Peeps Easter Candy Facts You Won't Believe
Everyone has a favorite Easter candy. For many folks, it's chocolate.
But Peeps — little marshmallow candies in the shapes of chicks and bunnies — have been stealing millions of hearts every Easter for decades. And they have made their way to other holidays too.
Check out some Peeps candy facts about this beloved Easter tradition.
The Origin of Peeps
Peeps were introduced to the market in 1953, and they're still made by Just Born, a family-owned candy manufacturer in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, that has been making candies for about 100 years.
Peeps are 'Just Born'
The people responsible for Peeps also make old school favorites Mike and Ike, and Hot Tamales, both of which actually pre-date Peeps.
Peeps with a Kick
Sometimes, Just Born, will release special Peeps for a limited time only.
One "hot" seller is the Hot Tamale Peeps, which is combination of two of the company's best-selling products.
The Process of Making Peeps
When Peeps were first made, it took 27 hours to create just one.
Why so long? The first chicks were squeezed out of pastry tubes one by one, and their eyes were painted on by hand.
Today, it takes about six minutes per Peep.
Believe it or not, the first Peeps had wings. When Just Born updated their look, they lost the wings, which also streamlined the manufacturing process.
Peeps by the Billions
Just Born now makes more than a billion Peeps a year — about 4 million a day.
Today, factory machines can crank out 3,500 eyes per minute.
The Most Popular Non-Chocolate Easter Candy
While there are many types of Peeps, the yellow chicks are still the most popular around Easter. WalletHub estimates that 1.5 billion of them are consumed every year.
Peepularity During Other Seasons
Peeps are not just for Easter anymore. Just Born makes Peeps for Christmas, Halloween, Valentine's Day and other lesser holidays. They even make patriotic Peeps for the Fourth of July.
A Pandemic Without Peeps
In March 2020, Just Born closed its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It reopened them in May of that year, but skipped making the treats for Halloween, Christmas or Valentine's Day in 2021.
Instead, it came back with a bang for Easter 2021, Peeps most lucrative holiday.
Peeps of Many Colors
Peeps only came in three colors — yellow, pink and white. Lavender was the first new color to be added in 1995.
Blue Peeps were introduced for the Easter season in 1998.
What Makes a Peep?
Peeps are made from mostly sugar, corn syrup and gelatin.
The rest of the ingredients are potassium sorbate, natural flavoring, carnauba wax, and food dyes.
Candy That's Diet Friendly
With only 28 calories, you can indulge in a few Peeps, and it won't hurt your waistline. The chicks are 28 calories each, and the bunnies are 27.5 — both Peeps have 0 grams of fat.
Just Born even has sugar-free Peeps available.
A Heap of Peeps
Just Born has figured out if you were to stand 8,000 Peeps Bunnies on top of each other in a vertical line, you could reach the top of Chicago's Willis Tower.
Any social media influencers out there want to try it?
Some People Love 'Em, Some People Don't
Peeps, while popular, are also one of the most divisive candies on the market. Some sing their praises, but not everyone, and the people who hate Peeps really hate Peeps.
There are whole Facebook groups dedicated to Peep hate. But they're not going anywhere.
Peeps Celebrity Backers
It turns out that Peeps have fans in a whole lot of celebrities.
Will Ferrell, Jessica Simpson, former President George W. Bush, Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Miranda Cosgrove, Joe Jonas, Reese Witherspoon and Dylan Lauren are all Peeps aficionados.
Peeps Diorama Contests
The Washington Post newspaper ran what was likely the most well-known Peeps diorama contest, which it ended after a decade in 2017.
Today, the tradition remains through several organizations and publications around the county, including Just Born itself.
A Cookie Collaboration
Every so often, another company will join forces with Just Born to create a product specifically for Easter.
In 2017, Nabisco created a Peeps-flavored Oreo based on the original Peep flavor to mixed reviews.
If you don't feel like eating Peeps, you can always wear them on your nails.
Sally Hansen has a limited-edition Peeps line of polishes that mimic the Peeps colors we've known and loved. They're scented with sugary sweetness too.
Cleanliness Is Next to Peepliness
Just Born has allowed several other companies to create products using Peeps' branding and image.
One such product is perfect for a post-COVID world — Peeps hand sanitizer. As an added bonus, it's vanilla marshmallow crème scented.
The Right Way to Eat a Peep
Some like them fresh, others like them stale. Some like to use them in s'mores others like to use them in pizza (see above).
However you eat a Peep, it's always good.
A World Record Holder
In 2016, competitive eater Matt Stonie ate just over 200 Peeps in one sitting.
In 2017, he beat his own record by consuming 255 chicks at the World Peeps Eating Championship.
At 280 calories per box, Stonie consumed nearly 6,000 of sugary goodness.
Peeps and Company
Just Born had stores around the country where fans could buy Peeps merch. However, they've closed in recent years.
But all is not lost. The company has moved its store online where you can find everything from T-shirts to mugs and limited flavors.
Peeps in Battle
Peeps are not just for eating — they're also for competitive sports.
In Peep jousting, each competitor has a toothpick it uses as a lance. They are placed in a microwave facing each other. As they heat up, they expand. The first Peep that lances the other is a victor.
A Soft Drink's Golden Opportunity
In 2021, Peeps announced a collaboration with Pepsi and introduced a marshmallow-flavored cola to the market.
It was a big hit with consumers, but perhaps they should have called it "Peepsi."
Maybe next time.
Make Your Own Peeps
The Peep promotion for 2022 allows fans to make their own Peeps.
On MyPeeps, you can pick a color, a chocolate dip, and a sweet dipping coating. After you complete your order online, they'll be delivered right to their door.