The real reason there won't be any Peeps pumpkins this year

You were hoping nothing else bad would happen this year. Then your local grocery store set up its Halloween candy display, and you noticed something was missing: Halloween-themed Peeps.

While the first holiday that comes to mind when you think of those sweet marshmallow chicks and bunnies might be Easter, the makers of Peeps also whip up special batches of their candy for Halloween and Christmas. But you won't find pumpkin, ghost, or cat Peeps on store shelves this year. The culprit, of course, is COVID-19 (via Blair Candy Blog). Apparently, the pandemic that canceled school, sports, and Fourth of July fireworks isn't done with us yet.

Just Born, the makers of Peeps, along with Mike and Ike and Hot Tamales candies, told Delish they decided not to make Halloween Peeps or the Christmas trees, snowmen, and gingerbread men sold around Christmas. The production lines at the Just Born Peep factory in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, won't be making Valentine's Day Peeps for early 2021, either.

The special Easter Peeps are coming in 2021

The Peeps facility closed down completely in late March, when COVID-19 was peaking in the United States. The factory reopened on May 4 with major changes. Workers were outfitted with personal-protection equipment (PPE), and the production lines were reconfigured to allow for six-foot social distancing (via Just Born). As Just Born noted to Delish, the changes forced the company to go into "limited production" — which certainly means they had to reduce their usual output, which had been 5.5 million Peeps a day (via Mental Floss). Given their limitations, the people at Peeps wanted to focus their efforts on their regular confections and on their biggest holiday of all — this coming Easter. So there is some good news for Peeps fans: When the time comes, Just Born will be ready to supply one of the most popular Easter candies in the U.S. Only chocolate and jelly beans can compete with Peeps for Easter (via Insider).

So maybe we can all resign ourselves to a Peep-less Halloween and Christmas, knowing that Easter 2021 will be closer to normal. But we're still waiting to hear whether Santa Claus plans to skip the chimneys and self-isolate this Christmas.