A Scientific Review of Peanutless M&Ms and Smarties

Indeed, this seems to be an age-old question that no one can answer: what’s the difference between a peanutless M&M and a Smartie? Once one gets past the alphabetic adornment of the former, there seems to be little difference at first blush.

But to sleuthful souls such as my 5-year-old son and I there are differences aplenty.

To assist us in our very scientific examination of the evidence at hand, we enlisted the help of some laboratory assistants: clone troopers and droids. And after some very careful examination of the exterior of each item, we deduced that:

  • M&Ms are approximately 30% thicker than Smarties at the mid-point

Our lab assistants demonstrate this difference in figure 1.

Figure 1. Exterior view of each specimen

Figure 1. Exterior view of each specimen

Clearly, however, there is much more to candy coated chocolate than the exterior (hence the mention of chocolate), so we carefully dissected each specimen. The results were startling and two-fold:

  1. Smarties have almost double the candy shell of M&Ms
  2. M&Ms contain considerably more chocolate

These remarkable discoveries are illustrated in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Interior (dissected) view of each specimen

Figure 2. Interior (dissected) view of each specimen

Note the significantly thicker candy shell of the smartie. Also note the considerably greater amount of chocolate in the M&M.

In conclusion, we can make the following statements.

  1. Smarties could be described as “candies with chocolate centres”;
  2. M&Ms could be described as “chocolates with a very thin candy shell”.

In other words, the Smartie would likely please the candy lover more, while the M&M would probably be preferred by one who prefers to indulge in chocolate. Of course, we taste-tested the specimens thoroughly but were unable to reach any conclusion as to personal preference. We have decided to seek additional funding to support our research efforts on this matter.

Since we consider our discoveries with this study so important, we are also considering additional study into other valuable areas of research such as the differences between ice cream and sherbet, and similarities and differences between Snickers and Oh Henry bars. We are looking for partners in these areas and would appreciate contact from anyone with expertise.

6 thoughts on “A Scientific Review of Peanutless M&Ms and Smarties

  1. That was very informative! Could you and your son also do a review of Whoopers and Maltese candy for us? I’ve always wondered what the difference was.

    • Special K is rice….. Corn flakes are corn, the real question is what’s the difference between Rice Krispies and Special K

  2. Your research fails to mention the colours or the average percentages of colours per package. I’m curious, on average, do packages Smarties have more or less red candies than packages of M&M’s? Do they come in the same colours, or are there target colours that belong to M&M’s or Smarites? This will require an extensive longitudinal survey of buying several packages of both and tallying the colours before eating them. I hope the two of you are up to the task of finishing what you’ve started.

    PS. I guess I prefer Candy-coated chocolates. I’m an M&M fan. 🙂

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