What are Marshmallow Peeps®?

Dee Saale
Dee Saale

Many people are familiar with marshmallow Peeps®, the brightly colored, sugar sprinkled, marshmallow shapes produced by Just Born. In fact, the history of one of the top selling marshmallow candies is quite intriguing. Originally, Peeps® were handmade by Rodda Candy Company – taking 27 hours to make only one little chick. Then, in 1953, Just Born purchased Rodda. A year later, in 1954, Just Born discovered a way to mass-produce marshmallow Peeps® - now a Peeps® is born every six minutes.

Woman baking cookies
Woman baking cookies

Almost every year, a new shape, flavor, or color of marshmallow Peeps® is introduced – sometimes only as a limited edition item. The original colors were yellow, pink, and white. Then, in 1995, a new color entered the scene – lavender. In 1998, blue became the fifth color for marshmallow Peeps®. New colors, such as green, red, orange, brown, and black Peeps®, can now be found – depending on the season.

In 1999, the first flavor was introduced – vanilla crème. Then, a year later, came strawberry crème. Mint, orange crème, and gingerbread flavors are also found when the season is right. Chocolate mousse is a favorite flavor of Peeps® for many people, as well. In fact, chocolate mousse is the perfect flavor for many of the best recipes.

The shapes most often correlate to a season. There are chicks, bunnies, eggs, and tulips for Easter and the spring. Then, for Halloween and the fall, there are pumpkins, spooky cats, and ghosts. When Christmas and winter rolls around, consumers can find the supermarkets stocked with marshmallow Peeps® in the shape of snowmen, stars, holiday trees, gingerbread men, and the word “Joy.” Only a few months later, in February, hearts and teddy bears can be purchased for Valentine’s Day. Oftentimes, there will be marshmallow Peeps® for the 4th of July holiday and other fun-filled holidays.

Marshmallow Peeps® have no fat and are gluten-free and nut-free, for those with food allergies. In addition, there is an option to purchase ones that are made with Splenda®, a sugar substitute. However, even those that are made with pure sugar are only 32 calories per piece.

It should not surprise anyone that such delectable items as marshmallow Peeps® would be used in recipes. For example, they can be dipped in chocolate for a fabulous fondue. They can also be used as a topping for cakes, cupcakes, cookies. They are even great when placed on top of a bed of whipped cream in hot cocoa. Many people prefer to have their marshmallow Peeps® dipped in chocolate, rolled in coconut, and then, frozen. There are entire recipe books that people have written dedicated to cooking with the little marshmallow candies.

It has long been commented upon that marshmallow Peeps® are indestructible. In fact, numerous studies have been completed to determine what extreme forces the little marshmallow candies can withstand. CNN even reported on 12 April 1998 that a group of Emory University scientists went to great odds to study the destructibility of the Peeps®. They had, in fact, determined them to be virtually indestructible.

Dee Saale
Dee Saale

Dee is a freelance writer based in Colorado. She has a B.A. in English Literature, as well as a law degree. Dee is especially interested in topics relating to medicine, legal issues, and home improvement, which are her specialty when contributing to wiseGEEK.

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Discussion Comments


I love chocolate dipped marshmallow Peeps. There was actually a limited edition chocolate dipped Peeps at stores last year but I haven't seen them again. Even the chocolate mousse Peeps are difficult to find sometimes.


@bluedolphin-- As far as I know, only one company produces marshmallow Peeps. They are a trademark so no one else can produce them and call them the same thing. They can be sold by different companies and stores, so you might be confusing the seller with the producer.

Marshmallow Peeps are an interesting treat. Someone people don't care for them while some people love them and would prefer them to other kinds of candy. I guess it's a matter of preference. People also have different preferences about how fresh the Peeps should be. Some people, like my brother, actually do not like them very fresh. He likes them a bit stale so that they're a little harder on the outside but still soft on the inside. I like them very fresh but to each his own.


There are several other manufacturers producing marshmallow peeps these days. This is not a treat that I have often so I'm not sure if there is a difference between the original marshmallow peeps and those produced by others. But I think that this is a great idea and it makes a lot of people happy. I know that my niece and nephew are very fond of marshmallow peeps. I buy them several boxes every Easter and Christmas.

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