A Look At The Single Factory That Makes The World's PEZ

While PEZ candy might have originated in Vienna, Austria (via the PEZ company website), you do not need to travel to Europe to find the single factory that makes all those candies. The corporate headquarters and candy factory are located in Orange, Connecticut. While the dispensers are made in other factories, the Orange location creates the key component, those "pastel colored," variously flavored candies. With 12 pieces of candy per regular roll and 10 different flavors available, that single candy factory seems to be quite busy. According to CNN, the United States consumes "over 3 billion PEZ candies" each year.

PEZ is a shortened version of pfefferminz, the German word for peppermint (as the company tells us). Although PEZ was originally created and marketed as a substitute for smoking, launched in 1927, the rectangular-shaped confection has expanded its flavor options over the years. Current flavors include assorted fruit, sour candy, and even a mystery flavor, although peach flavored PEZ has not been a US flavor. Even though there are many candy flavor options, some people focus on the PEZ dispenser, not just the candy inside.

Is PEZ popular for its candy or its dispensers?

While the Orange, Connecticut location is the single factory candy producer, many PEZ fans are focused on the PEZ dispenser. According to Mental Floss, PEZheads have caused some PEZ dispensers to become very valuable. Per the New York Times, eBay founder Pierre M. Omidyar created the buying and selling platform so that his girlfriend had a place to participate in the PEZ dispenser collection business via the Internet. While the retail price of PEZ varies, the one of the most expensive PEZ dispensers, a political donkey, sold for $13,000 (per CNN). According to Work and Money, the PEZ Price Guide compares the relative worth of some of the most valuable dispensers. 

Over the years, many characters have been incorporated into a PEZ dispenser. While PEZ itself reports that Santa Claus is the best-selling dispenser of all time, he's certainly not the only one to earn a spot in the lineup. From cartoons to popular movies, the PEZ dispenser reflects a wide array of configurations, reflecting different aspects of popular culture. In the past year, PEZ had added Mandalorian and Wawa trucks designs.

Even if you purchase PEZ for just the dispenser, remember that one single factory in Orange, Connecticut makes the candy that sweetens the deal.