Current company advertisements advertise Peeps® — Always in Season with marshmallow treats for Halloween, Christmas and Valentine's Day.
Just Born, an 87-year old, family-owned sweets firm based in Bethlehem, PA makes Peeps®. For years I thought the name was connected with the "age" of the candy chicks. Not so as the company name derives from the last name of the company founder.
Sam Born, a candy maker by trade, emigrated to the U.S. from Russia in 1910. He used innovative technology to produce chocolate sprinkles and the hard chocolate coating for ice cream bars. In 1916, he invented a machine that inserted sticks into lollipops. In 1923, Born opened a candy-making and retail store in Brooklyn, NY and marketed the freshness of his daily-made candy with a sign “Just Born” that became the company name. In spite of the 1930s economic downfalls, the company prospered and expanded, moving operations in 1932 to an empty printing factory in Bethlehem.
In 1953, Just Born bought the Rodda Candy Company which produced a handmade candy marshmallow chick. Sam's son, Bob, liked the way the chicks looked and, in 1954, developed machinery to mass-produce marshmallow chicks which be trademarked Peeps®.
Today, Just Born is the world's largest manufacturer of novelty marshmallow treats. The company also produced numerous other novelty products.
The manufacture of seasonally shaped Peeps® began in the 1960s. In the 1980s the company introduced a marshmallow bunny. Until 1995, marshmallow Peeps® were only produced in the iconic yellow as well as pink and white, then lavender versions were introduced. In 1998, blue Peeps® were produced for the Easter holiday.
Other flavors and colors followed: In 1999, vanilla-flavored candies were added, then strawberry, in 2002, a chocolate one was introduced. Recent new flavors include bubble gum, lemonade, party cake and blue raspberry, among others.