M&M’s are known and enjoyed worldwide as movie snacks or general goodies. However, since 2016, this has not been true for Sweden, where the sweets have been banned due to a trademark dispute with a local candy company’s M Peanut.
Marabou’s M Peanut is very similar in taste and appearance to Peanut M&M’s: Both are chocolate-covered peanuts with lowercase m’s on their packaging. They’re so similar that one might think Marabou is an imitation brand. However, in Sweden, M&M’s are seen as the imitator, as Marabou’s candy had been sold in its native country for 50 years before M&M’s arrived. When the colorful American candies did appear on Swedish shelves in 2009, Marabou’s parent company (then Kraft, now Mondelez) sued M&M’s parent company (Mars), alleging that the lowercase m&m on their packaging infringed on Marabou’s trademark for its lowercase m.
In June 2016, after several years of legal battles and appeals, the Svea Court of Appeals ruled that Marabou had the exclusive rights to use the trademark m in Sweden, banning M&M’s as long as they continued to use their current packaging. In response, Mars withdrew all M&M’s products from the country. It is currently unknown if the company is planning on making custom candies with uppercase M’s on them, but as of 2018, there are no M&M’s for sale in Sweden.
And how do Marabou’s M Peanuts taste? They’re quite similar to M&M’s, perhaps a bit less sweet. The only obvious difference is that Marabou’s candies are chocolate brown and don’t sport colorful shells.