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Peeps candy celebrates 60th anniversary this year

The popular candy Peeps is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. The fluffy, yellow confection was originally an Easter candy but has become a cultural icon, evolving into different shapes and colors.

 Originally created by the Rodda Candy Company, Peeps were made manually, using a pastry tube. 60 years ago it took 27 hours to make one batch of Peeps. Today, it takes six minutes.

In 1953, Rodda was bought by Just Born Candy Company. Over the last sixty years, Peeps have been a popular product, even in tough times according to company spokesperson Ellie Deardorff.

"It’s not an expensive candy. Perhaps in bad times people still want to treat themselves to something sweet and this really did not break the bank," Deardorff said.

Peeps were first found in baskets around Easter, but Deardorf said consumers over the years have found other uses for the sugar coated marshmallow.

"Peeps pizza, Peeps sushi, Peeps over the campfire, in s’mores, in hot chocolate, part of their chocolate mousse, their rice krispies treats," she said. 

Peeps connoisseurs also have their preferred style such as fresh and just out of the package, stale and left unwrapped for a few days or “perfectly” aged a week or longer out of the pack. Sydney Maage sells the candy at her store Candy Addict in Tempe.

"I love Peeps,  I like the rabbit ones. First I bite the ears off then the head, then I eat the body. It’s kind of morbid, but it’s fun," Maage said.

Peeps are now offered around other holidays, and the company has released new products such as chocolate dipped peeps, chocolate eggs with peeps inside and in case you need more, extra large peeps. Just Born Candy Company had a record year in 2012, producing more than 2 billion Peeps.

Emily Johnson contributed to this story.