Odd & Unusual M&M Flavors
I am a fan of odd and unusual flavors of M&M's, a popular candy produced by the Mars Company. Mars was founded in Minneapolis in 1920. Their best known product is the Snickers Bar. They developed a new process for making pellet sized candy and introduced M&M's in 1941. It was popular with soldiers in WWII. There was just one flavor for decades. Then peanut was introduced, and later a variety of colors, and in the 1980s, the first holiday specific limited editions appeared. Flavors were introduced starting in the 2000s. There is now a wide array of limited editions that are introduced for holidays throughout the year, with some flavors being exclusive to Target or Walmart. Here are the flavors that I have found since I became interested in M&M's in early 2012.
There are a number of different mainstream flavors of M&M's, such as peanut, dark chocolate, mint, etc. I am not too interested in those flavors because they are widely available. There are also a lot of variations in packaging and special colors for holidays, plus the line of mega-sized M&M's. I am not too interested in them because they don't taste any different. Rather, it is the limited edition flavors that I like to track down and sample. If you find something that I don't have listed here, please let me know.
M&M's Caramel is a long awaited new mainstream variety of M&M's that was announced in the summer of 2016 but not available until late April of 2017, expanding M&M's into a new category of soft and gooey. That is currently the 4th largest segment of the candy market. Mars has high hopes to make a big dent in that segment and has been building a lot of hype for the release. Those who have tasted the Caramels have almost universally praised it, some saying it was their new favorite candy of all time. I suspect that those are the folks that like Caramel to begin with. I don't particularly like the gooey sticky stuff, so I wasn't overly thrilled. It is good, and Mars has done an excellent job pulling it off in true M&M form, but I personally like flavors rather than textures. I picked up this bag of M&M's Caramel at the HyVee store in Lakeville, MN, on the morning of April 30, 2017.
Strawberry Nut M&M's are a limited edition spring flavor that were rolled out as part of a ‘Get Nutty’ marketing campaign. The product is much like the nutty M&M's that were part of the contest in 2016, but with the same strawberry flavor used in the Strawberry M&M's from Valentine's Day in 2016. Strawberry can be a very powerful and amazingly enjoyable flavor that makes me happy all day long, but, unfortunately, the strawberry flavor used in M&M's is nowhere close to being that good. It is simply too muted to have much of an impact. I still enjoyed this flavor, but was disappointed because it could have been truly great if the flavor had a pop to it. I found this package at a Walgreens in Burnsville, MN, on the evening of April 5, 2017.
Vanilla Cupcake M&M's are the limited edition flavor for Easter 2017 that is exclusively available at Target stores. They are based on white chocolate and they really do taste like cupcakes. The flavor is much like the Birthday Cake M&M's, but using white chocolate instead of milk chocolate. The result is very rich. The flavor really pops, and it brings out the sweetness of the white chocolate. The outer shell is a traditional M&M's shell, but in pastel colors. I purchased this example at the Target store in Burnsville, MN, on February 19, 2017.
Peanut Butter M&M's are my favorite mainstream variety of M&M's. In fact, it is my go-to food when I need to quickly refuel my energy base, such as when running long distances on back to back days. In this case, I was running the Ice Breaker Gold Challenge, which is a half marathon on a Saturday followed by a full marathon the next morning. What attracted me to this package was the bonus of 10% more M&M's for the normal price. I purchased this example at the Walmart Super Center in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on the evening of January 27, 2017.
White Cheesecake M&M's are the Valentine's Day limited edition flavor that is only available at Walmart stores. I purchased this example at a Walmart near Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, on January 3, 2017. The cheesecake flavor is well in the background. I wouldn't have been able to name the flavor without looking at the name on the package. However, the flavor was just the perfect ingredient to make the best white chocolate candy that I have tasted so far. The candy itself came in special colors for Valentines day of dark pink, light pink, off-yellow, and white. Each piece was about twice the size of normal M&M's meaning that each handful delivered twice the punch of the more traditional smaller sized M&M's.
This is quite possibly the best M&M's ever made -- Real Coconut. This is not like the artificial coconut flavor that was available several years ago or the coconut-like flavor that was available in the egg sized M&M's at Easter. This is actual real shredded coconut inside these large sized M&M candies. The flavor is real, it is intense, and it is actually coconut. I didn't want to stop eating them once I got started. In fact, the only thing that slowed me down was the price, $6.99 per half pound. These are only available from bulk dispensers at M&M's World locations. I purchased my sample at the location on The Strip in Las Vegas on November 3, 2016.
