Sweethearts Candy Will Not Be Available This Valentine’S Day

Sweethearts

SweetheartsIn July 2018, New England Candy Company (NECCO) who made Sweethearts Candy and NECCO wafers went out of business due to bankruptcy. The rights to make Sweethearts was bought in the fall of 2018 by Spangler Candy Company for $19 million. Unfortunately, the company has said they require more time to start production of the treats.

Sweethearts Candy, the chalky, colored hearts imprinted with saying such as “Love You” and “Be Mine” has been a mainstay candy since 1866 on Valentine’s Day and was ranked the No. 1 candy in 2017 and 2018 for the holiday, according to the bulk candy store CandyStore.com.

CandyStore.com warns consumers that any Sweethearts that are being sold are a year old.

NECCO made other candy besides Sweethearts such as Mint Julep Chews, Sky Bars and Mary Janes. The Food and Drug Administration shut them down after multiple warnings for food safety violations in the candy-making equipment. This included unsanitary conditions and significant rodent activity.

NECCO was initially purchased by the company known to revive Hostess, Round Hill Investments during the bankruptcy. Originally, an unnamed buyer bought the candies from Round Hill and off some of the less popular candy such as Haviland thin mints and Mighty Malt milk balls to various companies.

Spangler Candy, best known for Candy Canes, Circus Peanuts and Dum-Dums, bought more popular candy including Canada Mints, NECCO Wafers, and Sweethearts.

Spangler Candy CEO Kirk Vashaw said that it is time-consuming to ensure Sweethearts are made in a new, safer and cleaner environment. Spangler Candy bought 20 acres next to the main candy-making plant to ensure there is enough room to make the new candies they obtained.

He also said that renovations had to be made to bring the new plant up to food grade standards, and it could not be done in time to have Sweetheart ready for 2019.

The company released a press release stating that Sweethearts would be available in 2020 for Valentine’s Day but later deleted it.

The Nation Retail Federation reports that in the United States alone, consumers spent on candy for Valentine’s Day $1.8 billion in 2018. NECCO would sell 8 billion Sweetheart candies per year and would make 100,000 pounds of the candy daily for 11 months.

Other candy companies are producing colored hearts to take the place of Sweethearts in time for Valentine’s Day. Brach’s Conversation Hearts are selling out in multiple stores such as Amazon.

Krispy Kreme doughnuts have stepped in to fill the Sweethearts void. Starting Jan. 30, 2019 and running through Feb. 14, the company will offer “Valentine Conversation Doughnuts.”

The doughnuts will be heart-shaped and will have over a dozen different phrases written on them in colored icing including “All the Feels,” “DM Me” and “Be Mine.” The doughnuts will come with different flavored creams including chocolate, raspberry, and strawberry.

Oreo has also revealed they will be releasing a limited edition Valentine’s Day cookie. The cookies will have a saying written on top similar to Sweetheart such as “Dear Cupid Send Oreo,” “Let’s Twist,” and “XOXO Oreo.” Reese’s peanut butter cups have debuted their candies wrapped in emoji wrappers.

Written by Barbara Sobel

Sources:

People: Sweethearts Candy Hearts Are Not Available This Valentine’s Day for the First Time in 153 Years
The New York Times: On This Valentine’s Day, There Will Be No New Sweethearts (Candy)
The Takeout: Nation braces for candy flirtation fail with Valentine’s Day Sweetheart shortage

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Jonathan Thorne’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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