BETHLEHEM, Pa. - It's the little candy that's been ringing up sales for more than half a century.
"I can't ever remember not having an Easter basket with Peeps in it," said customer Darletta Terrett.
From pink to purple and almost every color in between, Peeps, that marshmallow chick, is celebrating its 60th birthday, but the iconic chick is cannery yellow.
"It's the symbol of the brand," said David Yale, Just Born president and COO.
The potpourri of colors came in the 1980s. Peeps is one of five brands of Bethlehem-based Just Born. The Peep has permeated pop culture, from a Peep conclave to Peep parodies online.
The chicks even turn customers into candy-crazed scientists, as microwaving them and watching the little birds explode is posted online.
"I like to slit them open and let them set," said Terrett, of Maryland, who has been popping Peeps for 57 years. On this day, she drove five hours just to visit the Peeps store in Bethlehem.
"All part of Peeps connecting with people and consumers connecting with Peeps," Yale said.
Yale also said it's that cult-like following that has carried Peeps from its humble beginnings to a giant in the ultra competitive, $33 billion a year candy business.
The brand most identified with Easter no longer lives on heavy holiday sales. Peeps now include different shapes and flavors, like chocolate.
"We opened up a whole new market of consumers, who love chocolate," Yale said.
There are also three Peeps stores, a clothing line, nail polish, and summer flavors were just added.
"If we can fill in the gaps, as we think we can, with a variety, it portends itself to tremendous growth and opportunity in business," Yale added.
During the recession, Yale said the company invested in technology and added 10 percent to its workforce. It's a business model that appears to have the sweet taste of success.
- Lehigh Valley Allentown City Council defies Pawlowski, passes revised 2017 budget
- Lehigh Valley Lee Brice and Justin Moore to headline Musikfest
- Updated Western New Jersey New Jersey's bear hunt nearing end
- Updated Western New Jersey New Jersey man found guilty of sexually assaulting children
- Updated Life Lessons Life Lessons: Tango improves balance
- Updated Western New Jersey - New Jersey man found guilty of sexually assaulting children
- Updated Life Lessons - Life Lessons: Tango improves balance
- Updated Lehigh Valley - ANIZDA board approves penalties for businesses; hires first executive director
- Updated Berks - Tour of the Berks County Christmas lights
- Updated Berks - Prayer vigil held in response to rash of violence