Philadelphia, PA - Peeps are iconic to Easter baskets around the world. But while Peeps have become synonymous with Easter, their history dates back to the 1950s! No matter your opinion of them, it would not be easy to imagine an Easter basket without these vibrant marshmallow chicks.
In 1953, Just Born Candy Company of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, acquired Rodda Candy Company of Jelly Beans and Marshmallow Easter Peeps fame. A team of women would manually craft these treats from pastry tubes by hand in the facility.
Today, Just Born produces an astounding 5.5 million Peeps per day - more than two billion in a year! Their creatures come in various shapes and colors, such as classic yellow chicks, bunnies, and Christmas trees.
To create the beloved Peeps marshmallow, a 250-gallon stainless steel kettle is filled with sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin. A unique solution in the gelatin helps hold the marshmallow's shape when pumped with air.
On a conveyor belt, marshmallows are transformed into their final form and coated with "sugar shower," giving them their signature bright yellow look.
Peeps are then finished by machine dotting on their black eyes. Once dry and packaged in small boxes for shipping to stores, Peeps are ready for sale!
Nowadays, it only takes a few minutes to mix and shape a batch of Peeps into shapes - an incredible improvement from the 27 hours it used to take to make them.