In the sweet industry, you can get away with way more weird flavour combinations than you can in normal cooking. As anyone who’s ever eaten a scorpion lollipop or earwax Jelly Bean will agree, candy is full of strange and sinister tastes that you just won’t find anywhere else. As a result, most of us tend not to pay too much attention to what goes on in the weird fringes of confectionary. That, however, could be about to change.
In a new promotion for 2019, legendary chocolate candy promoters M&Ms have unleashed three controversial flavours onto the market. As part of Mars Wrigley Confectionary’s annual “Flavour Vote” competition, members of the public will be able to sample and pontificate over several new additions to the chocolate roster, with the ultimate aim of crowning a new flavour champion. The entrants have already divided the internet.
Perhaps the most controversial member of the line-up is an all new “Mexican Jalapeno Peanut” flavour - a mixture of the candy’s traditional peanut centre and chocolate filling, with an added element of spice. According to the company’s official description, “It's spicy. It's chocolate-y, it's muy delicioso. Try Mexican Jalapeño Peanut M&M's candies for a flavourful kick.” A spokesperson for the company also added, “We wanted to bring back the joy of M&M'S Flavour Vote with three unexpected flavours. This year, our flavours were inspired by global flavours, reflecting a growing trend of travel and bold, adventurous flavours.” This addition certainly delivers on paper.
While chillies and chocolates have been mixed together for thousands of years, this particular combo seems to be a bridge too far for many online commentators. One Twitter user said, “Got tricked into eating a jalapeño m&m and now I am sad,” while another incredulously added, “m&m’s have just put out peanut butter jalapeño flavored m&m’s............what has this world come to (sic.)”. However, others were far more positive, with several stating that the flavour “did not disappoint.”
The chocolate, chilli and peanut butter candies are not the only sweets to be making their debut. Also as part of the promotion, customers will be able to get their hands on “Thai Coconut” and “English Toffee” varieties, giving the campaign a uniquely international feel. In fact, should customers have particularly strong feelings about any of the three, they will be able to vote in an online competition for their favourite flavour, getting the chance to win a trip to either Thailand, Mexico or England in the process.
Given that the competition is in its infancy, it’s unclear as of yet which of the three will emerge as the winner. However, if early reactions are anything to go by, jalapeno may just be too divisive for the majority. Chilli and chocolate may be a classic, but in this context it could be too much.