PEZ is a candy manufacturing company popular around the world, with its parent company in Austria. The word PEZ means peppermint. The variety of flavors and the collectibles made it famous and unique.
PEZ was founded in Vienna by Eduard Haas III in 1927, when the first breath mint was introduced. Due to the popularity of the product, he opened a manufacturing plant in Czechoslovakia. The first PEZ candy dispenser was introduced in 1948. It resembled a cigarette lighter, and was named Box Regulars. In the 1950s, PEZ started manufacturing dispensers for children in the shape of guns, robots and Santa Claus. In December 1952, PEZ-Haas, Inc. was founded in New York City as a private subsidiary of the parent company PEZ.
In the early 1960s, PEZ started manufacturing Mickey Mouse dispensers. The headquarters of the company was moved to Orange County in Connecticut in 1974. In the late 1970s, new characters with rubber heads were introduced to the market. The dispensers made after 1987 also had feet for more stability. The dispensers became so popular that both children and adults started collecting them. So PEZ decided to create a convention for the collectors. The first convention was held in Mentor, Ohio on June 15, 1991.
Auctions were also conducted to buy and sell the collectibles. The first one was conducted at Christie’s Auction House in New York. The PEZ dispensers also got a place on the front cover of the December 1993 issue of Forbes magazine. In the late 1990s, it introduced new Star Wars dispensers, after the success of the Star Wars movie. The dispensers also became very popular, and it is one of the most popular dispensers of PEZ candy.
The first plush character dispensers were introduced in 2000, and were named PEZ Fuzzy Friends. By the early 2000s, mini dispensers with candy became a part of the cereal boxes manufactured by General Mills. This was done as a part of marketing campaign to promote the cereals. After that, PEZ also started manufacturing giant dispensers. The first one was introduced in August 2001, and was named Peter PEZ. In 2002, four new flavors and four new dispensers were introduced. The flavors included green apple, blue raspberry, watermelon, and pineapple.
The Star Wars Collector’s Set which was introduced in 2005 became very popular. In 2006, new dispensers with the faces of stars of the television show Orange County Choppers were the first to be introduced that featured real people. It celebrated 80 years in business in 2007. In 2009, it released a collector’s set of characters from the “Wizard of Oz” movie.
Company headquarters: Vienna, Austria
Annual revenue: $20 to $50 million
Geography: More than 80 countries
Demography: Natural and Organic