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Percent of Color in M&M Bags

Updated on November 15, 2011

How Many of Each Color Are In the Bag?

We set out to solve this intriguing question.

And you can participate in this 'scientific' experiment, adding your real world knowledge to what, undoubtedly, will become one of those eternal questions we all ask such as, "How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll lollipop?"

We encourage you to go out into the big world and buy yourself or your beloveds a bag of M&Ms, sit down in a nice comfy spot, tear the bag open, sort them into color, and resist immediate consumption for the good of all humanity.

The Thinker
The Thinker

The Origins and Genetics of this Epic Journey

One day, I was minding my own business when I was suddenly confronted with an outlandish claim for the percentage of blue M&Ms in a bag of the notorious candies.

This led to much discussion between friends over the next couple of weeks, and yet we did not pursue debunking the figures I had seen.

Until yesterday when, on the way past a Dollar General store, doing errands, we got an insatiable craving for M&Ms which were at a pretty darn good deal that day.

Upon arrival at our destination we took the time to sit at a table in the shade and proceeded to do intensive investigation concerning this matter.

I am pleased to report that the first of many gatherings of data are going to be reported in this lens. I am hoping that if all of America pulls together, we can answer this burning question, once and for all.

What percentage of blue M&Ms actually is delivered in the final packaging that the global population receives?

Plain or Peanut? That Is the Question.

Plain or Peanut
Plain or Peanut

Well, the 'other' question, anyhow.

Do you prefer the smoothness of plain, or the crunch of peanut?

See results

If only the whole world saw things my way, the universe would be at peace. Here is why plain, peanut, or "Give me both lest I die!" is the only serious choice.

Why Is Your Choice the Only Logical One?

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    • profile image

      MBCOnline 4 years ago

      I like the plain ones because I can separate the shell from the chocolate. I like the peanut and the pretzel because of the sweet/salty combination. I like the peanut butter because, well, peanut butter is awesome! If there are any other flavors out there that I haven't tried, I'm sure I like them, too!

    • happy-birthday profile image

      Birthday Wishes 4 years ago from Here

      I prefer the ones with the peanuts, but I love to eat them both!

    • CamelliaPenny profile image

      Perrin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      I love he plain ones, because you can really taste he chocolate. The peanut ones are mostly peanut with a thin, candy shell. To me, you have to just really like peanuts if you go for the peanut ones. Peanuts are fine with me, and I will eat peanut M&M's, but plain chocolate are the best!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: heeeeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyy ssssssseeeeeeeeeexqyyyyy lady ooooo opa gangman style

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @JoleneBelmain: hey sexy lady ooooo opa gangman style

    • mojoCNYartist profile image

      Dan 5 years ago from CNY

      I prefer the crunchy M&M's vs the plainer chocolate ones. Peanut Butter is my fave though. So did you ever find out the percentages of colour in a bag?

    • profile image

      ScrollSawChuck 5 years ago

      I'll take the peanut because I get the health benefits of the peanut and the chocolate which fulfils my gobbling obligation in two of the food groups for the day...I think.

    • profile image

      poutine 5 years ago

      I take them all.

    • BruceBuss profile image

      BruceBuss 5 years ago

      Peanut is good but I always prefer plain.

    • profile image

      MintySea 5 years ago

      I will take plain or peanuty, any color :-)

    • yourselfempowered profile image

      Odille Rault 5 years ago from Gloucester

      Plain is too ... well, plain. Peanut is more...peanutty. And I like peanuts! :)

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      peanut flavor has more taste

    • profile image

      jseven lm 5 years ago

      I would like them with pecans in them! Lol, good lens.

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      food monkey 5 years ago

      I them all! I guess if I were to pick a favorite it would be peanut :)

    • JanezKranjski profile image

      JanezKranjski 5 years ago

      I like M&M's the way I like people - in all kind of colors.

    • JoleneBelmain profile image

      JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

      I don't like the way the plain ones taste... but the peanut ones??? OMG!!! So good :)

    • LNAngel profile image

      Lauren 5 years ago from Florida

      Prefer peanut vs. plain, but given a Peanut Butter option, I'd take that every time!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Peanut gives me more to do in my mouth.

