Sweethearts Are Back for Valentine’s Day … But There’s a Twist

Absent last year, the candy hearts will return this year, but they won’t be totally the same.


Photo by: patty_c


Remember how last year Valentine’s Day celebrations lacked what many consider an essential element: Sweethearts candy hearts? Yes, in 2019, if you wanted to ask the object of your romantic interest to “BE MINE” or “KISS ME,” you had to find another way than to present them with a little, pastel, heart-shaped lozenge with a message stamped on it in edible ink.

That’s because, in 2018, the company that made Sweethearts, New England Confectionery Company (Necco), was sold and the candy hearts brand subsequently picked up by Spangler Candy, the company behind Dum Dum lollipops, which then encountered challenges transporting the candy-hearts-making equipment from Massachusetts (where Necco was based) to Ohio (where Spangler is based).

Spangler broke the news that winter that it would not be able to release its conversation hearts in time for Valentine’s Day 2019, but promised that Sweethearts would return as usual, in all their chalky/talky glory, to meet demand on Valentine’s Day 2020.

And? So?

Well, Spangler is now sharing good news and bad news. The good is that Sweethearts are, in fact, returning for Valentine’s Day this year. (Breathe a sigh of relief, would-be wooers!)

The bad news? The candy hearts will still be in shorter supply this year than they have been in the past – and hopefully will be in future: “Based on consumer response and the technical challenges, we are not going to be able to meet all of the consumer demand for 2020,” Spangler spokeswoman Diana Moore Eschhofen told CNBC.

Eschhofen suggested that consumers may have the best luck finding Sweethearts this year at big retailers like Walgreen’s and CVS and said production should be on track meet full consumer demand by 2021.

An additional bit of bad news is that, because of printing-machine issues, some of the Sweethearts are being released without the messages on them. Yeah, just blank hearts. That kind of defeats the purpose, of course, unless you’re just buying them to bask in their familiar flavor.

Which brings us to another little detail you should be aware of. Spangler is tweaking the Sweethearts recipe to return it to its origins, having found the original formula used in its creation 118 years ago, CNBC reports. That means flavors like banana and wintergreen will be back in the mix.

Who knows, maybe it will be “TRUE LOVE” “FOR EVER” between you and banana. “SAY YES”!

Photo: GettyImages

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