Sweet Talk: The Original Conversational Candy

Sweet Talk: The Original  Conversational  Candy
  • The candy company Necco, or New England Confectionary Company, was founded in Boston in 1847 by a man named Oliver Chase.
  • The first confection candies were in the shape of sea scallops. Instead of messages printed on them, they contained a message inside much like a fortune cookie.
  • Other shapes that made up Necco’s assortment of confection candies included baseballs, horseshoes, and watches before consumers fell in love with the heart.
  • In the early 1900’s, Oliver’s brother invented a machine that had the ability to stamp directly on the candies with red vegetable dye, and the conversational Necco’s Sweethearts we know today were born.
  • Some of the original phrases still in use today include “Be Mine,” “Be True,” and “Kiss Me.”
  • The phrases have evolved over time to the delight of consumers. Popular phrases of the ‘90s included “Fax Me,” “Dig It,” and “You Go, Girl.” The timely phrases of recent years have included “Text Me” and “Tweet Me.”
  • More than 8 billion candy hearts are sold in the six weeks before Valentine’s Day. Following chocolate, they make up 40% of the Valentine’s Day candy market.
  • Necco went out of business in 2018. Spangler Candy, whose claim-to-fame is the Dum Dum Lollipop, purchased the company that fall, but couldn’t get production ramped up in time for the 2019 holiday, making it the first year in almost 120 years without the original adored candy.
  • The most requested candy heart is “Marry Me,” for an extra sweet proposal.
  • Good news and bad news: Spangler is bringing the hearts back in 2020 with the same recipe Necco used, but they anticipate not being able to meet consumer demands since it took almost a year to move all the equipment from the Necco factory to their own. For the best chance at securing the original candy heart this year, it’s recommended to check nationwide drug stores like CVS and Walgreens.
  • Another change for 2020: due to their printer breaking, some of the hearts will not be conversational this year. Suggestions: tell your partner their love makes you speechless, your love doesn’t need words, or some things are better left unsaid.

Look for the candy hearts to be back in full force in 2021!

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