Have you ever wondered which came first, the marshmallow or the Peep? Well, we've got the answer. Follow along on our tour of the Just Born, Inc., candy plant in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and you'll know a lot more about those cute little chick and bunny peeps that show up in your Easter basket every year.
A mixture of marshmallow, sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, and a few other special ingredients are whipped into a marshmallowy goo that will become the shaped candy figures.
All sugar starts out white. Since yellow Peeps were being made the day we visited, yellow food coloring was added through that little arm outside the barrel. The barrel rotates like a cement mixer to color all the sugar.
Sugar is loaded into a spreader (the gray piece in the background) by hand. The spreader distributes the sugar all across the conveyor belt that the candy will ride during production.
Just Born, Inc., produces 1.2 billion marshmallow goodies each year for all occasions -- that's a heap of Peeps. Chicks and bunnies are the most popular shapes and are made year-round at the plant.
Continued on page 2: Peep Population