Ever wonder how PEZ is made? Thanks to food factory tours, hungry travelers can satisfy their curiosities…and cravings. Whether you’re road tripping across the US or exploring your own hometown, take a delicious detour at some of the country’s most beloved snack factories.
From learning how ice cream is made at Ben & Jerry’s in Waterbury, Vermont, to learning the tricks to making fortune cookies at Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in San Francisco, we bet you can’t resist Seeker’s tastebud tour across America. Let’s explore.
Located halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento, the Jelly Belly Visitor Center offers daily self-guided tours along a quarter-mile journey above the factory that includes interactive exhibits, videos, games, and an art gallery. Don’t forget to stop at the Jelly Belly Candy Store where candy connoisseurs can buy wildly shaped and sized Belly Flops and order jelly bean-shaped hamburgers and pizza at the Jelly Belly Cafe.
Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in San Francisco’s Chinatown has been creating custom fortune cookies since 1962. Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory makes 10,000 fortune cookies on a cast iron griddle each day and visitors can watch the sweet process for free during the shop’s factory tour.
Celestial Seasonings has 105 varieties of tea and makes enough tea to brew 1.6 billion cups of tea per year. More than 2.1 million visitors have taken the free tour of Celestial Seasonings to learn about their teas and the tea-making process.
Since 1920, Hammond’s has been twisting, pulling, and shaping classic candy. During the 30-minute Hammond’s Factory Tour in Denver, Colorado, see how lollipops and candy canes are made, plus sample sweet treats. Tours are free but advanced reservations are required.
What started as a German peppermint candy in 1927 has become a beloved candy company famous for its plastic character dispensers. Fans can take a self-guided tour at the PEZ Visitors Center in Orange, Connecticut that includes a view of the production area, the largest collection of PEZ memorabilia in the world, and the world’s largest PEZ dispenser. Don’t forget to participate in the game of the month to win a prize.
Hot sauce fans can get a behind-the-scenes look at how TABASCO sauce is made and learn about the history of this iconic hot sauce during the TABASCO Brand Factory Tour & Museum on Avery Island, Louisiana. The Avery Island Fan Experience includes a self-guided tour of the TABASCO Museum, Pepper Greenhouse, Barrel Warehouse, Avery Island Conservation, and Salt Mine diorama.
Take a free self-guided tour to see how Cape Cod kettle cooked potato chips are made. During the Cape Cod Factory Tour in Cape Cod, snackers can see how potatoes are transformed to chips, peek in at the potato chip production floor, and enjoy a complimentary bag of Cape Cod potato chips.
Tour the Anheuser-Busch Brewery, see the famous Clydesdales and drink beer directly from the finishing tank in St. Louis, Missouri. There are four tour options ranging from one to two hours. Ultimate fans can take the Beermaster Tour: a behind-the-scenes tour of the brewing process that includes stops at the Schoolhouse Beer Museum, the Clydesdale Paddock and Stables, Beechwood Aging Cellars, the Brewhouse, the Bevo packaging facility, and the finishing cellars.
Starbucks may have started in Seattle, but fans can get an in-depth education in coffee at the Starbucks Reserve Seattle Roastery, Starbucks Reserve Chicago Roastery, and Starbucks Reserve New York Roastery, each of which offers a variety of private tours that take visitors on a coffee journey from bean to cup. Visitors can add exclusive beverage tasting experiences when booking their tours. Each tour includes a bag of exclusive Starbucks Reserve coffee.
Ice cream lovers can get a behind-the-scenes look at how Tillamook’s creamy ice cream is made during free, self-guided tours at Tillamook Creamery tours. On the tour, visitors learn about the Creamery’s 100-plus year old history and can watch ice cream being made. True fans can book the Exclusive Ice Cream Experience, which includes testing and tasting ice cream as an honorary sensory team member.
This free, self-paced tour shows off the 600,000-square-foot Utz Potato Chips facility in Hanover, Pennsylvania. From a glass observation gallery, watch the chip-making process, which is explained via audio guide. The Utz Chip Trip Tour takes 30-45 minutes.
Tour Snyder’s of Hanover and see how their famous pretzels are made in Hanover, Pennsylvania. The 30-minute walking tour includes Snyder’s of Hanover’s history and stops at the raw material warehouse, finished goods warehouse, packing room, and oven room. Visitors get a complimentary bag of pretzels at the end of the free tour.
See how chocolate is made during a free 30-minute guided tour at HERSHEY’s Chocolate World. The chocoholic tour includes a peek at how chocolate is made, plus a sample of the famous candy! Visitors can pre-book a timed entry spot and purchase additional activities, including Create Your Own Candy Bar or watch a theatrical performance like Hershey’s Unwrapped – Reimagined, 4D Chocolate Movie, and Hershey Trolley Works, plus there’s Hersheypark for rides and more fun!
Get a glimpse at snack magic during the one-hour Forever Good tour at Herr’s Snack Factory in Nottingham, Pennsylvania. The tasty manufacturing tour is often live Mondays through Wednesdays and often video-only on Thursdays and Fridays.
Learn how maple syrup is made at Goodrich’s Maple Farm in Cabot, Vermont. During the farm’s free 30-minute tour, learn the history of maple syrup and witness the sugaring process from tree to table—all with a bit of Vermont humor sprinkled in for good measure. Tours include sampling maple syrup!
See how iconic Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is made during a 45-minute guided tour at the site of their first factory in Waterbury, Vermont. Ultimate fans can book a two-hour VIP Experience that includes a private tour, tie dye lab coat, plus time in the Flavor Lab to assist in the ice cream making process under the guidance of Flavor Gurus. Due to the pandemic, tours and VIP Experiences are on pause, but expected to return in Fall 2021. The Scoop Shop is currently open daily.
From cocoa farm to chocolate bar, Theo Chocolate shows you how their organic and fair trade certified chocolate is made at their Fremont Chocolate Factory during the Theo Factory Experience. The one-hour tour includes the history and science of chocolate and cocoa bean sourcing, a look at the factory, and plenty of chocolate tasting! During the pandemic, the Factory Experience is on hold, but Virtual Chocolate Tasting Classes are available.