John and I traveled to New Jersey in early August for his sister’s wedding weekend. On the way down we made a pit stop in Orange, Connecticut to visit the PEZ factory. Yes, your read right – PEZ!
PEZ was invented in 1927 in Vienna, Austria and was named for the German word for peppermint: pfefferminz. The PEZ world headquarters are in Traun, Austria. The PEZ candies, however, are produced in Traun and Orange, Connecticut while the dispensers are produced in Hungary and China.
The PEZ factory tour is all self guided with large glass walls looking on to the equipment. The factory equipment area was smaller than I expected. I assume they have more in another location in the building.
Despite the size, it was still pretty cool to see the candy coloring and molding area, conveyor belts, and packaging. Plus they have some vintage equipment on display as well.
The visitor’s center also has a large display with the history of PEZ by decade.
The exhibit ended with an exclusive sneak preview of the Halloween and Christmas 2013 PEZ dispensers.
The rest of the exhibit hall is full of PEZ dispensers. My favorite was the prototype mold display that shows how PEZ develops the dispenser designs.
The collection of PEZ history is the reason to come here. The displays are so cool and we really learned a lot about the history of the company/brand.
The dispensers were also displayed in huge cases on the walls by category type.
The gift shop was pretty great too with a ton of PEZ flavors, dispensers, and swag to bring home.
Our favorite gift shop item was this Lord of the Rings PEZ collection. Super cool!