PEZ – the childhood madness we’ve all been through. Don’t kid yourself, we’ve all loved those teeny tiny PEZ candies. And if not for that, the fact that you could eat candy from a dispenser that looked like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck or other cartoon characters, made it even more amazing. I’ve stumbled upon some pretty awesome facts about PEZ and here they are:
PEZ candies were originally anti-smoking mints
This is quite a turn they took. Eduard Haas III, Austrian inventor and businessman, came up with the idea for PEZ in 1927. Haas was a convinced anti-smoking advocate, so he decided the small mints could help those trying to kick cigarettes. He then hired a chemist to perfect a cold-press process that would quickly and cheaply compress peppermint oil and sugar into peppermints.
Round PEZ Drops
That is what they were called at first and they were (of course) round-shaped and wrapped in rolls. Thelater, rectangular shape was adopted after finding out how much easier machines could wrap the candy and how much money they saved by doing so.
Dispensers = company goals
When Haas had the great idea of selling PEZ in an easy-to-use dispenser everybody embraced it. As the anti-smoking idea still existed, the first dispenser was shaped like a lighter and it used springs to push the mints out. When the PEZ wave hit America, every kid wanted one. So, Haas got even more innovative and he thought “Hm, toy candy dispensers, how about that…”. And as it seems, became the first interactive candy, and it had more than 1500 different dispensers.
At some point, PEZ offered the variety of chlorophyll-flavored candies, among others like licorice, coffee, cola and pineapple. At the moment, PEZ is available in over 60 countries and the flavors are as diverse as they can be.
The PEZ rush was at its highest in the 90’s, especially in 1994, when they become a business for other “businesses”, dispensers were trade and collectors made their way through. And this, kids, is how the PEZ madness began.