Valentine's Day

Sorry, SweetHearts Candy Hearts Won’t Be Sold This Valentine’s Day

updated Apr 30, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Brent Hofacker)

Few candies can claim such an iconic role in a holiday as the SweetHeart Conversation Hearts — you know, the slightly chalky, pastel-colored hearts that say things like “Be mine,” “Text me,” and “Love you.” The candies that come in the box with the clear window that you handed out to friends — just like your parents before you might have — won’t be around this February for Valentine’s Day.

For more than 150 years, SweetHearts and the New England Confectionery Company (also known as “Necco”) have produced the famous candies, but Martha Stewart reports that this year they’ve stopped. Last year Necco — the oldest continually operating candy company at the time — closed up shop because they’d recently gotten a dismal report on an FDA inspection warning of rodent activity and unsanitary conditions. They sold off the various brands, including SweetHearts, which was bought (along with Necco wafers) by Spangler Candy — the makers of Dum-Dum lollipops, among others.

But Spangler couldn’t buy the brands directly and ended up getting them through a third company, which meant they only acquired SweetHearts in September — nowhere near the 11 months that it takes Necco to produce the eight-billion conversation hearts normally sold in the six weeks before Valentine’s Day.

So that’s the bad news. Ready to cheer up? Since the candy is basically predicated on tasting stale as it is, you could head to Amazon and purchase some from last year. Alternatively, you could purchase some imitation-hearts made by a different company (who will really know the difference?). Or you could just forget the classic style and go with the new Sour Patch Kids version. Either way, it’s all a stop-gap measure, because the best news is that Spangler is gearing up to produce the hearts, and starting in 2020, the original will be back on the market, and we’re hoping it will stick around for another 150 years — at least.