You’ll need to find another way to ask your Valentine to “Be Mine” this year.

By Emily VanSchmus
January 22, 2019

01/22/2019 — For the first time since 1866, we’ll be celebrating Valentine’s Day without SweetHeart’s Conversation Hearts. The New England Confectionery Company (you might be more familiar with ‘Necco’) is no longer producing the classic Valentine’s Day candy, which means you’ll need to find another way to send sweet messages to your loved ones this year.

Image courtesy of Spangler Candy Company

SweetHearts first began making conversation hearts in 1866. The operation was taken over by Necco in 1901 and since then they’ve become the most popular Valentine’s Day candy in 21 states. Last year, CandyStore.com reported that SweetHearts Conversation Hearts were the most popular Valentine’s Day candy in America. So what happened?

Until 2018, Necco was the oldest continually operating candy company—but in July, the company abruptly closed and announced they needed to sell. Someone either needed to buy all of Necco or purchase the brands individually. In September, Necco was purchased by Round Hill Investments, who then sold the SweetHearts brand to Spangler Candy Company.

Related: Oreo Just Released a New Valentine's Day Cookie

Because of the time it takes to create the supply of conversation hearts, Spangler Candy Company didn’t have enough time to make the hearts for 2019. It took Necco 11 months to produce 8 billion conversation hearts—all of which would be sold in the 6 weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day. 

Image courtesy of The Candy Store

Since Necco’s factories were closed down in July and Spangler didn’t take over until September, they weren’t able to keep up with demand for 2019. The good news is, Spangler’s CEO has already announced the hearts will be back on shelves in 2020. And, conversation hearts from brands like Brach's will still be available so this year's Valentine's Day isn't completely ruined. 

Related: Hershey Has a New Valentine's Day Flavor

CandyStore.com reports that because of the SweetHearts shortage, sales of the hearts are down 80 percent from last year. While you may be able to find a few leftover boxes from last year, new hearts from SweetHeart won’t be hitting shelves in 2019. If you do find boxes on store shelves—or on Amazon—keep in mind that these treats have likely been sitting in a warehouse since last year. It’s always a good idea to check expiration dates!

While we’re sad to see the SweetHeart hearts go this year, we’re relieved to know they’ll be back in 2020. While we wait, we’ll be munching on Sour Patch Kids’ new conversation hearts instead. 


Comments (15)

jcmcglinchey
January 30, 2019
I found BRACH'S candy hearts at Kroger.
ladyhenry1
January 30, 2019
If they do not taste the same I will not buy. I doubt Brach's taste the same.
muggins1906
January 29, 2019
Not by Spanglers, but Brach’s is putting out some sweethearts in different flavors. Not quite as cute, but they’re available.
dustygirl82822768
January 23, 2019
Ok, I knew the company was closed & sold. I love the Necco’s & bought up as many as I could. The Sweethearts were bought but what about the Necco’s? Will they be coming back?
michmlt04
January 23, 2019
Umm...I've seen Sweethearts Conversation Hearts in many stores for a few weeks now. Time to check some facts.
rockfish616
January 30, 2019
Walmart has them
pattyouch
January 30, 2019
They are last years stock that the store had leftover. Not really stale, but they may be harder than normal
deb_tang
January 26, 2019
If you read the article it states you may see the leftovers from last year still being sold. They have a very long shelf life.
dkphotographic2
January 23, 2019
Or expiration dates. ;)
gigipockrandt
January 23, 2019
They are not made by Necco, they are made by Brach's. Necco conversation hearts taste way better. Can't wait for 2020!
tom999
January 23, 2019
Geezus, why does everything have to be confrontational media sniping? BOOTLEGS. KNOCKOFFS. It doesn't take a Jet Propulsion Laboratory to make these in the quantities a LOCAL manufacturer would.
mustangruthie63
January 23, 2019
There's always one that doesn't read the entire story!
mrscu2
January 23, 2019
Or, check the expiration date....someone may have cleaned out their closet!!!
ACX117964366
January 23, 2019
Those stores are probably selling leftover stock from last year. You also could have checked some facts by visiting the new manufacturer's website and reading their press release that confirms this information before trying to leave a snarky comment.
cira221
January 23, 2019
The article addressed that: "While you may be able to find a few leftover boxes from last year, new hearts won’t be hitting shelves in 2019. If you do find boxes on store shelves—or on Amazon—keep in mind that these treats have likely been sitting in a warehouse since last year. It’s always a good idea to check expiration dates!"