Shimmery White Chocolate is a limited edition exclusive to Target stores available for Christmas of 2016. These M&M's don't have any special flavor, they are simply plain old white chocolate. What makes them special is the candy shell, which has a glossy satin finish that shimmers and sparkles. If you like white chocolate, you will love these M&M's because there is nothing to get in the way of its smooth flavor. I bought this package at Target in Chanhassen, MN, on November 14, 2016.
M&M's Double Chocolate sounded like it had so much promise, but it turned out to be very blah. The premise is that it has both milk chocolate and dark chocolate, so it should be the best of both worlds. However, there is so little dark chocolate that the milk chocolate dominates the flavor. I kind of dislike milk chocolate, so I thought it was boring, almost a chore to eat it. The candy itself is made much like the hot chocolate flavor from last winter where there is a core of milk chocolate surrounded by a layer of dark chocolate. This flavor is exclusive to Walmart. I purchased this package at the Walmart Supercenter in Shakopee, MN, on November 12, 2016.
Boo-tterscotch is a limited editor flavor for Halloween 2016. The candy is based on white chocolate with a very distinctive butterscotch flavor. It is smooth and tastes good, a combination that works very well. In fact, I rate it as being absolutely awesome. This flavor is exclusive to Target. I purchased this package at the Target in Burnsville, MN, on August 26, 2016.
This bag of Almond M&M's cost me $1,507. On the evening of July 4, 2016, I headed over to Kraemer Nature Center (in Savage, MN) to put in a few miles on the trails, but stopped for a snack on the way (at a Holiday Station Store). I bit into the first Almond M&M and the crown on tooth #19 shattered (lower left rear). Fortunately, it didn't hurt as long as I kept my heart rate down and kept it covered with my retainer (I have Invisiline braces that I use as retainers to keep my teeth straight). Also, fortunately, my dentist was able to get me in right away the next morning to get it taken care of.
To be fair to the M&M's, this crown was likely already cracked. In fact, it shed a piece a few months earlier. I had one other crown that shattered a few years ago due to a flaw in the materials, but the dental lab covered it under warranty. They didn't cover this one since it was already 11 years old.
S'mores is the first limited edition flavor based on Crispy M&M's since Crispy was reintroduced in 2015. I purchased this package at Walmart in Apple Valley, MN, on May 8, 2016. I like the Crispy M&M's without any flavor, and I like the S'mores even better. The S'mores flavoring is very muted and you can hardly notice it. That means that I never got tired of the flavor, but at the same time, the flavor wasn't intense enough to really light up my imagination. It was good enough to try again a few more times throughout the summer.
Honey Nut M&M's are one of three peanut M&M flavors introduced in the spring of 2016 as part of a promotion to vote for the new peanut M&M flavor. Of they three, this was the only one that I did not dislike. That is kind of faint praise, however. It had a slightly sweet flavor that was OK, but I didn't see it as an improvement over the original Peanut M&M's. They come in three colors, black, tan, and off-white, and are the same size and composition as the original. I purchased these at CVS at Diffley and Johnny Cake Ridge in Eagan, MN, on March 17, 2016.
Coffee Nut M&M's is another of the three peanut M&M flavors introduced in the spring of 2016 as part of a promotion to vote for the new peanut M&M flavor. The flavor didn't scream coffee or mocha to me, but rather, more of a burnt flavor. It wasn't bad, but no where near as good as the recent Cafe Mocha flavor. They came in three colors, black, brown, and white. I purchased these at CVS at Diffley and Johnny Cake Ridge in Eagan, MN, on March 17, 2016.
Note, Coffee Nut was the winning flavor and became a mainstream M&M's flavor later in 2016.
Chili Nut M&M's is another of the three peanut M&M flavors introduced in the spring of 2016 as part of a promotion to vote for the new peanut M&M flavor. This is the first M&M flavor that I absolutely hated. I didn't just dislike or fail to enjoy them, but rather, had a hard time eating them once I opened the package. The chili flavor just didn't agree with me, and the hot aftertaste was not at all enjoyable. Those that enjoy hot foods might like this flavor and the afterburn, but I did not. These M&M's come in three festive colors, black, red, and orange. I purchased this bag at CVS at Diffley and Johnny Cake Ridge in Eagan, MN, on March 17, 2016.
