Nation braces for candy flirtation fail with Valentine’s Day Sweetheart shortage

Photo: Jennifer McCallum (iStock)

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so it’s time to get your dinner reservations locked down, place your flower order, and maybe even consider a public proposal (or not). But if your usual Valentine’s Day package usually include some cunningly selected, chalky Sweetheart conversation hearts, you’re out of luck this year.

As CandyStore.com reports, the New England Confectionery Company, maker of Sweetheart candy hearts and the similarly textured Necco wafers, recently went under. And Spangler Candy Company, which purchased the defunct company, has announced that it will not be producing Sweetheart candies this year.

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Granted, if you rely on candy substances to tell your beloved how you really feel about them (who doesn’t love a “Be Mine” heart slyly placed on a romantic dinner plate?), other candy companies are stepping in to fill the void. But you may want to move quickly, as replacement Brach’s Conversation Hearts seem to be moving fast on Amazon.

Still, it can’t be denied that the industry leader in the chatty heart game has left a giant void. Always a font of candy stats and trivia, CandyStore.com reports that Necco used to produce 8 billion (with a “b”) candy hearts every year, or 100,000 pounds’ worth. Last year, CandyStore crowned conversation hearts the most popular valentine’s candy in America, and said that Sweethearts made up about 80 percent of that total.

Fortunately, new Spangler CEO Kirk Vashaw has confirmed that Sweethearts will return next year: “We are looking forward to announcing the relaunch of Sweethearts for the 2020 Valentine’s Day season.” Hurrah for “My Love” and “Kiss Me” fans. In the meantime, CandyStore cautions, you still may find Sweethearts available, but they’re likely to be about a year old, and “You may or may not be ok with that.” Honestly, it’s hard to imagine those little chalky shapes could taste even worse.

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About the author

Gwen Ihnat

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.