Connecticut’s PEZ Visitor Center & Manufacturing Facility
The building is marked by a striking sign made of three stacked over-sized packages of the iconic candy. In the entrance, where tickets for the self-guided tour can be purchased, visitors pass by a colorful floor to ceiling wall holding over 700 PEZ dispensers before passing into the Visitor’s Center where they come face-to-face with the largest PEZ dispenser in the world, a blue baseball player that stands 12 feet tall. The self guided tour is organized chronologically by decade beginning in the 1920’s when the candy was first invented in Austria by Eduard Haas III as an adult breath mint and alternative to smoking. The name is derived from the German word for peppermint, “pfefferminz,” and was created from a combination of the first, middle and last letters. In line with the original objectives, early PEZ dispensers resembled cigarette lighters before the company’s presence in the U.S. market began to grow in the 1950’s, a time when PEZ came out with fruity flavors and character themed dispensers, such as the full body robot and Santa Claus. Over time, the variety of dispensers continued to grow in addition to the evolution of the design. Soon PEZ became not only a widely popular candy among children and adults but also a favorite of a growing population of collectors, which led to the first PEZ collector convention in 1991. Today, PEZ in the U.S. is available in 14 flavors: Cherry, Strawberry, Raspberry, Grape, Orange, Lemon, Strawberry-Vanilla, Raspberry-Lemon, Chocolate, Cola, Sour Blue Raspberry, Sour Green Apple, Sour Pineapple and Sour Watermelon. Free samples are offered with the tour and all flavors can be purchased at the Visitor’s Center.
Although the factory is operational and therefore entrance to the manufacturing floor is not allowed, in addition to the history of the candy and impressive display of dispensers and company history, large windows allow visitors to easily see the various stages of the production and packaging process from the Visitor Center floor.
35 Prindle Hill Rd, Orange, CT