Basics rejoice! It's the time of year when everything is pumpkin spiced, and Mars has (thankfully) switched things up this year. Instead of offering their normal Pumpkin Spice m&m's (reviewed here) they've changed their formula and added coffee to the mix for this seasonal re-release!
If you want to read last year's review of the plain Pumpkin Spiced version, it's right HERE, but (spoiler alert) I'm happy they're gone. I have high hopes that this new version will finally win me over.
So right off the bat, this packaging and mascot design is WAY better. Last year's version featured the ever-nervous Orange m&m, and the bag was this weird creamy tan color. I felt like last year's design was really awkward and unfinished. (Mostly due to the color choices. Orange and green m&m's are super obnoxious together.)
This year we have another tan bag, but this one is much warmer and coffee-like in coloring, which works with the theme and looks a lot more appealing. Also, awkward Orange has been swapped out for sassy Brown. She's looking cozy and basic with a beautifully rendered scarf, and she's holding the classic fall beverage of choice, the pumpkin spice latte. (Which features some foamy pumpkin-shaped latte art.) I like the attention to detail, and this choice of mascot and color scheme creates a perfect caricature of fall "aesthetic." I look at it as snarky commentary on the obsession people (myself included) have with fall, and I really love that m&m's has a sense of humor! (Plus, it's just good marketing.)
Already the packaging is greatly improved over last year's hot mess, so let's see if the product itself is any different.
I opened the bag, and instead of the garish orange, green and brown m&m's we had last year, we have brown, orange and an off-white. These look so much better in photographs and a candy dish. The white addition is reminiscent of latte foam, but it also reminds me of white pumpkins. (Which are oh so trendy.)
The candies smell like instant coffee granules and spices. The scent is a little on the candle side of things, but it's not obnoxiously so. So far the smell is pretty similar to last year's version.
I popped a few into my mouth and crunched away, and thankfully, these are way better. Right away I can tell that these are different from normal m&m's, which is already an improvement over last year's fiasco.
The chocolate starts out semi sweet with a hint of nutmeg and other pumpkin pie spices, but there's a lovely coffee-aftertaste that prevents the chocolate-base from overpowering everything else. That dry roasted coffee flavoring isn't terribly authentic, it's more like instant coffee or something you'd find inside a K-cup, but it's enjoyable and it leaves you with a pleasant coffee aftertaste in your mouth.
Once and a while I got an m&m that seemed to be a little heavy handed with the cinnamon part of the pumpkin spiced flavoring, but these were still really enjoyable and way better than last year's version. If you like mocha coffees, or pumpkin spice, you owe it to yourself to check these out. This flavor is Target exclusive, so go grab a bag (and a cozy scarf) and get your basic on!
On a Pumpkin Scale of 1-5 (5 being the most pumpkin-y) I’d give this a 2.5. This isn't as snack-able as normal m&m's, but it's a HUGE improvement over the older Pumpkin Spice version. All kidding and food blogging aside, I really do like these, but one bag will be enough for me this fall. I have a TON of other pumpkin products to go through.