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:
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:
The earliest wrapper example I have in my collection is a partial or “trimmed” wrapper from a few years after that box lid:
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:
And in 1988, this wrapper design was still in use as you can see in this newspaper circular ad and coupon:
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:
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:
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:
I’ve also got a recent Reese’s White Egg that shares this wrapper design:
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:
And here is a neat-looking double-the-peanut-butter version from 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:
And a King-Size version of the standard:
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:
Here’s the outer package for the .6 ouncers:
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:
This is an Easter package for the Reese’s classic Miniatures:
And here is an Easter-branded package for the relatively new Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Minis:
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:
Here is one of the foil wraps.
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:
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!