11 M&M's Flavors, Ranked Worst To Best

What's the most beloved colorful chocolate candy in the country? If you ask a lot of people, they'll tell you that M&M's are their favorite. The candy-coated chocolate M&M's debuted all the way back in 1941, and they've been an inextricable part of U.S. candy culture ever since.

The original milk chocolate flavor has always been a hit amongst consumers, but the brand has recently decided to branch out, launching a slew of different M&M's flavors and hoping to capture a larger audience. Some of these flavors are absolutely brilliant, testing the boundaries of what chocolate candies can be. Others are ultimately disappointing and might leave you with a bad taste in your mouth ... literally.

That's why we've done the difficult work of tasting 11 of the most popular M&M's flavors and ranking them, starting with our least favorite and working our way to the best. Some of the rankings will probably make perfect sense, and others may surprise you. However, if you really want to get a good sense of the M&M's flavor landscape, you'll have to do some taste-testing for yourself.

11. Milk chocolate

We hate to throw shade on the original, but alas, it's true: the milk chocolate flavor is not the best of the bunch. It's not surprising, as milk chocolate tends not to be the best chocolate anyway, but considering that you're getting pretty cheap chocolate from this brand, the flavor isn't ideal. The chocolate tastes slightly dry, and it tastes more like plain sugar than it does actual cocoa.

The real appeal of this candy is all about the texture. When that candy-coated crunch breaks, you get an immensely satisfying burst of flavor from the chocolate. Whether you're someone who just eats the chocolate right away or you prefer to allow it to melt in your mouth, you have to admit that there's something special about snacking on M&M's.

Of course, this is the flavor that's probably going to be easiest to find at most retailers, so if you have an M&M's craving and milk chocolate is all you can find, it'll do. However, if you have the option to choose from one of the other flavors in the bunch, we definitely think you should take advantage of it.

10. Peanut

For all the nut lovers out there, peanut M&M's showcase the candy at its best. This flavor has the same colored candy coating encasing the same milk chocolate you get from the original recipe but inside that morsel of chocolatey goodness resides a peanut. It adds an extra crunch to the snack and introduces a whole new flavor into the mix.

If you really love peanuts, then this flavor is probably your dream come true. However, if don't like peanuts — or just feel ambivalent about them — there are better M&M's flavors to choose from. We don't love the chocolate-to-peanut ration in this flavor, as the flavor of the peanut is so overwhelming. We were left wishing we could actually taste the mild flavor of the chocolate over the flavor cacophony of the nut.

Peanut M&M's might be a favorite for a lot of people out there, but that doesn't mean you have to fall victim to the mob mentality. It's okay to reject peanut M&M's because you know there's something better out there for you.

9. Caramel

When you're craving sweetness over everything else, you may want to reach for a bag of caramel M&M's. On the outside, they look like every other M&M you've ever tried. In fact, it would be easy to mistake them for peanut M&M's. But, once you take a bite, you'll be met with a totally different experience. In the little chocolate hard shell, you'll find gooey caramel. We're actually surprised just how much caramel they were able to fit into such a small candy. The resulting flavor is not dissimilar to a Rolo, though these M&M's are probably on the simpler side.

In theory, these things should be really good. In practice, they leave a lot to be desired. The caramel is sweet, yes, but is it sweet enough? We think not. After all, that's what most people are going for when they opt for a caramel-filled candy. Alternatively, they could have added some salt to the mix, and considering the recent popularity of salted caramel candies, it probably would've been a huge hit.

Is filling M&M's with caramel is good idea? Of course. Could it have been done better? Also yes.

8. Fudge brownie

If you're looking for a completely unique candy experience, you can't overlook the fudge brownie M&M's. The idea behind this snack was to merge traditional M&M's with a baked brownie filling. Honestly, this seemed like an impossible task at first, so we were surprised when we took a bite and realized that there really is a textural contrast between the milk chocolate and the fudgy brownie interior. This contrast makes for a supremely interesting candy, one that you'll want to take another bite of just to make sure your mouth didn't miss anything.

When it comes to the flavor, though, the fudge brownie flavor is slightly lacking. Sure, there's nothing wrong with chocolate on chocolate, but, ultimately, it essentially makes the whole candy taste exactly the same: like you're eating a big lump of chocolate. That difference in texture is really this M&M's flavor's saving grace. Without it, these would just seem like unnecessarily large M&M's.

To sum it up, fudge brownie M&M's are totally worth a try. Where else are you going to get the chance to experience a candy like this? But, just keep your expectations in check: There are better M&M's flavors waiting for you.

7. Crunchy cookie

Here's another unexpected flavor we weren't really ready for before we tried it: crunchy cookie M&M's M&M's. They're similar to the fudge brownie M&M's in that they also have a core that's inspired by a baked good. However, that's where the differences end. Instead of that chewy center you find in the fudge brownie flavor, you're met with a crispy, crunchy cookie situation when you opt for the crunchy cookie flavor. The core of this candy is made with rice flour, which makes it similar to crispy M&M's. But, instead of just the crisp, you also get a lovely malt and vanilla flavor that makes this variety stand out.

The absolute best part about this flavor is the fact that it's so, so crunchy. It makes snacking on them absolutely addictive, so keep that in mind before you buy the largest-size bag available. Considering that you're just getting sweetness on top of more sweetness with this flavor, we can't rank it too high on our list. That being said, this candy is totally worth a try if you've never had it before.

