PEEPS, Beans & Eggs: How Easter's Best Are Made

What does it take to make a basket of delectables? A lot of chocolate, corn syrup, and decades of manufacturing innovation.

Easter candy is better than Halloween's. It had to be said. First off, making or buying a costume, a lot of walking, and the kindness of strangers are involved in obtaining  candy on Oct. 31. On Easter Sunday, as a kid you really just have to wake up, and bam, candy. And as a parent, all you have to do is throw candy you want to eat in a cheap wicker basket, maybe add a little plastic grass. No wrapping, no walking, no sitting at the door for two hours pretending you're impressed by kids you didn't make.

Secondly, you could get most of the candy your kid scores at the drug store anytime of year, only normal-sized, not shrunken down to nonsensical proportions. It makes you feel like Derek Zoolander when he sees his Center for Kids Who Don't Read Good: "What is this? A candy bar for ants?"

As a fun experiment to prove my point, try putting out a bowl of  candy corn and a bowl of jelly beans at work. Those candy corns will still be there for Halloween.

I can be this bold because America finally agrees with me. In 2016, Easter candy sales beat out Halloween by a decisive margin of $2.4 billion to $2.1 billion, according to Fortune. That difference -- $300 million -- is about equal to Micronesia's GDP.

So just how do the country's largest confectioners keep up with America's inexhaustibly voracious appetite for Easter candy?

We looked into the manufacturing techniques of some of the most popular** sweets -- Marshmallow PEEPS, Jelly Belly Jelly Beans,and Cadbury Creme Eggs --to find out.

**A recent RetailMeNot.com survey suggests that Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Chocolate Eggs are the most popular, but you can get Reese's anytime, and they also didn't respond to my interview request.

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