Peeps are back to fill the cavity in our hearts

It’s been a wild year for Peeps. Back in March 2020, Just Born Quality Confections, manufacturer of marshmallow Peeps (as well as treats like Mike & Ike and Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews), was forced to halt its entire production line for several weeks due to coronavirus conerns. The factory, as well as corporate offices, were given a deep cleaning, and employees continued to be paid during the hiatus. This occurred just three weeks before Easter, so while inventory for Easter 2020 had already been pretty much fulfilled by that point, the halt put a strain on the rest of the year’s production. In September, Just Born announced that because of the delays, there would be no more Peeps of any kind until the Easter 2021 season.

This means that Peeps lovers missed out on many other seasonal releases, such as puffy Halloween pumpkins and squishy holiday snowmen—and right now, we’re not seeing the typical marshmallow hearts on store shelves for Valentine’s Day. But Just Born announced today via press release that Peeps have finally made their high-profile return to store shelves, rolling out nationwide throughout February to grace Easter baskets everywhere.

After such a long absence, the brand is making good with a veritable onslaught of new and returning products: the classic marshmallow bunnies and chicks, of course, but also flavors such as cotton candy, party cake, sour watermelon, fruit punch, root beer, and chocolate pudding. Certain retailers will also feature exclusive products; Walmart is selling a Blue Raspberry chick (I must have this) and Target is selling both “Raspberry Flavored Marshmallow Chicks Dipped in Crème Flavored Fudge” and “Chocolate Caramel Swirl Filled Delights™ Marshmallow Chicks Dipped in Chocolate.” The names aren’t very snappy, but they both sound intriguing. Many other Peeps novelties will also be available.

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The press release also notes that “Fans should also keep an eye out for an exciting announcement from PEEPS® in mid-February, as the brand is partnering with another adorable retailer for the Easter season.” I’m trying to think of what “adorable” might be hinting at. Maybe a marshmallow Peep Squishable? Any and all guesses are welcome.

Peeps are a divisive seasonal treat, but whether you love or hate them, it’s nice to see them stage their comeback. To celebrate, I might just pick up a package of the only flavor I’ve ever enjoyed: Sour Watermelon. Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it!

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

Don’t yuck other people’s yum, but seriously, PEEPS ARE A TRASH CANDY. I’ve never met ANYONE who likes them yet they are EVERYWHERE at Easter. I don’t understand!