Conversation Hearts ARE on Shelves for Valentine’s Day, But There’s a Catch
It's time to set the record straight on these Valentine's Day conversation hearts.
The world was shocked last week when we saw articles popping up all across the Internet regarding Valentine's Day conversation hearts. "Conversation Hearts Won't Be on Shelves This Year" was the headline I saw the most. We relayed this message to you on our social media, only to hear that you had found conversation hearts at the store.
So I did some digging... in the name of love.
To understand what's happening here, you need to know three names; Necco, Spangler, and Brach's. Necco (New England Confectionery Company) is the real O.G. of conversation hearts. They've been making the Valentine's Day wafer candies, called Sweethearts, since 1902. That company closed last summer without much reason and sold off their assets, including the Sweethearts, to Spangler, who is probably most known for making Dum-Dums. Now, typically Necco would spend 11 months making enough hearts to keep up with the Valentine's Day demand, which adds up to 8 billion hearts. All of these are sold within six weeks leading up to the day of love. Spangler just can't turn around the candy that quickly, so they are aiming for a 2020 launch.
Now, back to the candies you're seeing on shelves or online.
The Today Show is reporting that you will see Brach's continue their own line of Conversation Hearts. These are just like Necco's version. I'm not sure how long Brach's has been making these candies, but Wikipedia says this company was first introduced in 1904, two years after Necco started making hearts. Not to mention, Necco has been slapping messages on candy since the 1860s, so you tell me who did it first.
So why might you be finding Necco conversation hearts online?
In simple terms, they're leftovers. The Today Show reported that those hearts typically have a shelf life of about a year. If you get a pack that is sticky or grainy though, toss it out. And if you feel that the Brach's version just doesn't measure up, there are other ways to express your love through pre-printed candy.
Whew! Anyone else's head spinning? Just get me some roses this year.