We find it hard to believe that Necco wafers are anyone’s favorite candy: the disc-shaped, chalky-textured “treat” we most remember for being touted in the ’80s as a possible toll booth substitute if you were out of change. But a surprise announcement from the Necco CEO that the company’s factory was going under has set off a panic for people who are clamoring for candy that, as the Wall Street Journal puts it, “tastes like drywall.”
On March 12, the Boston Globe featured an announcement from CEO Michael McGee that Necco “could be shutting down within 60 days” if the company didn’t find a buyer. Soon after, CandyStore.com reports that “Necco sales spiked more than 50 percent. Necco Wafers are up 63 percent.” CandyStore calls it “panic-buying.”
Necco stands for the “New England Confectionary Company,” which also produces nostalgic-but-not-necessarily-tasty candies like Mary Janes, Clark Bars, Candy Buttons, and Squirrel Nut Zippers. Looks like Necco has quite a run on the Halloween candy you’d leave at the very bottom of your plastic pumpkin. And yet, faced with never throwing a black disc into a toll booth basket ever again, CandyStore said that it received 167 panicked phone calls about the candy-ending news, and reports that one women offered to trade her car for the company’s entire Necco wafer stash.
Necco also makes Valentine’s sweetheart candies, which we can almost see getting excited about losing. The rest of the panic seems straight-up bizarre—but may actually help Necco find a buyer to help keep the company’s doors from closing forever.