© Scott Dawson, http://scottpdawson.com (607) 279-7173, @scottpdawson

Gorp Backlash: Wegmans, won’t you bring back real M&Ms?

I reached my hand into the bag of Wegmans Mountain Mix and pulled out a handful of the gorp goodness. This trail mix is my go-to snack. I made sure I had more than my fair share of colored bits, those chocolate M&Ms that so nicely pair with the flavor of the cashews, almonds and peanuts. But … what were these odd colors?

Forest green? A hard-to-place blue? Mustard?

These were not the colors I was accustomed to. A quick glance at the bag, which used to proudly proclaim the candies as authentic M&Ms, showed that this relationship was no more. These were impostors! The label used to say “M&M’s Chocolate Candies”, and now dully advertised “Milk Chocolate Candies”. My wife and I were appropriately saddened by this turn of events.

A subtle yet important distinction

Maybe they tasted okay? A few bites convinced us that these were NOT the candies we were looking for. They lacked the classic M&M crunch and solidity of quality chocolate once you compromised their outer shiny shell. These impostors had a matte finish, a chalky taste and collapsed lethargically as I chewed.

This would not do. 

We are not alone in our despair, either. The product’s star rating plummeted to ONE and has four (as of this writing) unflattering comments.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, so we hatched a plan. We’d make our own! We turned first to nuts.com, since that’s where we buy some of our bulk ingredients. Turns out the raw ingredient costs at Wegmans are far more affordable than our favorite nut e-tailer. Armed with a spreadsheet (and kids wonder why spreadsheet awareness is important in life) and Wegmans app (which is awesome for figuring out pricing from the comfort of my comparison-shopping lair) I did some quick calculations.

Guess what? Turns out for an extra $1.70 and the satisfaction of mixing your own ingredients, we can have our beloved M&M-laden trail mix back. The key question is, will we add proportionally more M&Ms than what Wegmans has in their pre-mixed bag?

You bet.

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  1. I wholeheartedly agree that the real M&Ms are far superior. Too bad Wegmans tries so hard to get away from other brand names, i.e. check out their bread selection.

  2. We suffered the same outrage in our house. A bit crazy but our daughter carefully removed the bogus candies. Then mixed a bag of real M&Ms & remaining Mountain Trail Mix (sans crappy candies) in a bowl and poured it all back in the original bag. . . . . . As usual, she will slowly pick out the M&Ms leaving nothing but nuts and raisins for the rest of the family. . .

  3. Just wrote the following to Wegmans, then found your site:
    “There has been a change made to the Wegmans Mountain Trail Mix that is a drastic drop in quality. Prior to my most recent purchases of this product over the years the Milk Chocolate Candies were actually M&Ms. Now they are some substandard version that are ugly putrid colors of faded yellow, pea soup green, faded red, orange and blue. Sometimes the yellow and orange are on the same piece as if someone licked off one color. The shapes are not even round, but irregularly shaped with pot marks and bumps. They are disgusting. Given the way they look I can’t help but wonder what is actually inside these candies. Some of the nuts are not in good shape either, with many of the cashews having dark blemishes like having once been wet or moldy. This is not the quality product I’ve grown to enjoy or expect from Wegmans, especially at $12.99 a bag!! Seems like this is just all part of the continuing consumer rip-off as quality and package size goes down, while prices go up. Shame!
    Please open a bag and see for yourself.
    Thank you.”

    1. UPDATE 04-05-18 – Reply I just received back from Wegmans:
      “Thank you for contacting the Wegmans Consumer Services.
      We sincerely apologize that your recent purchase of Wegmans Mountain Trail Mix was not of quality. We reformulated our Mountain Trail Mix to be Food You Feel Good About. Unfortunately, Mars was not going to reformulate their M&M’s to remove the artificial flavors and colors so we had to replace them. The new gem is natural and free from artificial colors and flavors. We looked at an extensive number of naturals gems to be sure they met our standards. We found this replacement to be the best quality and tasting natural gem we could find.
      We are disappointed to hear that you are unhappy with them and will share your feedback with the category merchant. For a full refund, please return the product to Wegmans at your convenience.
      Once again, thank you for your feedback. We hope to continue serving you in the future.
      Consumer Response Representative”

  4. While some believe this maybe due to Weg not wanting to use “name brands,” this change in fact had nothing to do with that.
    The decision to change the product from M&M’s to the new milk chocolate gems was based on Wegmans Food You Feel Good About philosophy. M&M’s do not contain clean ingredients – therefore, the Mountain mix was not a FYFGA item.

    By changing the gems, the Mountain Mix is actually cleaner and better for you.

    The more you know!

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