Happy Easter – The History of Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs!

CC_Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs TITLE PLATE

To all of CollectingCandy.com’s readers that celebrate the holiday; Happy Easter!  It’s been fun counting down to today by sharing various Easter candy goodies and bits of confectionery history this week.

I wanted to close out the week’s Easter coverage with something extra-special.  With that in mind, today I’m taking a look back at the history of an Easter candy classic – Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs were first test-marketed in 1966 in the state of Pennsylvania.  That test market was a huge success and the following year in 1967,  the rest of the nation would finally get their first taste of what would become a delicious Easter candy classic.  This trade magazine clipping documents that initial roll-out and features an image of the very first Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs in their display box:

Reese's Peanut Butter Egg trade clipping - February 1967

Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg trade clipping – February 1967

By the early 1970’s, Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs would take on the single Easter-flower design that would become iconic to the brand.

Here’s an early display box lid, when the wrappers likely had a printed-on 10-cent price:

Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs display box top - circa 1970 - Image courtesy Dennis Hartwig

Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs display box top – circa 1970 – Image courtesy Dennis Hartwig

The earliest wrapper example I have in my collection is a partial or “trimmed” wrapper from a few years after that box lid:

Hershey - Reese's - Peanut Butter Egg - Easter candy wrapper - trimmed - circa 1975-1976

Hershey – Reese’s – Peanut Butter Egg – Easter candy wrapper – trimmed – circa 1975-1976

That classic design continued to be used for many years, likely into the 1990’s.  The next example I have to show is from the early 1980’s, and it is virtually unchanged from the mid-70’s version:

Hershey - Reese's Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Egg - Easter candy wrapper - 1983

Hershey – Reese’s Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Egg – Easter candy wrapper – 1983

And in 1988, this wrapper design was still in use as you can see in this newspaper circular ad and coupon:

Hershey's - Reese's - Easter Circular ad and coupon - Easter 1988

Hershey’s – Reese’s – Easter Circular ad and coupon – Easter 1988

At this point I hit a significant gap in my research, as the next wrapper I have to show is from the early 2000’s.  This wrapper features an updated look and one which previews the design to follow:

Reese's Peanut Butter Egg Wrapper - 2003 - Image courtesy MikesCandyWrappers.com

Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg Wrapper – 2003 – Image courtesy MikesCandyWrappers.com

Just a couple years later, Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs would have the look they largely retain to this day.  Though the design was introduced in 2004 or 2005, the earliest example I have is from 2009:

Hershey - Reese's Peanut Butter Egg - swirl background - Easter candy wrapper - 2009

Hershey – Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg – swirl background – Easter candy wrapper – 2009

Of note on that 2009 wrapper is the use of Reese’s trademark orange swirl background.  The swirl background was something introduced in the mid-2000’s and used across the Reese’s line.  By 2011, the orange swirl would be retired:

Hershey - Reese's Peanut Butter Egg - Easter candy wrapper - 2011

Hershey – Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg – Easter candy wrapper – 2011

I’ve also got a recent Reese’s White Egg that shares this wrapper design:

Hershey - Reese's White Peanut Butter Egg - Easter candy wrapper - 2012

Hershey – Reese’s White Peanut Butter Egg – Easter candy wrapper – 2012

Since the modern design for Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs arrived, there have been a number of special edition versions released beyond the white chocolate version I have.  I don’t have any of those others in my own collection, but I’d like to share a pair of examples pulled from elsewhere on the net.

First up, from the folks at CandyAddict.com is the Reese’s Fudge Egg:

Reese's Fudge Egg - Easter 2008 - Image source:  CandyAddict.com

Reese’s Fudge Egg – Easter 2008 – Image source: CandyAddict.com

And here is a neat-looking double-the-peanut-butter version from Jennifer T. on Flickr:

Reese's Peanut Butter Egg Double Peanut Butter - Image source  Jennifer T. on Flickr

Reese’s Double Peanut Butter Egg circa 2007 - Image source Jennifer T. on Flickr

Back to items from my own collection, here is a six-pack outer pack for the standard Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs:

Hershey - Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs - 1.2 oz 6-pack multi Easter candy package - 2011

Hershey – Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs – 1.2 oz 6-pack multi Easter candy package – 2011

And a King-Size version of the standard:

Hershey - Reese's Peanut Butter Egg - King Size - Keep Easter Easy - candy wrapper - 2012

Hershey – Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg – King Size – Keep Easter Easy – candy wrapper – 2012

Moving on to the “fun-size” versions of Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs – I’ve always quite liked these because they retain the spirit of the flower-design of the classic wrappers:

Hershey - Reese's Peanut Butter Egg - .6oz mini package - Easter 2011

Hershey – Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg – .6oz mini package – Easter 2011

Here’s the outer package for the .6 ouncers:

Hershey - Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs - 8.5 oz minis package - Easter 2011

Hershey – Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs – 8.5 oz minis package – Easter 2011

That brings us up-to-date on the classic Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs.  It’s a rich and delicious history of Reese’s Easter goodness.