    • ViJuvenate profile image

      ViJuvenate 5 years ago

      Depends on what mood I am in. Sometimes I like plain and sometimes peanut. Both are great!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Its all for the good of humanity!

    • LabKittyDesign profile image

      LabKittyDesign 6 years ago

      Yay Science!

    • sushilkin lm profile image

      sushilkin lm 6 years ago

      Nice Lens Thanks for sharing

    • jasminesphotogr profile image

      jasminesphotogr 6 years ago

      Out of your choices, I like plain. But peanut butter M&Ms are the best. :)

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 6 years ago

      Yes.... anything with chocolate! I love them with or without the peanuts.

    • Sunflower Susan profile image
      Author

      Sunflower Susan 6 years ago

      Because chocolate of any kind is high on my list of priorities.

    Our Results

    June 4, 2011. Large bag. Peanut. 178 total candies.

    8.99% brown

    9.55% red

    17.98% blue

    19.66% orange

    21.91% yellow

    21.91% green

    October 16, 2011. Small bag. Peanut Butter. 27 total candies. (Thanks, Aquavel!)

    7.4% black

    11.1% yellow

    22.2% red

    22.2% orange

    22.2% green

    22.2% blue

    November 11, 2011. Medium bag. Plain. 409 total candies.

    10.02% yellow

    11.49% green

    12.96% brown

    13.69% red

    24.69% blue

    27.14% orange

    Colors
    Colors

    How to Contribute to this Worthwhile Study.

    1. Purchase a bag, be it small, large, plain, peanut or other.

    2. Find someone you love to share the experience with, or set up a distraction for them so they can't eat any of the data.

    3. Open the bag.

    4. Pour them all out.

    5. Eat the fragments. If one is whole but just has a chip off, don't eat that, but anything less than about 75% whole doesn't count.

    6. Count the entire number and record the total.

    7. Sort them into piles by color.

    8. Count each color and record the data.

    9. To find the percentage that each color is of the whole, get a calculator.

    10. Divide the number of a color by the total of all the candies, then multiply that by 100. round off the result to two decimal places.

    For example - in our bag we had 178 total whole candies. There were 16 brown. So the formula is this. 16 divided by 178 (0.0898876), then multiplied by 100 (8.98876), then rounded off to become the final percentage which is 8.99%.

    Please post your results below, recording the type of M&M you purchases, the total number of whole candies, and the percentage of each color in the bag.

    Date.

    Size Bag.

    Type of Candy.

    Total number of Candies.

    Percentages by candy color.

    Go. Save the world.

    Excellent! Aquavel, has gone bananas with her peanut butter M&Ms. This is important news! Go give her a huge thanks for being an M&M hero at Going Bananas!

    Your Results - Enter Them Here. - These will occassionally be combined with others to average the data.

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      • Digory LM profile image

        Digory LM 4 years ago

        Fun study. Thanks for the lens.

      • MariannesWhims profile image

        Marianne Gardner 4 years ago from Pacific NW, USA

        Clever idea for a lighthearted lens. What a happy assignment, especially for kids learning percents.

      • CamelliaPenny profile image

        Perrin 4 years ago from South Carolina

        *Sigh* I hate to admit it, but I just ate THREE Fun-Size Bags. Darn Halloween!!! Anyway, here are my results, bag by bag.

        Bag 1 - fun size - Plain - 18 candies

        5 blue (27%), 4 green (22%), 4 orange, (22%), 2 red (11%), 2 yellow (11%), 1 brown (5%)

        Bag 2 - fun size - Plain - 19 candies

        5 green(26%), 4 red (21%), 3 blue (15%), 3 yellow (15%), 3 brown (15%), and 1 orange (5%)

        Bag 3 - fun size - plain - 18 candies

        5 yellow (27%), 4 red (22%), 4 orange (22%), 2 blue (11%), 2 brown (11%), and 1 green (5%).

      • CamelliaPenny profile image

        Perrin 4 years ago from South Carolina

        I love plain M&M's, and I always have to separate them into color groups when I eat them . . . I'm compulsive about it! Soooo . . . I really love your lens and plan to participate in your study!!

