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The Surprising Origins of PEZ Candy: Unveiling Its Original Purpose

The fascinating origins of PEZ candy: From Mint to Iconic Sweet Treat

Imagine a time when PEZ candy wasn’t synonymous with childhood nostalgia and colorful character dispensers. Believe it or not, PEZ’s humble beginnings date back to Vienna in 1927, where it was originally created as a mint, not a candy. Let’s delve into the fascinating history of PEZ’s origins and its transformation into the beloved candy we know today.

A Minty Start: The Birth of PEZ

PEZ candy owes its name to its creator, Eduard Haas III, who made the first peppermint-flavored mints in Vienna. Inspired by the German word for peppermint, “pfefferminz,” Haas ingeniously combined the first, middle and last letters to christen his creation PEZ. Originally, PEZ was not intended to be a breath freshener, but simply a mint.

Curbing Smoking Habits: PEZ’s Surprising Purpose

Contrary to popular belief, PEZ candy was not originally developed as a sweet treat. Instead, it was designed as a tool to help smokers quit or reduce their smoking habits. The small, peppermint-flavored tablets were thought to provide a distraction and satisfy oral cravings, making them a potential aid in smoking cessation.

The birth of the PEZ dispenser

The evolution of PEZ candy took an exciting turn in 1949 when Eduard Haas and Oscar Uxa created the first PEZ dispenser. Prior to this innovation, PEZ mints were packaged in pocket-sized cans. However, the introduction of the dispenser at the Vienna Fair revolutionized the way PEZ was enjoyed.
The original design of the PEZ dispenser was inspired by a cigarette lighter and bore a striking resemblance to the iconic device we recognize today. This new packaging not only provided a convenient way to carry and dispense the mints, but also added an element of novelty and playfulness to the overall experience.

A splash of character: The Rise of Decorative Dispensers

While early PEZ dispensers were utilitarian in design, it wasn’t until 1957 that the iconic decorative characters made their debut. The introduction of these whimsical toppers marked a turning point for PEZ, as the transition from mints to flavored hard candies for children began in earnest.
Featuring an array of colorful characters, including superheroes, cartoon favorites and holiday characters, PEZ captured the hearts of children around the world. The dispenser became as much a collectible as a container for delicious candy, and the brand’s popularity soared.

PEZ Today: A sweet success story

Over the years, PEZ has expanded its range of flavors and characters, captivating new generations of candy lovers. What began as a humble mint with a unique purpose has become a beloved cultural icon, synonymous with fun, nostalgia and a touch of whimsy.
Today, PEZ candies and dispensers are treasured by collectors and enjoyed by people of all ages. The brand’s commitment to innovation and creativity has allowed it to remain relevant in an ever-changing confectionery landscape.

Bottom line

The story of PEZ candy is a testament to the power of evolution and adaptation. From its origins as a mint to help smokers quit to its transformation into a beloved sweet treat accompanied by charming dispensers, PEZ has carved its place in the annals of confectionery history.
The next time you enjoy a piece of PEZ candy, take a moment to appreciate its journey from a simple mint in Vienna to an iconic symbol of childhood enjoyment.


What was the original purpose of PEZ candy?

The original purpose of PEZ candy was not to provide a sweet treat, but to help smokers quit or reduce their smoking habits.

Who created PEZ candy?

PEZ candy was created by Eduard Haas III, who made the first peppermint-flavored mints in Vienna in 1927.

How did PEZ get its name?

PEZ got its name by combining the first, middle and last letters of the German word for peppermint, “pfefferminz.

When was the first PEZ dispenser introduced?

The first PEZ dispenser was introduced in 1949 at the Vienna World’s Fair and revolutionized the way PEZ mints were enjoyed.

When did decorative characters first appear on PEZ dispensers?

Decorative characters were added to the top of PEZ dispensers in 1957, marking a shift from mints to flavored hard candies for children.

What is the significance of PEZ candy today?

PEZ candy has become a beloved cultural icon, treasured by collectors and enjoyed by people of all ages for its variety of flavors, whimsical dispensers and nostalgic appeal.

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