones at M&M;World last week in Vegas.  OMG!!!  I made my husband take them away from me so that I could have some after our plane landed.  Thanks for the review.  Can’t wait to find more around where I live or hop back on a plane and go to Vegas to stock up.

    Comment by Tammie on 7/01/08 at 3:10 pm #
  13. I saw these at the local Shaw’s Supermarket a few days ago, and I eagerly bought both the mint and the triple chocolate. I plan on trying the mocha next. I actually like that these don’t have the hard shell, because it’s easier to let them melt in your mouth. smile

    Comment by Becky on 7/05/08 at 9:26 am #
  14. Saw these in the supermarket and wanted to try them, but didn’t want to spend the money on a new product and be disappointed.  Also, couldn’t decide which flavor I wanted to try.  Read your review and decided to purchase the mocha and the triple chocolate.  Was a little reluctant to try the mocha at first because this particular flavor can oftentimes have a very artificial, displeasing taste.  I was very pleasantly surprised.  Loved the Mocha. I believe the Triple Chocolate flavor is OUTSTANDING as well.  I don’t mind at all that there is no candy shell - I’m into savoring the flavor.  If you’re going to chew these, you may as well buy something cheaper.  The fact that on the triple chocolate you get the bitter dark chocolate flavor first, then the white, then the milk chocolate - it is a veritable chocolate explosion in your mouth.  Quite impressed.  I believe Nestle used to make a candy bar called “Triple Decker” which had all 3 kinds of chocolate, dark, white & milk, but the bar was discontinued many years ago.  This brought back those fond memories.  Definitely worth a try!

    Comment by Lois Oliver on 7/17/08 at 4:43 am #
  15. Why I hate them:

    1) THE NAME ? it?s not a checking account

    2) THE PRICE POINT ? holy crap they’re $4.99!

    3) THE COLOR ? jewel / iridescent, food should not be metallic

    4) AGAIN, NO CANDY SHELL ? it would definitely melt in your hand

    5) THE PACK ? offensively geared towards women and shaped like a maxi pad

    Comment by Eliza Blank on 7/22/08 at 3:52 am #
  16. A colleague just brought these into the office and I’m impressed, intrigued and irreversibly hooked. Trying ... to ...stay ... away ...

    Comment by Bev Barnett on 7/24/08 at 10:20 am #
  17. I fell in love with the raspberry almond….sweet creamy with that wonderful chocolate taste that is not overpowered by the raspberry…..just perfect.

    Next I tried the Mocha….and it is another great flavor….I am going next week to try the other tow…these are well worth the extra $. 



    Comment by cheerz on 8/03/08 at 10:44 am #
  18. I just bought the triple choco… They are OK, but I wish I had purchased one of the other flavors.  I do miss the hard candy shell of a traditional M&M;.  :(  I want to try the mint ones next!  smile

    PS - I LOVE the metallic coloring.  SOOO PRETTY.

    Comment by J-Lo on 8/05/08 at 3:43 am #
  19. I tried the mint ones a while back. A bit too pricey for my liking and the lack of a shell freaked me out. Otherwise, not bad. I enjoyed the white chocolate center and certainly wouldn’t complain if they somehow decided to put it in the christmas ones.

    Comment by Dan on 8/25/08 at 4:25 am #
  20. Absolutely loved the triple chocolate. I completely agree with Lois Oliver; you have to keep the candy in your mouth and savor the taste. If you’re just going to chew on it, you’re better off buying the regular 99 cent bags.

    Definitely worth a try. I plan on tasting the other 4, too.

    Comment by Beatriz on 8/26/08 at 10:49 am #
  21. Hey girl,
    Loving this blog, I am a new reader as of last week and I can’t get enough.  I have added you to my own blog as a favorite so hopefully you will get some of my measly traffic!

    Anyway, I tried the almond M&Ms;and have to agree that I missed the typical candy shell crunch.  They are pleasant, but would have really benefitted from the classic candy shell.  Also, holy priceyness!  $3.50 for a small bag!?

    Keep up the good reviews!

    Comment by Casey on 9/08/08 at 5:02 am #
  22. Tried these (mocha-flavor) last night for the first time. They’re nothing but Dove chocolate morsels with the M&M;logo, fercryinoutloud! That’s not necessarily a bad thing, of course, but putting the M&M;logo on Dove chocolate is, in a way, a bit dishonest, isn’t it?

    Comment by Randeroo on 9/19/08 at 5:41 am #
  23. Thanks for this review - pretty pictures & clear info! You got me interested… I bet I won’t be able to keep my hands off thos mocha ones once I’ve tasted them! They sound supadupaDELICIOUS!!!

    Comment by Charlotte on 9/19/08 at 8:02 am #
  24. I have tried the mocha, mint and chocolate almond varieties and so far agree with your reviews.  I love the mint, like the mocha a lot, and the chocolate almond were average.  I hope to find the triple chocolate somewhere to give them a try, but since I generally hate raspberry flavoring, I can’t imagine that they would be to my liking anyhow.  Thanks for an excellent review!

    Comment by cappy on 9/20/08 at 4:37 am #
  25. I recently tried them and was disappointed.  The chocolate had what could best be described as a waxy quality to it.  Not worth the price, prefer the originals…

    Comment by Benji on 10/03/08 at 8:33 pm #
  26. WOW
    the triple chocolate m&ms;look relly good
    i have to check them out next time i see them @duane reade

    Comment by tusah on 10/06/08 at 12:26 pm #
  27. Well, I was in NYC recently on ‘vacation’ and ventured into a M&M;‘s World store off Times Square and came across these delightful chocs. A guys was dishing out tasters of the Raspberry Almond variety and I loved them so much that not only did i purchase some for the mate feeding my pets in my absence, but also for myself!!!  Yum! Totally disagree with the comments about this particular flavour.  Also, tried the Mocha variety and was not impressed at all.  BORING is the word I come up with for this flavour. Mocha flavour very fake and just so not worth the $... However, everybody has individual taste/opinion so up to you to make your choice on preference.  But good fun trying them all!!!  smile

    Comment by Claire N. on 10/07/08 at 11:44 am #
  28. I’m sorry, I won’t even try theim! They put way too much money in the packaging making the price too high…
    I am a lover of M&M;‘s for the last 50 years and I’d rather eat a large bag of m&m;‘s for the same price as that very small quanity that comes in that pretty box…
    Not worth it to me…
    Happy with the taste of the originals.

    Comment by Bunny on 10/10/08 at 11:22 pm #
  29. I stumbled across Target’s after Christmas sale section which had the M&M;Premium Mint Chocolate 75% off the original price.  I decided to try these out since they only cost me $0.87 for 6 oz & I would have to say, this would have to be one of the best way to spend $1! I love love love the taste and the coolness it leaves the mouth.  Now, I have to go back & purchase the rest of them!

    Comment by Debbie on 12/31/08 at 2:36 pm #
  30. I was afraid to by the candy since it costs so much money.  I saw the candy at the discontinued rack at Safeway for $2.99 and decided not to purchase them.  I saw them again at Big Lots at $2.30. I said to myself that I should buy one now because eventually the candy won’t be available anywhere and then I will never get the chance.  The cashier rung up the candy and it came up at $0.23, even though the sticker said $2.30.  The cashier went to her supervisor, and the supervisor said the price was correct.  I went back and bought all the remaining candies.

    Comment by john on 4/05/09 at 1:07 pm #
  31. i love the triple chocolate, i tried it for the first time on saturday i got them from stater brothers and they were on clearance for $1.99 i thought that was alittle high, but what they heck I LOVED THEM, i just walked over to rite aid and purchased 2 packs for $4.49 each; okay so i need to where is that big lots that john went to grin)

    Comment by vikki reyes on 8/17/09 at 11:53 am #
  32. I used to love M&M’s. Then I tried 72% dark chocolate. I was hooked - and after that, M&M’s just tasted like - sugar.

    The dark chocolate premium M&M’s are the only ones I now like as much as the 72% dark chocolate I crave. It doesn’t mean that I think M&M’s are low brow. They just don’t appeal to me any more. These do!

    Comment by Elaine on 1/01/10 at 4:35 pm #
  33. I saw these for the first time a while ago and picked up the mocha ones. Ever since that I’ve been hooked and I grab a box of mocha every time I end up passing them in a store. Haven’t even bothered with any other flavors since the only other one that really interests me is the triple chocolate. Still the mocha is so good that I’d rather just stick with that.

    Comment by icom14 on 1/28/10 at 7:47 pm #
  34. I recently bought the Triple Chocolate and was not disappointed. They are so delicious! Just the other day, went to Walgreens, who has the 6 oz. Mint Chocolate on sale for $1.09 and bought 2 boxes. So delicious as well! I have to get my hand on the other flavors; especially the Chocolate Almond. These are by far better than the original M&M’s. I like how the Premiums just melt in your mouth and don’t have the crunchy outer shell.

    Comment by Janet on 3/18/10 at 7:12 am #
  35. I seems I’m behind the times in discovering these morsels. In Canada, the boxes are square & tiny (1.2 oz/34g) for a buck.  I tried the dark chocolate - they actually don’t taste very chocolatey so for a dark chocolate lover, probably a fail.  However, the tri-chocolate were surprisingly good (and I typically don’t care for white or milk choc).

    I like the lack of shell.  I hope to see mint & capp flavors soon.

    Incidentally, when M&M’s sold out to Mars, their dark chocolate M&M’s (the regular ones) decreased in flavor and texture quality.  Not a good mark for Mars.

    Comment by Elzee on 5/28/10 at 9:13 am #
  36. Are these discontinued?  I can’t find them in the stores anymore :(

    Comment by Reese on 7/01/10 at 6:07 pm #
  37. Do not worry, these candies still have the “m” used on the candy shells on the standard versions. I’m not sure where they are, they are all probably discontinued.

    Comment by ElmoAttack on 11/02/11 at 4:24 am #
  38. Hello - what happened to these candies!  I fell in love with the triple chocolate premiums, but I found them at Big Lots - were they discontinued?  Now that I know about the, I’d like to try the others as well smile)) thanks!

    Comment by dee grant on 11/09/11 at 6:40 pm #
  39. Why,why,why are there STILL no sugar-free M&Ms;? Honestly I just don’t see why this can’t be accomplished! What kind of rocket science is required to attain such a simple product?

    Comment by Gary Landone on 3/03/12 at 1:27 pm #
  40. Wow, Eliza you must be the top feminist in the world. Offensive package to women? Get over yourself.

    Comment by SRSLY? on 12/09/15 at 2:25 pm #
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