Peeps — those sugar-coated, neon-colored, marshmallow works of art are synonymous with the coming of spring. And whether you grab a bunny or chick-shaped Peep, there's nothing quite like to biting into one to take you right back to your childhood. And this year, the company behind Peeps is gearing up to celebrate in a big way. Peeps will offer a rare factory tour to the public, so your sugar-coated dreams are about to come true.
Peeps, in partnership with the United Way, is holding a sweepstakes that will give one lucky winner entry into its top-secret factory to witness how these iconic treats are made, the company announced via press release this week.
"Although we've had many requests and lots of fans show up at our doors over the years, the Peeps factory has never been open to the public," Matt Pye, the senior vice president of sales and marketing at Just Born Quality Confections said in a press release. "We couldn't think of a better reason to open our doors for the first time ever than by teaming up with our local United Way to help give back to the community that Peeps calls home."
Talk about a Willy Wonka-esque experience. Except you won't need a golden ticket and there's no purchase required. To enter, fans are asked to send in a five dollar or more donation to the United Way of Greater Lehigh Valley, which is located in the Pennsylvania community where the factory resides. The money will go towards supporting community schools and educational programs, according to the press release.
Donations can be made now through April 8, online or by texting "peepsunited" to 40403. And every $5 donation made counts as a chance to win. That means that the more you donate, the better your chances.
The grand prize winner will be announced April 18 at the United Way's Day of Caring Event. The winner will receive:
- A trip to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for four (where the Peeps factory is located)
- Airfare and hotel
- A $250 shopping spree in the Peeps company store
- Exclusive access into the Peeps factory
Peeps are made by the Just Born Candy Company who also make Mike and Ikes, Hot Tamales, Goldenberg Peanut Chews, and Just Born brand jelly beans, according to the company's website.
Now, here's some food for thought. When the first Peep was made back in 1953, they were done by hand and took over 27 hours to complete from start to finish, according to Mental Floss. Now, through the power of automation, it takes just six minutes.
And the candy remains one of the most popular Easter candies around. Don't believe it? Americans eat about 600 million bunny and chick Peeps each year, according to NPR. Now that's a lot of marshmallow.
There's no telling what the inside of the Peeps factory looks like, but it's sure to hold a few surprises. Perhaps a marshmallow river and a sandy sugar beach? One can only dream. Good luck to all who enter!