The Pez Empire

In 1947 one of the most recognizable candy’s hit the market with an unusual target demographic. The Pez assortment character dispensers that are now seen as unique collectibles were actually made to look like cigarette lighters – with the intention to help adults curve smoking habits.

Austrian confectioner named Eduard Haas III gave the Pez its name based off of the German word for peppermint, “Ppferrerminze”. P, E, Z, taking the first, middle, and ending letters to create PEZ. This brick-shaped candy also started in a rounded, mint shape and was called a ‘Pez Drop’ and was manufactured in small tins.

This unique mint candy quickly shifted its marketing strategy from the ‘Pez Girls’ advertisements to more of a child’s candy when American kids in the 1950s fell in love with the little candies.

In 1952 the candy set up shop in New York City and filed for its first patent on the unique dispensers we are all used to seeing. The Halloween Witch became the very first traditional character (1957) followed by Popeye being the first licensed character (1958).

From here the assortment of characters rapidly expanded. In 1984 a major update changed the Pez design forever. The addition of small tabs or ‘feet’ on the bottom of the dispensers not only helps the dispensers to sit upright but also gives the design an additional appeal.

The brand kept expanding from TV sitcom features (Seinfeld) and the first major Pez convention taking place in Mentor, Ohio in 1991.

Flash forward to the modern-day, Pez has a Connecticut-based visitor center to give Pez fanatics the full, Pez experience.

Coca-Cola Coffee?

New product alert, so good it deserves it’s own post – pre episode 22.

We’ve been there for coke, through flavor changes calorie and sugar cuts. From diet and zero to orange flavored coke it’s pretty clear that the brand is not lacking in ingenuity. This time coke has really stretched it’s normal boundaries to give us a new kind of caffeinated beverage. Coca Cola, Coffee.

Coca-Cola YouTube Channel

Maybe you’re like me and wondering why the iconic brand wouldn’t just invest in making better, successful energy drinks. Why make the swap to coffee?

Well, let’s take a look at the snack-specs.


I think the most important note we can see from these specs is the amount of caffiene. Maybe this creates a big difference for the soda brand. Less caffiene than a cup of coffee, but more than your standard coke.

The more I think about this the more it makes sense. My caffeine addiction and mentality of ‘the more caffeine the better’ may have clouded my product judgement. So many of my friends say they drink coke for the caffeine. I never really understood this because for an addict there isn’t nearly enough caffeine in soda to feel the jitters. This is what they love though – the sweet spot of caffeine. So maybe if this market of people like the taste and are soda drinkers, they could possibly get their caffeine fix from this new, ‘coffee coke’.

Reading up on the new canned coffee, I absolutely love this quote from the Washington Post (article linked here) where a focus taste tester said, “Sips like a Coke, finishes like a coffee.”

I can’t wait to try this product, in fact I’m running out to find one now. Send your review to @snackbreakmeg on Instagram.