Perfectly snackable, M&M’s have been a vending machine staple for ages. You’ll find them in every candy aisle, and they will beckon your chocolaty cravings as you checkout at any store. But are M&M’s gluten free?

A close ups of colorful M&Ms.

What Are M&M’s?

You’ve likely seen M&M’s before. M&M’s are small chocolate candies that are button-shaped and sized and come in a bag so you can pour them into your hand or your awaiting mouth. These colorful candies were invented in 1941 and are now available in various flavors. MARS Candy Company manufactures them.

With the signature “m” printed on one side of the candy, you’ll find them in red, green, yellow, orange, and brown. Different varieties and seasonal options may come in other colors, like red and green for Christmas. You can also order custom M&M’s from the website in almost any color.

In 1954, M&M’s started using the famed slogan “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand” to promote how this candy-making method preserved chocolates so they wouldn’t melt in warm climates. Back then, it was hard to stabilize chocolate and prevent melting, so the slogan was a brilliant marketing idea at the time.

Check out all of the candies I have reviewed to see What Candy Is Gluten Free.

Answer: Are M&M’s Gluten Free?

Now, to the big question on your mind…are M&M’s gluten free? Most M&M’s flavors do not contain any gluten-containing ingredients and are probably safe for you. MARS doesn’t advertise its candies as gluten free or specifically label its products as gluten free.

M&M’s candies do not advertise or label their products as gluten-free. However, with a few exceptions, their candies are gluten-free and safe for people with celiac disease.”

In the US, there are 12 commercial flavors of M&M’s available. Out of those 12, only two are listed on their label as containing gluten. Note: MARS does not test their candy for gluten, but they do label whether a product has gluten ingredients. In other countries, M&M’s may contain gluten, so you really need to read the labels to see.

So if you want to eat M&M’s but avoid gluten, do NOT eat Pretzel M&M’s, which contain wheat flour, or Crispy M&M’s, which contain barley malt. The crispy ones, in particular, do not have a warning on the label, so it is important to ensure you steer clear of them to avoid gluten. If you have gluten sensitivity or intolerance, you must decide whether to try these.

Parents, if your kids do trick or treat for Halloween, you may need to read their candy ingredients labels. If you trick or treat, also read Are Junior Mints Gluten Free?

Peanut M&M's in a glass mason jar.

M&M Ingredients:

The basic ingredients in most M&M’s have no gluten. Plain M&Ms are made with:

  •  Milk chocolate contains chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, skim milk, lactose, soy lecithin, milk fat, salt, and artificial and natural flavors.
  • Sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Corn syrup
  • Dextrin; 
  • Coloring includes blue 1 lake, yellow 6, red 40, yellow 5, blue 1, yellow 6 lake, red 40 lake, yellow 5 lake, blue 2 lake, blue 2 
  • Carnauba wax
  • Gum acacia

M&M’s Gluten Free Flavors:

As I mentioned above, some flavors of M&M’s warn on the ingredients label that they may contain wheat. If you have celiac, you should always read the product labels and not take a chance on those flavors.

Reading the label on anything you choose when avoiding gluten will help keep you from accidentally eating it.

That said, these M&M’s flavors have no “may contain wheat” warning on their packaging and are considered safe:

  • Milk Chocolate M&M’s
  • Peanut M&M’s (I am so glad that Peanut M&M’s are gluten free! This is my favorite!)
  • Peanut Butter M&M’s
  • Almond M&M’s

You should also check to see Are Milky Ways Gluten Free.

M&M’s Flavors That May Contain Wheat:

  • You can try your luck with the ones that “may contain wheat,” which tested negative for wheat or gluten, though if you have celiac, you may want to avoid these flavors:
  • Mint Chocolate M&M’s
  • White Chocolate M&M’s
  • Coffee Nut M&M’s
  • Caramel M&M’s
  • Thai Coconut Peanut M&M’s
  • Hazelnut Spread M&M’s
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