PEZ candy

Simmer Magazine

The Origin of Pez

As a little kid did you ever collect dozens and dozens of PEZ dispensers?  Those little plastic tubes with the head of a cartoon character that opened and closed to reveal a neat pile of the flavorful candy.  Although the fun packaging makes it seem like PEZ has always been a treat for children, the truth is that PEZ was once marketed to adults as a method to quit smoking.

In 1927, PEZ was invented by Eduard Haas III as a breath mint in Vienna, Austria.  The name PEZ actually comes from the German word ‘pfefferminz’ meaning peppermint.  In 1948, the familiar dispenser shape was created to look like a cigarette lighter.  The idea was that if smokers could have something that reminded them of their old habit, then they would not feel like they were quitting cold turkey.

In order to increase sales in the…

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