Peeps may be jelly beans rival as one of America’s most loved Easter treats! An estimated 600 million Peeps, shaped like chicks or bunnies will be consumed this Easter.
Peeps may be America’s favorite. However, their roots go back to a Russian-born man, Sam Born, living in France learning chocolate. In 1910, he packed up and immigrated to the United States and in 1917 opened a candy shop in New York City where he made and sold his sweets.
His candy shop was such a success that he outgrew his store, Just Born. The candy shop left New York City and moved to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
In 1953, Born acquired the Rodda Company. While it was jelly beans he was seeking, he and his family were fascinated by the three-dimensional marshmallows shaped like chicks, called Peeps. Women at the Rodda Company were making the Peeps in the back of the factory, each peep taking 27-hours to create. Just Born created a mechanized Peep production and was able to introduce marshmallow confections to consumers on a mass scale by 1954. It was an Easter hit! Learn more about how Peeps are made on BHG.com.
Just Born being based in Pennsylvania was a large reason for the success. At the time it was America’s largest community of German immigrants. These immigrants we credit with popularizing the Easter Bunny tradition in the United States.
Here are some fun facts to consider while eating that fluffy marshmallow Peep:
- That first Easter Peep that took 27 hours to create can now be created in just six minutes.
- Easter Peeps created in the back-room of the factory was done with pastry bags, and the eyes were hand-painted. Today they are manufactured in a factory where 3,500 Peep eyes are created in one minute!
- There’s no right way to eat a Peep. Many eat them stale, frozen, roasted, microwaved and even as a pizza topping!
- Each Peep has 32 calories and 0 fat grams. A recommended serving is five chicks!
- It wasn’t until 1995 that lavender was added. Before then, Peeps only came in three colors: yellow, pink and white.
- In 1998 the company hatched blue Peeps for Easter.
- Yellow Peeps remain the most popular, followed by pink, lavender, blue and white.
- Peeps outsell jelly beans during Easter
- The Just Born Company also manufactures Mike and Ike, Hot Tamales, Just Born Jelly Beans, and Teenee Beanee Gourmet Jelly Beans.
Marshmallow Peeps are truly one of America’s favorite candies and with good reason!