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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.

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


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.


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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    Post Comment

    • Digory LM profile image

      Digory LM 

      5 years ago

      Fun study. Thanks for the lens.

    • MariannesWhims profile image

      Marianne Gardner 

      5 years ago from Pacific NW, USA

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

    • CamelliaPenny profile image


      6 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


      6 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


      6 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 

      6 years ago

      love this study!

    • blessedmomto7 profile image


      6 years ago

      This would make a sweet homeschool lesson!

    • Sunflower Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Sunflower Susan 

      7 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 imageAUTHOR

      Sunflower Susan 

      7 years ago

      @goo2eyes lm: In a very tasty way.

    • yourselfempowered profile image

      Odille Rault 

      7 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 

      7 years ago

      m & m's can sate the hunger

    • Sunflower Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Sunflower Susan 

      7 years ago

      @TriviaChamp: Thanks so much, Riff!

    • JoleneBelmain profile image


      7 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 imageAUTHOR

      Sunflower Susan 

      7 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


      7 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:


      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


      7 years ago

      Fun! Blessed.

    • Sunflower Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Sunflower Susan 

      7 years ago

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

    • Sunflower Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Sunflower Susan 

      7 years ago

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

    • Sunflower Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Sunflower Susan 

      7 years ago

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

    • profile image


      7 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.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

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

    • Sunflower Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Sunflower Susan 

      7 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.

    • Sunflower Susan profile imageAUTHOR

      Sunflower Susan 

      7 years ago

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

    • profile image


      7 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


      7 years ago

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


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