In the Harry Potter series, one of the most popular sweets in the wizarding world is Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans. Some jelly beans are normal flavors, like chocolate, strawberry and lemon. Other jelly beans are unusual flavors, which range from intriguing (bacon, pizza, chicken) to totally gross (earthworm, vomit, troll boogers).
Real-life sweets haven't created totally gross flavors - yet - but they've grown increasingly experimental, launching new flavor after new flavor in the fight to get to your taste buds. Over the years, M&M's has grown an extensive array of flavors, including pumpkin pie, cookies and cream, crunchy expresso, strawberry nut, s'mores and white cheesecake. (Cue clip of Homer Simpson drooling.)
Now M&M's has launched their newest creation, Orange Vanilla Cream. The flavor combines "smooth white chocolate with a refreshing orange vanilla cream," which sounds delicious. The ice-cream inspired treat is pretty much summer in candy form, and will be available for a limited time only.
Supposedly Orange Vanilla Cream M&Ms are exclusive to Dollar General Stores, but 8oz bags are currently in stock at Amazon, so I guess that's an exception! Depending on where you live, it may be easier to order online. However, if you buy the candy at a Dollar General, there's an additional benefit: For every bag sold, the brand will donate $1 (up to $20,000) to benefit the Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s investments in family literacy.
You may be wondering - how does M&M come up with these flavors? According to TJ Kanaris, the Seasonal Marketing Director at Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S., they start by thinking about how families celebrate each season. Then sensory teams develop the candy in "flavor houses," with an eye for creating unique combinations.
"Take one of the company’s newest flavors for the fall season, white pumpkin pie.," said Kanaris. "While neither of the flavors—white chocolate or pumpkin pie—are necessarily new, me and my team saw an opportunity to represent a flavor combination that is underserved within confectionary."
Hence the intriguing combination of "smooth white chocolate with a refreshing orange vanilla cream." There's something about that flavor that plays well with the summer months. In fact, during the same season, Starbucks once offered the Orange Mocha, "a classic mocha with orange syrup, topped with whipped cream and some festive red sprinkles." Do they still release that in the summer? If not, they should.
If you'd like to have a say in M&M's flavor madness, good news! The company has launched a Flavor Vote Campaign. When you visit their website, you can vote on your favorite kind, between Crunchy Espresso, Crunchy Raspberry or Crunchy Mint. In August, the winner will be announced and continue to be available in U.S. stores for 18 months.
Unfortunately, M&M's has not announced any plans to create Earthworm, Vomit and Troll Booger Flavors. Such a shame! But hey, it's only a matter of time.