Easter Sundae M&M's are simply awesome. This is one of the best M&M flavors since the premium quality M&M's Trios from many years ago. I am not sure if it is yummy or yummie, but either way, these are really good. The candy starts with a white center that has a vanilla flavor. There is a thin layer of milk chocolate wrapped around it, then the candy coating that has a hint of fruit flavor. The milk chocolate flavor is way in the background, so it really adds to the experience rather than dominating the flavor. Ice cream sundaes are not a traditional Easter food. Rather, the name is a pun, as in Easter Sunday. That works for me! This flavor is a Walmart exclusive. I found this package at the Walmart store in Eagan, MN, on February 21, 2016.
Peanut Butter Eggs are not new, but the individual package size Peanut Butter Eggs are new this year. Each package has about a dozen. Eggs are larger in size than even Peanut M&M's, and the speckles in the coating are really cool. Not to mention that peanut butter flavor is awesome to begin with, and the peanut butter eggs are especially delicious. I found this package at the Walmart Supercenter in Shakopee, Minnesota, on March 7, 2016.
Mint M&M's are a mainstream flavor. I am normally not too interested in the mainstream varieties of M&M's, but I needed a snack after a warm humid run, and this individual sized package of Mint M&M's really hit the spot. They come in three colors, white, light green, and dark green. I purchased this package at the Walgreens on Cape Coral Parkway (at Coronado) in Cape Coral, Florida, on leap day 2016 (February 29).
M&M Malt Mini Eggs are a new variety of egg style M&M's for Easter this year. They taste just like another candy product called Malted Milk Balls. They are pretty good as far as a malt candy goes, very similar to Crispy M&M's, but I kind of found it to be a little bland. Not bad, but just didn't light my M&M fire. They are smaller than the other egg flavors, hence the name Mini, and they go down really well. I like the smaller size and the pastel colors. They come in yellow, aqua, blue violet, and red violet. I found this package at Walmart in Eagan, MN, on February 21, 2016.
White Strawberry Shortcake is a new flavor for Easter. I found it at Target at Coconut Point (Estero, FL) on January 7, 2016. I really liked last year's White Chocolate Carrot Cake, so I had high hopes for White Strawberry Shortcake. The flavor is pretty good. Some reviewers found the strawberry flavor to be strong, but I thought it wasn't strong enough. Another reviewer said that it tasted a lot like Strawberry Nesquik. That probably means that they got the flavor right. The nice part is that the white chocolate doesn't dominate the taste, and the flavor doesn't get old. In fact, the flavor seemed to get better as I ate my way through the entire bag. This limited edition flavor is only available at Target.
Cherry flavor is back again, this time for Valentines Day, with new packaging. It remains in the 9.9 ounce size despite other recent limited editions being reduced to 8.0 ounces. I found this package at Target at Coconut Point in Estero, Florida, on January 7, 2016. I hadn't tried Cherry before, but I really liked the Cherry Cordial flavor from a few years ago. I found the cherry to be pretty good, but not excellent. It was a little more tart than Cherry Cordial, which means it was probably a pretty good representation of a cherry flavor. I prefer dark or white chocolate since milk chocolate tends to dominate any special flavors, but in this case, the cherry was just strong enough to hold its own over the milk chocolate.
Strawberry is a new flavor for Valentine's Day 2016. I found this package at the Walmart Supercenter in Estero, Florida, on December 26, 2015 (yes, Valentines Day stuff was out on the shelf the day after Christmas). Strawberry has the potential to be very good, but this version didn't do it for me. The flavor was very muted and it was quickly overwhelmed by the milk chocolate. It was also nothing like the Strawberried M&M's shown below, which were based on peanut butter rather than milk chocolate. The Valentine's Day version isn't bad, rather, it just isn't as good as the cherry flavors or the legendary Dark Chocolate Raspberry.
