Hoping to take the nation’s mind off the bitter divisiveness of election season by giving them something else to fight about, back in April, Mars launched a contest asking the American people to vote on adding a new, permanent flavor of M&M. The populace was presented with three M&M “candidates”—Chili Nut, Honey Nut, and Coffee Nut—whose superficial differences masked the truth that, deep down, they were really all the same. Nevertheless, we were asked to go through the motions of choosing among them, knowing that otherwise, we would one day have to look our children in their sweet, dumb faces and explain why they’re living under the tyranny of weird-tasting candy. And so America voted, and America chose Coffee Nut.
Beginning in August, Coffee Nut M&Ms will officially take their place on the drugstore shelf of history, alongside fellow stalwarts and itinerants such as Regular M&Ms, Peanut M&Ms, Peanut Butter M&Ms, Crispy M&Ms, Dark Mint M&Ms, Pretzel M&Ms, Steak M&Ms, Peyote M&Ms, Radiator M&Ms, Schadenfreude M&Ms, Side One Of Elvis Costello’s This Year’s Model M&Ms, That Time You Threw Up In Front Of Everyone In Second Grade M&Ms, and so on and so on. The announcement was made via a video starring Tony Hale, who brings an appropriate, excitable energy to the unveiling of Mars’ latest combination of chocolate, candy coating, and random shit.
— M&M’S® Brand (@mmschocolate) July 25, 2016
Unsurprisingly, supporters of the opposing candidates were quick to voice their displeasure on Twitter, in Facebook screeds their friends refused to click “read more” on, and—presumably—tedious blogs on Medium. And granted, Coffee Nut seems like a safe, even boring choice. There were certainly sexier options out there. Chili Nut in particular had a spicy kick that most analysts thought would appeal to younger voters and the, let’s say, ethnic base, even as it also threatened to lay a torch to our digestive systems. Honey Nut seemingly had everything you’d want on paper, but—once it was revealed that it used artificial flavoring instead of actual honey—there was an “authenticity” gap it simply couldn’t overcome.
So here we are, stuck with Coffee Nut, who similarly claims to come from a relatable, working-class background of being roasted in coffee—even though, if you look closely, you realize it doesn’t actually contain any caffeine. That candy probably never drank a cup of coffee in its life!
Still, today’s voters don’t care about substance. According to our own in-house polls, Coffee Nut M&Ms garnered tepid reactions ranging from “slightly caramel flavored and not very good” to “I thought the coffee ones were okay. Kind of sweet.” That lack of strong feelings one way or the other is surely what drove the voters here, as they sighed, squared their shoulders, and elected the one moderate, lesser-evil M&M they felt they could live with and that wouldn’t leave their asses feeling burned. That’s democracy for you.
And finally, to the Chili Nut-or-Bust people: You’re being ridiculous.