How Stuff Is Made
The Unexpectedly Weird History Behind Your Favorite Childhood Candy

This childhood favorite is a LOT weirder than we'd ever imagined.

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Halloween may be over, but our love for candy is, of course, eternal. That's why we headed to the Pez factory for a behind-the-scenes look at how those nostalgia-inducing little tablets are actually made — and the surprising story inspiring their popularity. Turns out, Pez originated in 20th-century Austria, where it was marketed to adults as an alternative to smoking (hence why those iconic dispensers look a lot like cigarette lighters, character heads not included). Once the candy came to America, the cheeky sweets quickly got a playful makeover meant to entice younger audiences, cementing them as an elementary school favorite for generations.
Press play to see the whole, sugar-coated process that behind the colorful nibbles we've been snacking on for decades. Spoiler: the stats are astounding. Don't believe us? 50,000 pounds of granulated sugar are delivered to the factory every 4 days — and 2 million finished tablets are produced every 7 hour shift. That is, after 3,000 pounds of pressure have been exerted to shape just one Pez candy. Yep, who knew our go-to childhood treat goes through so much before ever even making it to the grocery store? Check out the entire — and undeniably mesmerizing — journey in the video above.
How Pez Candy Is Made - Behind The Scenes, Factory TourReleased on November 8, 2017

R29 Original Series