These are the elusive M&M's Semi-Sweet Dark Chocolate Baking Bits. They are a favorite of people who bake with M&M's, but they were discontinued a few years ago. They are now back, and oh are they good. I prefer dark chocolate over milk chocolate, and this less sweet version really tastes good. People tell me that they are also good as an ice cream topping, but I cannot vouch for that since my package was gone before I got home from the store. They come in all of the normal M&M's colors, but each piece is thinner than a standard M&M, making them more aerodynamic. This lower profile looks better when making M&M cookies. I purchased this package at the Walmart Supercenter at Coconut Point in Estero, Florida, on December 11, 2015.
Here we see M&M's Minis Baking Bits. As far as I can tell, these are normal M&M Minis, but with just red and green colors. It appears to be for the holiday season, but I have seen them in the stores all summer long. People who bake with M&M's report that the candy coating color runs and discolors the bakery around the M&M's, and baking bits reportedly have a slightly different coating that helps to minimize that issue. I don't bake, so I cannot say if that is true or not. However, I can say that these are pretty tasty as a stand-alone candy, just like the mainstream M&M Minis. I purchased this package at the Walmart Superstore in Savage, Minnesota, on the morning of December 2, 2015.
Hot Chocolate is a limited edition flavor introduced for the holiday season in late 2015. It is exclusive to Wal-Mart stores. It is yummy! I really liked it. It tastes a lot like hot coco, and the flavor doesn't get dull after you have had a few handfuls. Dark chocolate really works well here. I found this package at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Shakopee, MN, on November 7, 2015.
White Peppermint, formerly known as White Chocolate Peppermint, is an annual holiday season flavor. The version last year had far too much peppermint flavor such that it was hard to eat. The flavor in 2015 is significantly toned down. I personally don't like peppermint, yet I was able to enjoy the new formula by eating small amounts at a time over a few days (one of the rare times that M&M's last more than 10 minutes around me). This package was purchased at Target in Burnsville, MN, on Novermber 4, 2015.
Cafe Mocha is a new limited edition flavor that is available exclusively at Target stores. I found this package at the Target in Burnsville, MN, on November 4, 2015. The flavor is excellent. It really tastes like a coffee drink, yet it has a really smooth texture. This looks like part of a trend for M&M flavors based on popular drinks. That is an excellent idea, and they are pulling it off well. The only item to note here is that the packages are 8 ounces rather than the more traditional 9.9 ounces. It appears that the other holiday limited edition flavors are also scaled back to 8 ounces. That means less M&M for the buck.
This is the single serving package of White Candy Corn, a popular flavor available during Halloween. It has a great candy corn flavor, and the white chocolate doesn't get in the way of that flavor like milk chocolate would. I have seen the full sized bags of this before, but this is the first time I had seen single serving bags. This was purchased at Walgreens in Janesville, WI, on October 9, 2015.
Pumpkin Spice Latte is a new fall flavor for 2015 that is exclusive to Target. I found this one at the Target in Burnsville, MN, on September 2, 2015. I found it to be kind of yummy, in fact, it is now my favorite of all of the fall flavors. The spice is much more mellow than it was in the Pumpkin Spice flavor last year, and the latte flavoring makes it very smooth.
Pecan Pie is a new fall flavor introduced in 2015 exclusive to Walmart. I found it at the Walmart Supercenter in Shakopee, MN, on August 22, 2015. It sounds like an interesting concept, but it doesn't actually have pecan in it. Rather, it is an artificial flavor that smells a lot like maple syrup. The first taste is really nice, but it gets old very quickly. I haven't liked any of the fall flavors, but I will say that this one is better than the rest.
The 2015 version of Peanut Butter Eggs. These are larger than normal M&M's. They have a thin chocolate shell with a big peanut butter filling. Even though the packaging does not say Spectacular (as it did in 2014), they are speckled. I found them on February 18, 2015, at the Walmart on Six Mile Cypress in Fort Myers, FL. They are absolutely excellent, and the flavor never seems to get old. They are also lower in calories on a per-serving basis than most other M&M's.
This is the 2015 version of Coconut Eggs. Like the peanut butter flavor above, they are speckled despite not having the Spectacular label as did earlier versions. They have a thin layer of something that includes an artificial coconut flavor that is wrapped around a big chocolate center. I like the coconut flavor part, but the chocolate is too much and it eventually overpowers the coconut. They are pretty good and I will buy them again.
