Mystery Flavors? Take a Peep Behind the Curtain

By Melody Phan Rich
March 24, 2015
Colorful Peeps with Jelly Beans

Peeps are the candy people generally love – or don’t. But here’s a mystery:  A lot of the time, those who may not eat them still end up buying them.

Whether they’re added to a child’s Easter basket, used as a colorful embellishment for a craft project, or simply scooped up for a sugary snack, Peeps are by far one of the most popular candies we sell this time of year at Walmart.

Walmart has sold Peeps nearly as long as they’ve been around. Three years ago, we made buying this iconic Easter candy even more fun by adding new flavors – like sour watermelon, bubble gum and blue raspberry – to our assortment.

Several months ago, we visited our supplier, Just Born, to talk about even more flavors they were working on. As we walked the factory filled with white Peeps waiting for color, an idea hit me: What if they made the new flavors a secret?

Just Born was intrigued, and we agreed to work together to get the mystery Peeps ready in time for Easter. Because it was our idea, they made it exclusive to Walmart, and we got to taste the flavors as they were developed.

Collaboration is a key ingredient in not only candy, but the buying process in categories across our stores. I have a creative mind, so I’m always proposing ideas. The best part is discussing those with our suppliers and combining our shared expertise toward the best solution for customers. Candy is obviously fun to work on day to day, but the challenge of continually surprising and delighting people through new offerings makes the process even more exciting.

There’s only so much candy you can eat in a day, but my team tries to taste everything we’re presented to ensure the best quality. We tasted a lot of interesting Peeps flavors in the process for this product – for example, did we want to go with maple bacon? And the answer is … well, maple bacon just doesn’t translate well to everything.

Growing up, I loved eating mystery candies, and that partially inspired this idea. The rest of it stemmed from a simple desire to make a joyful holiday even more fun for Walmart customers – a part of my job that’s always pretty sweet.

Want to guess the mystery Peeps flavors? Submit your thoughts on their Facebook page.