This year Valentine’s Day is a little sadder than normal for a lot of us. I am not talking about the single geeks who always must endure the syrupy sweet bitterness of a lonely heart on February 14th. I am talking about the lack of Necco Conversation Hearts to share with that special someone.
I can still remember those elementary school days where we swapped valentines and if you were lucky maybe that special someone you had your eye on would give you a small green heart with “Be Mine” or “Kiss Me” stamped on it. I remember getting a box of them and going to school and doling out the tiny symbols of my affection to all of the little girls I had hopes of getting to hold my hand. If I was really lucky maybe I would get my name written in a paper fortune teller (look that one up if you don’t remember them).
You see, last year Necco, who had been making these staples of Valentine’s Day treats since 1902, went out of business leaving a hole in the hearts of little boys everywhere. In 2018 when they closed, Necco was producing billions of Sweethearts candies every year. In fact, according to Candystore.com (Link), the candy hearts business represents almost 1.8B in sales every year. The popular Sweethearts may make a comeback next year as they were bought by another company, Spangler Candy Company. This year there is a shortage as existing stocks of the beloved candies dwindle, and prices begin to creep up ($25 for a 5lb bag).
Candy companies like Brach’s are looking to fill the gaps but to me, it still won’t be the same. I will have to be satisfied with telling my kids the ole “back when I was your age…” stories, scouring Amazon for some reasonably priced Necco candy, and waiting for next year to see if I can convince GeekMom to “Kiss Me” with a tiny green candy heart.