The Purple M&M Is Making A Comeback For International Women's Day

International Women's Day is observed worldwide on March 8 and honors the accomplishments and achievements of women in all walks of life. The holiday dates back to 1911, and although International Women's Day is not a federal holiday in the U.S., it is officially recognized in more than 25 countries around the globe. 

Yes, festive color is included in the celebrations of the holiday, but perhaps not the color you think. While pink ribbons have been associated with breast cancer awareness since the 1990s, notes Cure Today, International Women's Day opted for a trio of colors — white, purple, and green — for its observance, each of which represents a concept deemed important in the context of the holiday. Purple, for instance, connotes dignity and justice; two concepts particularly apt this year, since International Women's Day's official theme for 2023, #EmbraceEquity, is based around ideas of defying traditional gender stereotypes and promoting inclusion.

Purple then, not surprisingly, was also picked as one of the M&M's colors used in their first-ever limited-edition candy packs showcasing the brand's female characters. The packaging pays tribute to women — notably, women "flipping the status quo" — ahead of International Women's Day, per a press release. "Women all over the world are flipping how they define success and happiness while challenging the status quo, so we're thrilled to be able to recognize and celebrate them — and who better to help us on that mission than our own powerhouse spokescandies Green, Brown and Purple?" said Gabrielle Wesley, Chief Marketing Officer, Mars Wrigley North America.

M&M's is celebrating 'flipping the status quo'

Although Brown and Green are long-established characters, Purple was just recently unveiled as a "spokescandy" on September 28, Today reported, with the stated goal of engendering a more inclusive sense of belonging.

M&M's donated $1 (up to $500,000) for every view of the YouTube video that announced Purple's arrival, per Today, and the brand is following a similar script with its new limited-edition female packages. According to the press release, $1 from each package purchased (up to $500,000) will be donated to She Is the Music and We Are Moving the Needle, two organizations that support women in the music industry. Another $300,000 of donations, apart from the limited-edition candy sales, will be given to female-focused organizations like the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and Female Founder Collective, as well as other women who are "flipping the status quo."

As such, M&M's is asking its consumers to nominate women they think embody this convention-defying behavior. To do so, go to the brand's website and nominate before January 15. The 10 winners, revealed on International Women's Day, will be given $10,000 grants to fund their status quo-busting behavior, per the press release.