6ABC Action News At 4
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - April 6, 2012 (WPVI) -- "A Peep is a sign of spring!" according to Mark Wright, Just Born's director of operations and business management.
"It's almost a cult like following with our fan base. People love their Peeps!"
They've been manufactured pretty much the same way at Just Born in Bethlehem, Pa. since 1932 when Russian immigrant Sam Born and his 2 brothers-in-law relocated the family factory from New York City.
"We continue to be a family owned business, and our owners are very proud of that fact."
They say, "This isn't where great candy is made. It's Just Born." They welcomed sweet little Mike and Ike into the confectionary world in 1940 and their sassy spicy sisters, the Hot Tamales, in 1950. Three years later Peeps hatched and grew to become an Easter basket basic.
The company has had to make technological advancements to keep up with the demand. According to its website, In 1953, it took 27 hours to create one PEEPS® Marshmallow Chick. Today, thanks to advances in technology, it takes six minutes.
Two billion of the confectionary chicks, bunnies and other seasonal marshmallow shapes hippity hop their way down the conveyor belts each year. More than 800 million of these marshmallow goodies will be made, sold and enjoyed over Easter. If you lined up all the Peeps manufactured each year, you'd be able to circle the world twice.
Peeps have developed quite a devoted following all over the world, and online. There is peepresearch.org, a site devoted to studying marshmallow Peeps. Fans have flooded the Peeps' Facebook page with photos of their devotion to the sweet treat.
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