Crispy M&M's were reintroduced in January, 2015. This time, they are packaged in a bright green wrapper that is hard to miss. They have a rice based center that results in a big calorie reduction compared to regular M&M's. The crispy center is more fun to eat than solid chocolate M&M's and the flavor never seems to get old given that the chocolate is not overpowering. It is a good addition to the mainstream mix of M&M flavors. These were found at a RaceTrac gas station on Colonial Blvd in Fort Myers, FL, on January 17, 2015.
Red Velvet is a Valentines Day flavor that I found at a Walmart in Cape Coral, FL, on December 29, 2014. Like the name suggests, they have a smooth taste. The flavoring in the shell mixes with the chocolate to end up with a taste that is almost kind of like dark chocolate. At the time, I rated them as being yummy, but not quite up to the level of some of my favorite flavors.
I was checking out Super Target at Coconut Point (near Fort Myers) for any limited edition M&M flavors, and found Peppermint on December 12, 2014. These are based on white chocolate, which eliminates the overpowering flavor that milk chocolate has. It allows the flavoring to really pop. Unfortunately, I personally don't like peppermint, and it is pretty intense in this limited edition Christmas flavor. I still ate the candy just for the experience. If you like peppermint, you will love this flavor. Otherwise, you probably don't want to try it.
Candy Apple is a fall flavor. I found it at the Neighborhood Walmart store on College Avenue in Fort Myers on December 6, 2014. While it is an interesting concept, the taste is awful. I called it icky, noting that it tasted much like what I would expect from a flavor called cardboard. I am one and done on this one.
I found Cherry flavor at a Walmart in Sarasota on December 1, 2014. I didn't actually get to try it -- the group I was with at the time finished them off before I got a chance to get any. The opinion is that they were pretty good. I loved Cherry Cordial, so I suspect that this is similar. I expect that this flavor will reappear next year around Christmas time.
Holiday Mint is another Christmas season limited edition. It is the same as the mainstream flavor Mint M&M's, but with red substituted for the dark green color. I love the regular mint flavor. As a result, I liked this version, too. The mint has just enough kick to be enjoyable without getting overpowering. It is much milder than Peppermint flavor M&M's.
A friend and M&M fan (Mark Habas) alerted me to this flavor. In my research (Google'ed it), I learned that it was only at Target (at least where I was in the Midwest). I had to check several different Target stores to find it, finally locating it at Southdale in Edina, MN, on November 1, 2014. I have not liked the fall flavors, and this one is no different. I thought it was awful. It tasted to me like burnt cinnamon wrapped around stale cardboard. Oh well, you cannot please everyone all the time.
White Chocolate Candy Corn is a perennial Halloween flavor. I found this package at a Target store in Burnsville, MN, on November 1, 2014. I absolutely love this flavor, though I need to eat it just a little at a time. It has a sweet candy coating that tastes just like the Candy Corn candy, and the white chocolate center does not get in the way of that candy flavor. As a result, the flavor is pretty intense. If I eat too much, it does get too sweet, but a handful or two is a great treat. I will try this one every season when it comes out.
Pretzel M&M's are a mainstream flavor. Introduced in 2010, it was hoped that Pretzel would fill the void left when Crispy was discontinued a few years earlier. However, they never proved to be very popular. They are lighter on calories and the slight salty flavor is a nice compliment to the chocolate. I found this package at Walmart Neighborhood Market on College Avenue in Fort Myers on March 10, 2014, when they were on clearance.
The Spectacular version of M&M's Peanut Butter Eggs was an Easter limited edition that was available at Target stores early in 2014. I bought this package on March 7, 2014, at the Target store in Coconut Point (near Fort Myers, FL). I absolutely love the peanut butter flavor, and the larger size of the eggs is a great format. The spectacular edition has color speckles on the candy coating.
The Spectacular version of M&M's Coconut Eggs was an Easter limited edition that was available at Target stores early in 2014. I bought this package on February 23, 2014, at the Target store in Coconut Point (near Fort Myers, FL). I enjoyed the coconut flavor, though I would have preferred a coconut filling rather than the big chocolate filling in the middle. The chocolate eventually overpowered the coconut flavor. The first few tasted excellent, however. The spectacular edition has color speckles on the candy coating.
