Three new dark chocolate flavors were released nationwide this week.
M&Ms Flavor Vote
Credit: Mars Wrigley Confectionery

Three new varieties of M&M have just landed on store shelves nationwide, and now, candy fans whose sweet tooth only rivals their love of democracy can cast their vote on which of the three flavors should stick around for the long haul.

Crunchy Mint, Crunchy Raspberry, and Crunchy Espresso were first sent to select retailers last month, but have finally been shipped to stores nationwide, and people across the country are being encouraged to participate in M&M’s second “Flavor Vote”—with the online ballot set to be open until May 25.

On the outside, these new limited-edition flavors feature M&M’s signature colored candy shell, but inside, they deviate from your standard M&M’s in a number of ways: First, all three are made with dark chocolate. And second, to earn their “Crunchy” credentials, they also feature a rice crisp center: The Raspberry variety has a regular rice crisp center while the Mint and Espresso version have a cocoa rice crisp center for an extra chocolate pop.

M&M’s says that the winning flavor will be announced in August, at which point the largest vote-getter will receive an extra 18-month run while the two losers will be pulled from stores. The candy brand ran a nearly identical promotion back in 2016 asking chocolate fans to choose the next Peanut M&M’s flavor. In a battle between Honey Nut, Coffee Nut, and Chili Nut, the coffee variety received the most votes. But interestingly, in that Flavor Vote, M&M’s never specifically called the flavors “limited-edition” and didn’t provide any timeline as to how long Coffee Nut M&M’s would remain at retailers after the results were announced in July 2016. However, though Coffee Nut can still be found at some online stores, the variety is not listed on M&M’s website, meaning the candy’s days are likely numbered if not completely finished. (We reached out to M&M’s to determine Coffee Nuts’ fate but have yet to hear back.)

Overall, it begs the question of whether fan voting—a technique that plenty of brands have been using recently—actually leads to new products with better staying power or whether these votes are mostly just a gimmick to move limited-time offerings. The fact that M&M’s is openly axing whoever wins this latest Flavor Vote after a year-and-a-half would seem to indicate that the novelty of new flavors is the more important element.

When it comes to colors, however, America selected blue (over pink and purple) to replace tan M&M's back in 1995, and that addition hasn't left packs since, so there's always hope a fan-selected favorite might just stick around.