Bankruptcy Forces National Valentine’s Day Candy Heart Shortage
Those colored candy Sweethearts with little sayings on them will be harder to come by this year. Their manufacturer Necco declared bankruptcy in May of last year, leaving the future of the iconic tiny candy hearts in limbo. Though competitor the Spangler Candy Company swooped in and bought up the Sweethearts brand in a September bankruptcy auction, that company says they will not be able to relaunch the Sweethearts brand until 2020.
So this will be a year without Sweethearts, that chalk-sugar confection so vital to our childhood Valentine’s Day observances. Vox reports that Sweethearts have been around since 1866, but back then had way more sexist messages on them like “Married in white, you have chosen right.” There were not shaped like hearts, nor named “Sweethearts,” until 1901.
THERE ARE NO SWEETHEARTS IN SAN FRANCISCO
The Broke-Ass Candy Investigation I-Team set out to various Walgreens, CVS, and Safeway locations to see if we could find some lingering Sweethearts. After all, these things probably have a shelf life of “forever.”
We did not find any real Sweethearts. However, shelves are pretty well stocked with the imitation version, Brach’s Conversation Hearts. As candy enthusiasts will tell you, Brach’s Conversation Hearts are an inferior knockoff product where each heart is the exact same flavor, regardless of the color. (Brach’s hearts do tend to have more legible words, less smudgy words, though). Real Sweethearts are still available on Amazon.
Sweethearts have been the most popular Valentine’s Day candy for quite some time, and CBS reports that Necco produced 8 billion individual Sweethearts a year. It’s a sad and awful thing that we will not have the real ones this year. But if you’re single or you hate this holiday, this is a good excuse for declaring that Valentine’s Day is fucking canceled.