Tidbits: Mega M&Ms, Honey Bunches of Oats

  • Article by: AL SICHERMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 14, 2014 - 3:34 PM

Bigger, odder m&ms

Two strange things have been launched from Mars. (Mr. Tidbit refers to the candy company, not the planet, although some folks might see the two new versions of m&ms as almost unearthly.)

First, and probably most likely to become a permanent member of the m&m constellation, is Mega m&ms. These are m&ms so large that each contains, according to the bag, three times the chocolate of a regular m&m. Mr. Tidbit dug out his micrometer and measured a Mega m&m at 0.81 inches in diameter and 0.38 inches thick at its center, while a regular m&m is more like 0.53 inches in diameter and 0.25 inches thick. (Of course, there are manufacturing variations, as well as potential error from Mr. Tidbit’s care not to crush the thin, thin candy shell.)

Cranking in the formula for the volume of an ellipsoid — see Mr. Tidbit after class — and not bothering to account for the thickness of the non-chocolate shell (it is thin, thin), the volume of a regular m&m is some 0.035 cubic inches; that of a Mega m&m is more like 0.13 cubic inches — indeed more than three times as much.

The other new item is Birthday Cake flavor m&ms, which Mr. Tidbit would say taste pretty much like regular m&ms, with maybe a hint of vanilla. The package acknowledges this to be an artificial flavor; maybe natural birthday cake flavor would be more distinctive. Birthday Cake m&ms are also slightly bigger than regular m&ms, but who cares?

It might not be as significant to some people as the differences mentioned above, but the bags of both new versions are notably smaller than that of regular m&ms. The bag of regular m&ms contains 1.69 ounces; for the same price you get just 1.48 ounces of Mega m&ms (87 percent as much), and only 1.40 ounces of Birthday Cake m&ms — just 82 percent as much.

Energy clocks in

The ever-expanding list of varieties of Honey Bunches of Oats now includes Morning Energy, with 6 grams of protein per substantial (one-cup, 2-ounce) serving. Morning Energy is available in Cinnamon Crunch and Chocolatey Almond Crunch. That makes 16 kinds of Honey Bunches of Oats.

Al Sicherman

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