Why You Won’t Be Getting Sweethearts Candy This Valentine’s Day

Remember buying or receiving Sweethearts candy for Valentine’s Day and sorting through them for the ones with your favorite words, like ‘Be Mine,’  ‘I love you,’ or You’re Mine?’  Well you won’t find them or receive them this year!  At least not the original Sweethearts Conversation Hearts candy brand by NECCO.

Nope, no Sweethearts ConversationHearts candy by NECCO for Valentine’s Day! 

According to Wikipedia, NECCO, which stands for New England Confectionary Company, which had been producing the Sweethearts candy, went under last year and was officially acquired by the Spangler Candy Co. in September of 2018.

NECCO’s roots go back to 1847, when two brothers, Oliver R. and Silas E. Chase founded Chase and Company. The Chase brothers invented and patented the first American candy machine.  They created a variety of candy making machines, but the most popular candy they produced was the NECCO sugar wafers – quarter-sized, about a quarter inch thin in pastel colors.

Then in 1901, NECCO started producing the conversation hearts candy and called them Sweethearts. 

NECCO used to produce 8 billion Sweethearts candy per year and they were produced all year long. But in September production would ramp up to meet the demands for Valentine’s Day. About 100,000 pounds of hearts were made per day and once they were shipped out, would sell out in about six weeks.

Two of NECCO’s largest customers were Target and CVS Pharmacy.

With the purchase of NECCO by Spangler last September, the Sweetheart 
Conversation Hearts candy will not be ready for Valentine’s day this year, because Spangler is setting up production of the special confection in a new plant. However, Spangler says the Sweethearts candy will be available for 2020.

Spangler Chairman and CEO Kirk Vashaw, said last September after acquiring Necco,“There are a lot of manufacturing challenges and unanswered questions at this point.”But, “We are particularly excited about the Sweethearts brand,”he said. “Many people have memories of sorting through their box of Sweethearts to find just the right message to share.”

Prior to its sale NECCO was headquartered in Revere, Massachusetts. Spangler is located in Bryan, Ohio and is well-known for its popular small, fun-sized Dum-Dum lollipops and those spongey, marshmallowy Circus Peanuts.  Spangler was formed in 1906, is family owned and international in scope.

But, Amazon’s website shows they have Sweetheart candies sold by Brach’s and they also show a sour tart variety as well.

If you can get them before they run out, good luck!