Heartbreakingly, the conversation hearts the New England-based company Necco is known for will not be available for purchase this Valentine’s Day. The candy company that produces Necco wafer and traditional candy sweethearts will not be producing the traditional treat due to a matter of poor time management.
Necco has been making the iconic hearts since 1886, but last spring the company filed for bankruptcy protection and went out of business. A Connecticut-based company, Round Hill Investments purchased Necco at a bankruptcy auction in May, but the Necco factory shut down in July without warning, sending 230 employees home.
Round Hill reconsidered the acquisition and sold the company to an unnamed buyer. Then, in September, Spangler Candy Co., the Ohio-based company best known for Dum-Dums, circus peanuts, and candy canes, acquired Necco, but said they lacked the time to produce the approximate 8 billion conversation hearts made each season.
Despite vowing to keep some of Necco’s favorites going, Spangler announced Thursday (Jan. 24) that they would not be able to meet the demand this year, as it reportedly takes around 11 months to produce enough of the beloved chalky candies.
Spangler CEO Kirk Vashaw said the company wants to ensure that Sweethearts meet customer expectations when they return to stores, possibly next year.
While candy competitors like Brach’s still make conversation hearts, online retailer CandyStore.com says Necco Sweethearts were by far the most popular brand, commanding 80 percent of the United States market for candy hearts.