[Edit:  I know I have a modern version of the Canadian Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg wrapper in my collection, but I must have misfiled it as I couldn’t find it for today’s post.  When I do finally track it down, I’ll drop it in here.]

I do have a few other Reese’s Easter-related items that I wanted to share today.   First up, a foil-wrapper Reese’s Egg package:

Hershey - Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs - 8oz Easter candy package - 2011

Hershey – Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs – 8oz Easter candy package – 2011

This is an Easter package for the Reese’s classic Miniatures:

Hershey - Reese's Miniatures - 8_5oz Easter candy package - 2011

Hershey – Reese’s Miniatures – 8.5oz Easter candy package – 2011

And here is an Easter-branded package for the relatively new Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Minis:

Hershey - Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Minis - 7oz Easter candy package - 2012

Hershey – Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Minis – 7oz Easter candy package – 2012

Finally, here is the cleverly-named Reester Bunnies.  The box for these is kind of plain, as the focus of the package design is to showcase the foil-wrapped, peanut-butter-filled chocolate bunnies:

Hershey - Reese's Reester Bunnies - Easter candy box - 2012

Hershey – Reese’s Reester Bunnies – Easter candy box – 2012

Here is one of the foil wraps.

Hershey - Reese's Reester Bunnies - Easter candy foil wrapper - 2012

Hershey – Reese’s Reester Bunnies – Easter candy foil wrapper – 2012

The Reester Bunnies received a packaging refresh and redesign for 2013.  I never saw the new version in any of my Easter candy hunts, but my brother sent me the following pic he snapped a couple of days ago:

Reese's Reester Bunnies - new design for 2013

Reese’s Reester Bunnies – new design for 2013

And that’s everything for today’s post.

Eventually, I’d like to track down the wrapper designs I’m currently missing and return to today’s topic – maybe by next year I’ll find some of the missing pieces of the puzzle.  If not by next year, hopefully I’ll have them all in time for 2016 – the 50th Anniversary of that first Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg test-market.

I hope everyone has a lovely Easter Sunday and that you’ve been able to enjoy some of your own Easter treat favorites this season.

See you next time!

About Jason Liebig

A New York City based writer, editor and sometimes actor. After spending much of the 1990′s in the comic book business helping tell the stories of Marvel Comics’ X-Men as series editor, he has since split his time between developing his own entertainment properties while still consulting and working on others. Having been described as “the Indiana Jones of lost and forgotten candy”, Jason is one of the country’s premier candy collectors and historians with his discoveries appearing in countless blogs, magazines, newspaper articles, and books. Always happy to share his knowledge and unique perspectives on this colorful part of our popular culture, Jason has consulted with New York’s Museum of Food and Drink and has also been a featured guest on Food Network’s Heavyweights, France’s M6 Capital, and New York’s TheActionRoom.com. My Google Profile+
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6 Responses to Happy Easter – The History of Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs!

  1. Andrew Reese says:

    I enjoyed seeing all of the old REESE’S Easter Egg wrappers.

    My grandfather invented the perfect combination. It is a family legacy to be proud of. No matter what form the candy takes, it will always be a REESE’S!

    • Andrew Reese says:

      BTW, you might want to check out the history book I published back in 2008 called: REESE’S Peanut Butter Cups: The Untold Story. Just click on my name to go directly to the website and by the book via iUniverse.

  2. VioletMaria says:

    I’ve got a ‘plushie’ of that Reester Bunny! Watch for him on my Flikr page!

  3. Pingback: Reese’s Halloween Pumpkins — Revised & Revisited! | CollectingCandy.com

  4. Ron Albanese says:

    Awesome … no, egg-sellent! I jumped on to this seasonal treats in the late ’70s, and never let go. Still love the eggs best; the flavor ratio is perfect to me.

  5. Pingback: Reese's Easter Egg Recipe

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