When we think of Valentine’s Day, one candy immediately comes to mind. No, it’s not the Reese’s peanut butter hearts or the standard Witman’s sampler chocolates, it’s those little heart-shaped candies with the lovey sayings, meant for whomever you admire. Sweethearts, as they’re actually called, are the candy corn of Valentine’s Day – seemingly available in massive quantities for only about a month out of the year. But you won’t be able to find any this year.
Last July, New England Confectionery Company, better known as Necco for short, went out of business and while most of the products were nixed, Sweethearts and the once popular Necco wafer brand candies were actually sold to Spangler Candy Company in September, according to CNBC. Spangler Candy Company already mass produces several famous candies, including candy canes, circus peanuts and Dum-Dum lollipops.
There was, however, one minor little setback with the sale: there wasn’t enough time to produce the hearts for next month’s holiday, since about eight billion of the chalky hearts are made every year. That’s about 19 million pounds, if you’re keeping track. The full supply sold in the six weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, which is why your local grocery store has a gazillion bags.
The heart-shaped candies started in 1847 when Oliver R. Chase invented a machine to cut lozenges from wafer candy, at which point his brother later printed sayings on them. Officially, Sweethearts got their start in 1901 and were always produced by Necco. So, for the first time since your great grandparent were alive, there will be no Sweethearts on the shelves in February. Maybe they should cancel this year’s holiday all together now?
Don’t fret though, they’ll be back next year to melt your heart and rot your teeth. Until then, Krispy Kreme has a pretty good way to fill that heart-shaped void.