Remember last year about this time, when the Necco Candy Company revealed that it was selling out to a larger competitor, and those truly iconic heart-shaped Valentine’s candies with the lovey messages would no longer be available? Well, the new owner has made good on its promise to fans…
When Spangler Candy bought out Necco, we bid a fond farewell to a bunch of Necco classics including Valentine’s Sweethearts, the heart-shaped candies with the sweet messages printed on them. But no sooner had the bad news gone viral on social media than Spangler vowed to bring them back this year. And the company has apparently made good on that promise.
They just had to…
Spangler spokesperson Diana Moore Eschhofen told CNBC the social media outcry was a ‘teachable moment’ for the company: “It became really apparent to us how much people were going to miss them.” And Spangler vowed to move heaven and earth – and a lot of proprietary equipment – to make sure there would be at least some available this Valentine’s Day.
Some bumps in the road
Spangler had to relocate some 60 transport truck loads of special equipment from the old Necco plant to its facilities to make the Sweethearts. Some larger pieces of gear had to be lifted out through the roof by a crane, and some of it had to be replaced.
When they got the Sweethearts machine back together again, they found that the old device for printing the messages on the candies was on its last legs, so they commissioned a new one. But that one didn’t quite do what it was supposed to. So the messages on the Candy Hearts you might be lucky enough top get this year are blurred, off-centred and, in some cases, totally unreadable. They’re working on it.
On the up side…
Spangler decided to pay homage to the 118 year history of the Sweetheart by going back to the original recipe and flavours. They found the formulas they needed in Necco’s ancient records. This means that the new message hearts might not be quite so chalky on the tongue and will feature new flavours including Banana and Wintergreen. We think Sweethearts fans will approve.
On the down side…
The Sweethearts manufacturing line was not up and running in time to make enough of the candies to meet anticipated consumer demand. So… They’ll be available in limited quantities at select national drug store chains this Valentine’s season.
“Based on consumer response and the technical challenges, we are not going to be able to meet all of the consumer demand for 2020,” Eschhofen admitted. “We know that’s disappointing, but it’s a disappointment for us, too.”
Next year, Spangler assures us, there will be enough for everybody, again.
~ Maggie J.