Food blog

The Untold Truth of Peeps: 28 Fascinating Facts and the Mystery of Their Missing Wings

28 Facts About Peeps (& Why They Don’t Have Wings)

Peeps marshmallow candies have become a favorite treat for many, especially during the Easter season. These colorful and fluffy confections have a long and interesting history, and there are some fascinating facts about Peeps that you may not know. Let’s dive into the untold truth about Peeps and find out why they don’t have wings.

The first Peeps took a long time to make

In 1953, the candy company known for making Peeps a household name, Just Born, acquired the Rodda Candy Company. During a tour of the Rodda Candy factory, the Born family noticed something intriguing: women were hand-squeezing marshmallow chicks out of tubes of pastry. But the process was time-consuming, taking a whopping 27 hours from start to finish. After acquiring the company, Just Born automated the Peeps-making process, reducing production time to just six minutes per chick.

What’s really in Peeps?

The ingredients in Peeps include sugar, corn syrup, gelatin and various additives such as potassium sorbate, natural flavors and carnauba wax. While sugar and gelatin make up the bulk of the ingredients, the additives have specific functions. Potassium sorbate acts as a preservative to keep the marshmallows fresh. The food dyes used to create the vibrant colors of Peeps have been the subject of controversy, but they are FDA-approved and considered safe for consumption. The “natural flavors” listed on the ingredient list may not necessarily refer to natural ingredients, but rather a mixture of chemicals used to enhance the candy’s flavor. Finally, carnauba wax, which is also found in car wax, gives Peeps their shiny appearance.

Is there really car wax in Peeps?

Yes, carnauba wax, the same ingredient used in car wax, is found in Peeps. However, the amount used in the candy is negligible and FDA-approved for consumption. The wax gives Peeps their shiny finish and helps them hold their shape. Interestingly, Emory scientists discovered that even after prolonged exposure to a protein-dissolving solvent, the marshmallow dissolves, but the wax eyes of Peeps remain intact, which is quite remarkable.

Peeps aren’t vegan

Peeps contain gelatin, a protein-rich gelling agent derived from animal sources such as skin, connective tissue and bone. Due to the use of pork-derived gelatin, Peeps are not suitable for vegans or vegetarians. Just Born has researched alternative sources of gelatin, but has not found a consistent alternative that can replicate the same texture and eating experience provided by the current gelatin formulation.

How Peeps are born

At the Peeps factory in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, marshmallow chicks go through an automated production process. Ingredients are mixed in giant drums and air is pumped into the mixture to ensure a fluffy texture. The marshmallow mixture is then extruded into its iconic shape and coated with colored sugar. Finally, a laser adds the eyes, and the Peeps are ready to be packaged.

It would take this many Peeps to…

Ever wondered how many Peeps it would take to rival famous landmarks? According to USA Today, it would take a staggering 1.7 trillion chicks to fill Houston’s NRG Park with Peeps. It would take 1.3 billion Peeps to build the Hoover Dam out of marshmallows. Stacking Peeps to reach the top of Chicago’s Willis Tower would require 8,300 bunnies. And to span the Golden Gate Bridge, it would take more than 43,000 bunnies lined up side by side.

Some actually prefer them stale

While fresh Peeps are the norm, there are a significant number of fans who prefer their Peeps stale. Just Born Vice President Matthew Pye revealed that about 25 to 30 percent of consumers enjoy aged Peeps. However, the company doesn’t commercially produce stale Peeps, preferring to satisfy the majority of customers who prefer them fresh. If you’re a fan of stale Peeps, you can easily achieve that texture by letting them dry out.
Peeps have become an iconic and polarizing candy, sparking debates about their taste, ingredients and cultural significance. Love them or hate them, there’s no denying the lasting impact Peeps have had on the confectionery industry. So the next time you indulge in these colorful marshmallow treats, you’ll have a deeper understanding of the untold truth of Peeps.


Peeps do not have wings because they are marshmallow candies, not actual birds. The lack of wings is simply a design choice to create a cute and recognizable shape.

Are Peeps suitable for vegetarians and vegans?

No, Peeps are not for vegetarians or vegans. They contain gelatin, which is derived from animal sources. Gelatin gives the marshmallow candy its desired texture and consistency.

What are the key ingredients in Peeps?

The main ingredients in Peeps are sugar, corn syrup, gelatin and various additives such as potassium sorbate, natural flavors and carnauba wax. These ingredients work together to create the sweet and fluffy marshmallow texture.

Are the food colors used in Peeps safe?

Yes, the food colors used in Peeps are FDA-approved and considered safe for consumption. While there has been debate about the potential effects of food dyes, they have not been shown to be harmful to most people when consumed in moderation.

Why do some people prefer old Peeps?

Some people prefer stale Peeps because they enjoy the texture and chewiness that develops when the marshmallow candies are left to dry. Stale Peeps have a slightly firmer consistency and a different mouthfeel than fresh Peeps.

How long does it take to make a Peeps?

Today, Peeps Chicks are made at a rapid six-minute pace. In the past, however, it took a staggering 27 hours to make a single marshmallow chick. Thanks to automation and improvements in the production process, that time has been significantly reduced.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *