Easter baskets across the nation will be filled with chocolates, jelly beans, and (sometimes) beloved marshmallow candies in just a few weeks. Americans have historically spent billions on Easter candy, and this year isn't expected to be any different.
For almost 70 years, Peeps marshmallow candies — those instantly recognizable chicks and bunnies covered in sparkly sugar — have made their way into Easter baskets. Candy company Just Born makes two billion Peeps each year at their Pennsylvania headquarters in preparation for Easter – that’s over five million a day.
But these marshmallow candies are as divisive as they are ubiquitous.
FinanceBuzz asked 1,000 U.S. adults to tell us their feelings about Peeps, rank their favorite Peeps flavors, and share what candies they hope make it into their Easter basket this year.
- Americans are divided on Peeps marshmallow candies: 25% love them, while 16% hate them.
- Peeps don't rank among the top three favorite Easter candies — that honor goes to Reese's peanut butter eggs (24%), Cadbury Creme Eggs (16%), and Chocolate bunnies (13%)
- Ever wonder what would happen if you microwave a Peep? You're not alone — almost 1 in 3 Americans have tried it.
Peeps: Love 'em or hate 'em?
Peeps were first introduced in 1953. Since then, these soft, sugary sweets have been found front and center in stores every year, ready for Easter baskets across the country.
Even if the typical shopper is no candy enthusiast, they’ve likely tried a Peep at least once. Only 2% of our survey respondents never tried a Peep, while only 3% say they have no clue what Peeps are.
Peeps are a divisive candy — people either love them or can’t stand them. When asked to rate their feelings about Peeps on a scale of 1 to 10, 25% of people give Peeps a perfect "10" out of 10 rating. Conversely, 16% give them a "0" rating, corresponding to "Ick, I hate them!"
Which Peeps flavor does America like best?
Peeps lovers are faced with a dilemma when buying the treats — chicks or bunnies? As it turns out, bunnies beat out chicks as America’s favorite Peeps shape — 57% prefer bunnies, while 43% prefer chicks.
A true Peeps lover knows Peeps don’t just come in their original flavor. Peeps come in a variety of crazy flavors, from birthday cake to sour watermelon. This year alone, Just Born introduced six new flavors for Easter:
- The Original Donut Shop Coffee Flavored Marshmallow Chicks
- The Original Donut Shop Caramel Mocha Flavored Filled Delights Dipped in Chocolate with Caramel Filling Marshmallow Chicks
- Sparkly Wild Berry Flavored Marshmallow Bunnies
- Tropical Burst Flavored Marshmallow Chicks (only available at Target)
- Strawberry Flavored Delights Dipped in Milk Chocolate (only available at Target)
- Cotton Candy Flavored Pops (only available at Walmart)
So which flavors of Peeps are people most excited about?
Survey respondents were given seven different categories of Peeps flavors and, in each category, asked to choose the flavor they are most excited for. Then the winners of each category were pitted against one another. We asked each respondent to pick an ultimate winner from their category winners.
Wild Berry Marshmallow Bunnies take the top spot in the fruit flavor category, while Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Chicks are the first pick among chocolate-dipped Peeps.
Prefer your Peeps on a stick? Keep an eye out for the Froot Loops flavor — 36% agree this is the flavor they’re most interested in among pops flavors.
Peeps even offers treats outside of the classic marshmallows. The top Easter-themed product is the Peeps flavored jelly beans.
For the Peeps flavor collaborations, Americans are most excited for The Original Donut Shop Caramel Mocha Flavored Filled Delights (42%). The Chocolate Pudding Bunnies lead the dessert category as the top pick (37%).
In the final match-ups between category favorites, three flavors emerged victorious – Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Chicks, Peeps Flavored Jelly Beans, and Chocolate Pudding Bunnies.
Peeps in the wild (and in the microwave!)
While Peeps are obviously meant for eating, their role as a festive treat is not the only reason people love them. The marshmallows have carved out a niche as a source of experimentation for the young and the young at heart.
One of the most popular Peeps experiments is also one of the simplest. Our survey found that nearly 1/3 of people — 32% — have microwaved a Peep to see what happens.
If you've never microwaved a Peep, take a “peep” here at what happens when you do:
America’s other favorite Easter treats
Peeps are some of the most controversial holiday treats on the market. For those who aren’t on the Peeps bandwagon, there are still plenty of other delicious Easter treats to choose from.
By far, the most popular Easter treat is Reese’s Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs — 24% named the peanut butter-and-chocolate treats as their favorite Easter candy. Interestingly enough, Reese’s eggs have been around almost as long as Peeps — they were introduced in 1967, 14 years after the invention of Peeps.
Following Reese’s eggs are Cadbury Creme Eggs (16%) and chocolate bunnies (13%). Peeps were the sixth favorite, behind jelly beans and Easter-themed M&Ms. So while Peeps may be an iconic Easter treat, it might be a good idea to stock your Easter baskets with more top-ranked chocolate treats unless you are certain the basket recipient is a true Peeps fanatic.
How to save on your Easter goodies
Regardless of whether you’re planning to include Peeps in your Easter festivities, there are ways to celebrate that fit any budget:
- Get rewarded for shopping. Planning an Easter Sunday brunch? Make your wallet work for you, and use one of the best credit cards for buying groceries to earn cash back or other rewards when you shop.
- Earn cash back at Target. Maximize your shopping trips by learning all the best tips for getting cash back at Target while buying goodies to fill your Easter basket.
- Use a top-rated cash back card. The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card is a great option to use as you stock up on all your Easter necessities.
FinanceBuzz surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18 or older, who comprise a nationally representative sample, on March 7, 2022.
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