M&M's candy characters are getting a makeover, although you may not even notice the subtle differences intended to promote inclusivity.
The anthropomorphic M&M's characters, which were first introduced in 1954 and updated in the 1990s, are all getting new shoes. Most are just getting laces — or, in the case of worrier Orange, tying them — but Green is swapping go-go boots for sneakers, and Brown is switching from high heels to sensible pumps.
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The goal was to make the characters, especially the female ones, "reflect the more dynamic, progressive world that we live in" and underscore the importance of self-expression and inclusivity, according to parent company Mars. Green and Brown will be receiving promotions, as well, appearing front and center in more ads and packaging in an effort to achieve better gender representation.
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It's part of a new commitment announced by M&M's with the goal of "increasing the sense of belonging." M&M's is not the first brand to make changes to appear more inclusive. Lego recently pledged to remove gender bias from its toys and, in a more noticeable move, Hasbro removed the "Mr." from its Potato Head brand name (although the character himself kept his courtesy title).
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