Be still my eating heart: Sweethearts won’t be on sale this Valentine’s Day
They’ve been a crucial part of American romance since 1866 when the Necco wafer factory began experimenting with printing romantic sayings on their candy, but this Valentine’s Day there will be no Sweethearts candy available for sale.
The company that bought Necco, Round Hill Investments LLC, shut down the plant that produced the sweets last year, with 230 workers losing their jobs and the Sweethearts brand being sold on to Spangler Candy Company.
However, Spangler have said that while they plan to continue making Sweethearts, they didn’t have enough time to get them ready for this Valentine’s Day, having only acquired the brand in September.
“There are a lot of manufacturing challenges and unanswered questions at this point, and we want to make sure these brands meet consumer expectations when they re-enter the market,” said Spangler’s chairman and CEO, Kirk Vashaw.
The heart-shaped candy have made numerous appearances in American culture over the past century. In Anne Of Green Gables, first published in 1908, Glibert proffers a pink candy heart with the words, “You Are Sweet”, to Anne, who grinds it under her heel.
Eighty-five years later Bart Simpson made his own box of Sweethearts but changed all the messages to say “Prize Pig”, “U Stink”, “Kiss Off” and “Eat My Shorts”. In recent years the messages have been updated, with hearts including “tweet me” and “text me” added. They’ve grown to become the most popular candy for Americans to give at Valentine’s, even more popular than chocolate.
This year, lovebirds will have to make do with other candy trying to muscle in on Sweethearts’ patch, including Oreo Cookies that say “dunk in love” and heart-shaped Sour Patch Kids.
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