6. Almond

If you're the kind of person who loves the idea of peanut M&M's but always ends up disappointed when you actually eat them, you're not alone. And if you fit into that category, you're probably going to want to check out almond M&M's. With almond M&M's, you get that nutty flavor (even if almonds aren't really nuts) that works so well with chocolate along with the distinctive crunch you expect from nuts. But, with an almond in the center of the candy instead of a peanut, it's so, so much better.

First, and most importantly, almonds have a much milder flavor than peanuts. Therefore, it doesn't feel like the flavor of the almond is trying to compete with (and eventually overpowering) the chocolate. Instead, the milky, nutty flavor of the almond complements the chocolate perfectly. Almonds also seem to offer a better crunch than peanuts, which makes biting into one of these candies a satisfying experience.

Naturally, you could always just go out and buy regular chocolate-covered almonds. But, there's something about the addition of the candy coating here that does make this M&M more delicious than most chocolate-covered nuts.

5. Minis

You may be wondering how mini M&M's ended up this high in our ranking when the original milk chocolate falls so far behind. After all, aren't they essentially the same thing? Technically, when it comes to flavor, yes. As the name implies, the minis are just a small version of the original milk chocolate M&M's. Somehow, the smaller size and candy coating-to-chocolate ratio works better with the minis, providing a superior snacking experience.

We love that M&M's minis are so tiny that they cease to become individual pieces of candy. Instead, you'll want to eat several of them at a time, offering more crunch and a more interesting texture. It's surprising just how much size matters when it comes to candies, but we can attest to superiority of M&M's minis. They may not offer the most interesting flavor you've ever come across in the candy aisle, but the eating experience itself is unmatched.

4. Dark Chocolate

Let's be honest: Dark chocolate is and always has been better than milk chocolate. Sorry, those are just the facts. That's why dark chocolate M&M's have landed in the top four. Ultimately, it's still a super simple candy. Unlike many of the other flavors in the M&M's lineup, this dark chocolate variety doesn't have any special filling — it's just the same basic candy as the original variety. But, there's something to be said for simplicity. These easy-to-eat chocolate candies have a richness to them that's hard not to enjoy, and they deliver slightly less sweetness than the originals.

Now, is this the best dark chocolate we've ever had? Not exactly. But that's not what we would expect from a mass-produced colorfully coated chocolate candy anyway. Even though they don't have the same smoothness and silkiness as top-quality chocolate, these mild dark chocolate candies have a way of enticing us anyway. They're delicious on their own, but we also love the idea of baking them into candy-stuffed cookies. That dark chocolate can only improve when it's just slightly melted.

3. Peanut butter

We've always wanted to love peanut M&M's but something always fell short for us. That's why our lives were completely changed the second we bit into a peanut butter M&M. It's everything the peanut M&M wants to be. Instead of being met with a crumbling nut inside that chocolate casing, you're instead treated to a similar flavor in creamy, buttery form. After all, isn't peanut butter better than actual peanuts? This silky peanut butter pairs perfectly with the milk chocolate surrounding it — it's almost like a tiny version of a Reese's peanut butter cup (perhaps the best chocolate candy of all time).

Chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven, and this flavor of M&M's is not an exception. We could eat these things every day and never get bored. If you're not a big peanut butter person, you might want to pass on these, but we think you should give them a try anyway. They may just surprise you.

2. Dark chocolate mint

You already know that we love dark chocolate M&M's, so it just makes sense that we'd think they taste even better when there's another element in the mix. That's why we're in love with dark chocolate mint M&M's. This is probably one of the least-expected flavors of the bunch, considering that mint, especially when paired with chocolate, can be a controversial flavor. Not everyone likes the taste of mint, and some people aren't too fond of the idea of biting into a piece of chocolate that tastes faintly of toothpaste. If you fall into that category, then the dark chocolate mint M&M's may not be for you.

However, for all the mint lovers out there, dark chocolate mint M&M's are a treat you're definitely going to want to get your hands on. Although the dark chocolate can be a bit lackluster on its own, the addition of that mint flavoring makes a huge difference. It adds just enough complexity to the combo to keep things interesting — you're not going to get bored eating these things. We also love that this seems to be one of the more sophisticated flavors of the bunch. Most of these combos are pretty kid-friendly, but this is the one flavor that seems like it might be more for the adults.

1. Pretzel

If there is one M&M's flavor that rules them all, it is, indisputably, pretzel M&M's. This flavor is so good that it really should just be considered its own snack. This is the one flavor that really masters the marriage of sweet and salty. Crunchy, salty pretzel balls can be found in the middle of the candy, and milk chocolate surrounds them, wrapping them in the sweet, loving embrace of chocolatey goodness. Once you take a bite, you'll enjoy several layers of crunch, first from the candy coating and then from the pretzel itself. That kind of crunchiness entices you to keep snacking long after you've finished your first handful.

Although some M&M's flavors are a bit unbalanced and seem to favor the sweeter end of the spectrum, pretzel M&M's offer a subtle savory quality that makes them ultimately much more snackable than any of the other flavors on this list. We wish we could say that the pretzel flavor won the top spot by a close margin, but it's just not true. Pretzel M&M's are superior to all the other flavors in every way.