White Chocolate Carrot Cake is, without a doubt, my favorite limited edition M&M flavor. The white chocolate doesn't dominate the flavor, and the carrot cake flavoring is very smooth. I can, and have, more than once, eaten an entire 9.9 ounce bag while driving home from the store. This flavor is not one that I can keep in the cupboard at home because they generally don't last long enough around me to make it home. If you try only one special flavor of M&M's, try this Easter limited edition. I picked it up at Walmart in North Fort Myers on February 22, 2014.
This particular package represents a special memory for me. It was eaten in celebration of the first time that I achieved a Boston Qualifier time running a full marathon. It just happened to be at the Snickers Marathon in Albany, GA, on March 1, 2014. There is a large Mars Company factory in Albany, and Mars is the lead sponsor of this excellent event.
Birthday Cake M&M's were introduced in early 2014. I found this package at the RaceTrac gas station in Punta Gorda, FL, on February 22, 2014. The candy coating tastes exactly like cake frosting. They did a remarkable job of replicating the flavor. The first few taste pretty amazing. But if you have more than about 5 of them, the chocolate taste dominates the candy flavor and you cannot taste the frosting any longer. As a result, these are best eaten just a few at a time, something that I am not capable of doing. As a result, I like them, but I am not really able to use it as a snack because the snack-sized portion loses its flavor to the chocolate.
Raspberry M&M's were a mainstream flavor for several years until they were discontinued in the summer of 2014. It was nice to find them on clearance at half-price, but they will be missed. This was my absolute favorite M&M flavor. The dark chocolate is reportedly healthier than milk chocolate and it has a less dominate flavor. The raspberry flavor was pretty good and it was just strong enough to enjoy without being sickly sweet. I hope that these come back someday as a limited edition.
Cherry Cordial is a Christmas limited edition flavor. I really enjoyed this flavor and I will buy them again. The cherry flavor tastes just like cherry, and it is strong enough to overcome the chocolate taste without being too sweet. Everyone's tastes are different, but this one really works for me. I found them at Walmart in Apple Valley, MN, on December 21, 2013.
I don't remember where I found Gingerbread, but it was somewhere in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and Saint Paul, MN) on December 1, 2013. I is a limited edition for Christmas. The flavor did remind me of gingerbread cookies, but like many of the fall flavors, I quickly got fatigued of the flavor. It wasn't bad, but I have enjoyed other flavors more.
Cinnamon was a winter flavor that was available in 2011. I purchased it from a vendor on Amazon in February, 2012. I haven't seen it in stores since I became interested in odd and unusual M&M flavors. I don't actually remember how it tastes. I like a hint of cinnamon but too much quickly gets really boring. If it had been offensive, I would have remembered, so it must have been pretty good.
M&M Premiums were introduced in 2008 in response to the growing popularity of higher end chocolates appearing in grocery stores. Mars introduced five different flavors, including Mocha, Chocolate Almond, Raspberry Almond, Mint, and Trio. They must have been long since discontinued because I have never seen them in stores. I was able to order a package of Trio from a vendor on Amazon in February, 2012. They were absolutely amazing, the best chocolates I have ever tasted, and by far, the best M&M's. Trio has dark chocolate on the outside, a thin layer of white chocolate, then a creamy milk chocolate center. The outside does not have the traditional hard candy shell. Rather, it is a soft layer of something that is lavender and purple. Whatever it is, it gives the candy a much more delicate feel and a smoother taste. The other flavors had similar soft shells but in different colors. Trios are everything that an M&M could be. I would love to be able to find the other flavors someday (but they are likely to be long past their use by date).
Strawberried Peanut Butter is what started me on my M&M journey. My sister-in-law told me about them, but I wasn't able to find them in stores. They had already been discontinued by January, 2012, so I had to order them off of Amazon. The original version of Strawberried Peanut Butter was released as a promotion for the movie ‘Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen’ in 2009. There were other flavors in that time frame for other movies, none of which I have been able to find. This flavor was brought back as a limited edition in 2011 with the packaging we see here. The Strawberried Peanut Butter was so-so. I like peanut butter, but the strawberry flavor was kind of flat. It didn't live up to my expectations, so it was a bit of a letdown after all of the effort I put into finding them.
Authored by John A. Weeks III, Copyright © 1996—2016, all rights reserved.
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