Love is dead. Well, sort of. Sweethearts – those beloved conversation candy hearts – won’t be available for purchase this Valentine’s Day because Necco, the company that manufactured the sweet treats, abruptly went out of business in July 2018.
The candy producer, which also manufactured the classic Necco Wafers, Mary Jane, Thin Mints, Clark Bars and the Sky Bar, was originally purchased by Round Hill Investments. However, that company later sold the Necco wafer brand and Sweethearts to Spangler Candy Company around September.
Given the timing of the sale, Spangler says it wasn’t able to produce enough Sweethearts in time for Valentine’s Day 2019. In a press release on the brand’s official website, Spangler chairman and CEO Kirk Vashaw said, “We look forward to announcing the Sweethearts relaunch for the 2020 Valentine season.”
He later acknowledged the candy’s beloved status, adding, “Many people have memories of sorting through their box of Sweethearts to find just the right message to share.”
According to BuzzFeed, it took the folks at Necco 11 months to produce eight billion Sweethearts, so Spangler isn’t really at fault here. And while that number may sound high for a candy that wasn’t exactly lauded for its exceptional taste, the demands for all those little pastel hearts was definitely there. In fact, Candystore.com reported conversation hearts were the most popular Valentine’s Day confection in 2018.
Seeing as how this year marks the first time in 153 years that Sweethearts won’t be on store shelves, many consumers are, dare we say it, heartbroken. “It’s a travesty… no Conversation Hearts for Valentine’s Day,” wrote one disappointed Twitter user. Added another: “NOOOOO! no conversation hearts this year. How am I supposed to tell you how I feel?”
Still, not everyone is sad to see the Valentine’s Day staple go. As one naysayer put it: “Take them all. Conversation hearts taste like cardboard.”
If you’re desperate for a Sweetheart fix as the holiday approaches, you could always head to Amazon, where 36 boxes of the candies can be yours for just under $33!
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