The marshmallow chick manufacturer is opening its doors for a great cause.

Adam Campbell-Schmitt
January 10, 2019

Marshmallow Peeps, those fluffy chicks coated in colored sugar and dotted with two little eyes, have come a long way since they were first mass-produced back in 1953. They now pop up in a variety of Easter characters (like bunnies) to year-round holiday-themed shapes from ghosts and pumpkins for Halloween to hearts for Valentine’s Day and gingerbread people for Christmas. If the thrill of squishing a Peep in your teeth at Easter or any of these other holidays isn’t enough to sate your appetite for all things Peeps, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based candy manufacturer Just Born Quality Confections has an opportunity you won’t want to miss: A chance to tour the Peeps factory.

Courtesy of Just Born Quality Confections

Just Born is teaming up with local nonprofit the United Way of the Greater Lehigh to support the latter’s fundraising efforts by offering a tour package to one lucky person who donates to the organization. ”The winner of our Peeps Helping Peeps Sweepstakes will embark upon a once-in-a-lifetime tour of our factory and witness first-hand how our iconic Peeps marshmallow is made, all while helping raise funds in support of important community enhancing programs,” Just Born’s senior vice president of sales and marketing Matt Pye said in a statement.

The grand prize includes airfare and hotel accommodations for the winner and three guests, an exclusive tour experience of the Just Born facility, and a $250 gift certificate to the Peeps & Co. store. We’re guessing you might get to eat some Peeps fresh from the production line, too, but that’s just pure (hopeful) speculation.

"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,” Pye stated. “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.” The Peeps partnership will also go to help United Way “support education initiatives by raising funds for student programs, including programs to help raise children's reading scores,” a statement from Just Born explains.

All it takes to enter (for U.S. residents over 18 years old, only) is a qualifying $5 minimum donation at unitedwayglv.org/peeps or via text by messaging “peepsunited” to phone number 40403 by April 8, 2019. Every $5 donation is another entry, and there's no limit. The winner will be notified April 12 before being officially announced April 18 at United Way's Day of Caring event.

If you don’t end up landing a coveted spot on the Just Born factory tour, don’t worry. There are quite a few videos of the Peeps-making available to you online to satisfy your need for the oddly satisfying manufacturing process. But if you really want to feel like you’re there, fire up your smartphone and slap on your VR headset to watch the below 360-degree video from the Food Network YouTube page. (You can, of course, also scroll around with your desktop mouse.)

Now if only the internet could transmit the addictive chew and crunch of those sugary treats, too…

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