      • EbooksFreeWeekl1 profile image

        EbooksFreeWeekl1 5 years ago

        This is the kind of thing I don't think about until it's brought up and is very interesting. You are obviously good with research! Cool lens.

      • brycecollins lm profile image

        brycecollins lm 5 years ago

        love this study!

      • blessedmomto7 profile image

        blessedmomto7 5 years ago

        This would make a sweet homeschool lesson!

      • Sunflower Susan profile image
        Author

        Sunflower Susan 5 years ago

        @yourselfempowered: The world waits breathlessly for your chocolatey results. Actually... you bring up a very interesting question! I bet they have people in lab coats holding clipboards taking fervent notes on color preferences between cultures. They study EVERYthing in the name of the dollar, or pound? LOL

      • Sunflower Susan profile image
        Author

        Sunflower Susan 5 years ago

        @goo2eyes lm: In a very tasty way.

      • yourselfempowered profile image

        Odille Rault 5 years ago from Gloucester

        Oh, I LOVE this lens!! And I can't wait for tomorrow to go buy a bag of M & M's to contribute to this remarkable study! I wonder if there's any difference between the contents of the bags you get in the US, and the ones we get here.....

      • goo2eyes lm profile image

        goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

        m & m's can sate the hunger

      • Sunflower Susan profile image
        Author

        Sunflower Susan 5 years ago

        @TriviaChamp: Thanks so much, Riff!

      • JoleneBelmain profile image

        JoleneBelmain 5 years ago

        Very original lens... I personally like the peanut ones (never cared for the original ones) but since they've come out with the pretzel ones, they are pretty good as well.

      • Sunflower Susan profile image
        Author

        Sunflower Susan 5 years ago

        @Aquavel: Very interesting discovery, Aquavel! Perhaps they thought it would be redundant... or there is something more sinister afoot. We will keep an eye on this development.

      • Aquavel profile image

        Aquavel 5 years ago

        My sister and I have had a lifelong passion for M&Ms. In the old days, our favorites were the rare red ones, but now, of course, it's the blue ones that are extra special.

        I bought a small bag earlier today. I'm opening it now. Here's the breakdown:

        10/16/2011

        1.63 oz. 46.2 g

        Peanut Butter M&MS

        Total: 27 candies

        3 Y (11.1%), 6 R (22.2%), 4 Or.(22.2%) 6 Gr.(22.2%), 6 Blue (22.2%), 2 Black (7.4%) ~What I learned from this process is: Peanut Butter M&Ms have no yellow or tan/brown colors in the bag. At least my bag didn't.

      • TriviaChamp profile image

        TriviaChamp 5 years ago

        Fun! Blessed.

      • Sunflower Susan profile image
        Author

        Sunflower Susan 5 years ago

        @JoleneBelmain: I'm having a hard time getting excited about those pretzel ones... seems dry...

      • Sunflower Susan profile image
        Author

        Sunflower Susan 5 years ago

        @anonymous: I did check it out and squid-liked it!

      • Sunflower Susan profile image
        Author

        Sunflower Susan 5 years ago

        @JoshK47: I and all of my descendants will be forever and humbly grateful.

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        anonymous 5 years ago

        glad I browsed into your lens, really cool topic and liked the poll questions. If you like to browse lens too, mine has a great educational topic with poll questions for my readers to enjoy.

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        JoshK47 5 years ago

        Very interesting... I may need to go get some M&M's... for science, and all.

      • Sunflower Susan profile image
        Author

        Sunflower Susan 5 years ago

        @anonymous: I was going to add our latest batch from a month or so ago, but my precious child had deleted the recorded numbers from his iphone. Guess we'll have to suffer through a do-over.

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        Author

        Sunflower Susan 5 years ago

        @ideadesigns: Just remember, your sacrifice will be for the greater good!

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        anonymous 5 years ago

        Hmmm, I know its for the good of humanity and I do feel like I'm letting the whole wide world down but I'm just too tired to run to the store right now but will promise to count M&Ms in my sleep instead of sheep. I think there should be more red ones, can't believe there were more green than red by such a big gap, I'll have to research this myself!

      • profile image

        ideadesigns 5 years ago

        You sure know how to make this fun! I need to get me a bag of mm's.