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The story behind Peeps: Hit world in 1953

The Spokesman-Review

Sam Born came to the United States from France in 1910. Originally from Russia, Born opened a chocolate store in New York City in 1917. The window display of freshly made candy featured a sign that read “just born” – it doesn’t get any fresher than that.

In 1932, Just Born moved its operations to an empty printing factory in Bethlehem, Pa.

Peeps as we know them today entered the stage at Just Born in 1953 after the company acquired another candy factory, Rodda Candy Co. It was Rodda that was producing marshmallow Easter Peeps by hand, using a pastry tube.

In 1954, the people at Just Born figured out a way to mechanize the Peeps forming process and a legend was born. Um, hatched.

The seasonal Peeps – among them orange pumpkins for Easter and snowmen for the Holiday season – were introduced in the ‘60s.

In the ‘80s, the giant bunnies started showing up in pink and yellow.In ‘98, to celebrate Just Born’s 75 anniversary, blue Peeps were introduced.

The late ‘90s was the time when Peeps were introduced in many new shapes and sizes as well as another first: flavors.

The yellow marshmallow Peep celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2003, at the same time as the Peeps Web site was re-launched with many new features.

Today, the factory turns out as many as 4.2 million Peeps and other marshmallow shapes every day.

In 1953, it took 27 hours to make one Peep – today it takes six minutes.

Peep fans tend to eat between one and five Peeps in one sitting and it’s still the chicks that are the favorites.

It’s estimated that 700 million Peeps, bunnies and other marshmallow shapes are consumed across the world annually.

The newest addition to the Peeps product line is a milk chocolate egg with a yellow chick inside – these were just launched this spring.

Source: the Just Born Web site

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