Peeps: How the Fan Favorite Easter Treat Undergoes Rigorous Testing to Determine ‘Indestructible’ Factor

by Emily Morgan

Behold the Peep: you either love them or despise their existence. Similar to candy corn, Peeps are a topic of contention for many. Yet, the perplexing Peep remains just as mysterious as they are polarizing. 

If you consider yourself a fan of candy, we’ve got good news. Its creators have perfected the recipe to make it indestructible. According to a study from Emory University in 1999, the study concluded that the Easter classic, as morbid as it may seem, will probably outlive all of us— its retribution for getting trash talked for so many years. 

In the study, scientists concluded that it’s not easily broken, can undergo extreme weather conditions, doesn’t melt quickly, and keeps its shape. Basically, the Peep is an enigma. 

In addition to a microwave, the scientists tested the candy’s vulnerability to tap water, boiling water, acetone, and sulfuric acid (they survived them all). When they kicked it up a notch with Phenol, the only thing that survived were the eyes. 

Take a Peep Into the History of Easter’s Favorite Candy

The Peep originated in 1953 when Sam Born (creator of Mike and Ike) acquired the Rodda Candy Company and its marshmallow chick line. Then, each chick was handmade with its own pastry tube. Later on, Born wanted to expedite the operation, so he created an automated process. Now, it only takes six minutes to develop the sturdy snack at the Just Born factory in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. 

Now, the chicks get their shape from a top-secret machine known as “The Depositor.” Developed by Born’s son, Bob, the machine can manufacture six rows of five Peeps in half the time it took workers to form them by hand. 

In 2014, the company announced that it planned to renovate the plant, including The Depositor. “It’s a little sad,” senior vice president of sales and marketing Matthew Pye told Candy Industry Magazine at the time. “Bob Born made it from scratch in 1954 and it allowed us to distribute and grow the brand nationally.” 

“The investment in our marshmallow making process will allow for more efficiency, more consistency, improved quality, and additional innovation capabilities,” co-CEO Ross Born told Candy Industry magazine about the new Depositor, which will be able to produce a wider variety of Peeps in all sizes. “The [old] Peeps line did one thing and one thing very well—cranking out chicks day in and day out. Five clusters, just in different colors,” Born said.