PHILADELPHIA -- It's considered a sugary first sign of spring: Peeps hitting store shelves.
After shutting down operations last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based company that produces the iconic Easter candy is back in operation.
Just Born Quality Confection, a family-owned company, has been making Peeps since 1923.
Production was halted for six weeks during the pandemic, but product was on hiatus from store shelves for nine months. Halloween, Christmas and Valentine's Day Peeps were suspended as a result. Thankfully, they are making their return just in time for Easter.
Just Born makes two billion Peeps per year. It's enough to circle the earth twice.
In the early days, they were made by hand using pastry tubes and it took 27 hours to make just one Peep.
CEO Ross Born says each Peep gets special treatment.
"When we produce them, they first are what I would call like to call a nice colorful blob of marshmallow. But the key is our decorating. We put the eyes on, or for the bunnies, we put the eyes and the nose on. It gives the product 'Peeps-anality," laughs Born.
Peeps back in production after shutting down due to COVID-19 pandemic