Necco closure ends classic Valentine’s Day Sweethearts Candy


Photo by Hallie Gallinat.

Junior Mac McGuire holds up Brach’s Conversation Hearts, one of the alternatives to Sweethearts.

After more than 100 years of producing candy, the New England Confectionery Co., or Necco, went out of business in spring of 2018. This brings an end to candies like Necco Wafers and the Valentine’s Day candy Sweethearts.

Following the bankruptcy, Necco was bought by Round Hill Investments, then later sold to an unknown buyer, according to Vox. After being sold again, Necco was bought by Spangler’s Candy Co., the company that manufactures circus peanuts and Dum Dum lollipops.

“It might be an improvement for taste, because Dum Dums taste pretty good, but it’s not the same,” junior Mac McGuire said. “It’s almost like a replica of it but it’s not the original thing.”

According to Candy Industry, a candy news magazine, Spangler’s Candy Co bought the Necco brands Sweethearts, Necco wafers and Canada Mints. However, there will not be any Sweethearts this Valentine’s Day.

“As a kid, I used to eat Sweethearts all the time, so it’s kind of disappointing to see something I grew up with not around anymore,” junior Lyna Colcord said.

Other brands such as Brach’s, Wonka and M&Ms also make Sweethearts-like alternatives, according to the Today Show. Also, if buyers want the original brand, online stores like eBay have Sweethearts for sale, albeit not as fresh as a store bought box.

Despite the alternatives, Sweethearts was the most popular Valentine’s Day candy, according to CandyStore, a candy blog and online candy shop. Spangler’s wants to have the candy back on store shelves by 2020. However, this is still uncertain. Until then, consumers will have to find another way to give a message to their valentine.

“I’m pretty sad because the candy hearts were a stamp of our childhood,” McGuire said. “It’s what you got in elementary school when you passed out your Valentines. They were trash, but the idea of it is important.”