By Chris Morris
January 23, 2019

One of the most familiar Valentine’s Day candies won’t be around this year.

Sweethearts, the chalky hearts imprinted with sayings such as “Be Mine” and “Love You” printed on them, won’t be made this year, after Necco, the originator of the brand, went out of business last year.

Spangler Candy Co,, which now owns the rights to Necco brands, said it didn’t have sufficient time to make the quantities needed to supply stores this year. However, it said, the hearts will return in 2020.

Just because the candy’s not formally for sale doesn’t mean it will disappear altogether. When Necco announced its bankruptcy last year, fans of the brand’s iconic candies rushed stores and online shops, buying up the remaining stock and driving up prices. Some of those fans are sure to try to recoup their investment on online auction sites as Valentine’s Day gets closer.

Still, their absence at retail will be felt this year. Sweetheart candies have been a Valentine’s Day staple since 1902. They pull in an average of in $1.8 billion in sales per year, according to candystore.com.

The New England Confectionery Company (Necco), the 171-year-old company that makes Necco wafers and the chalky candy hearts that have become a hallmark of Valentine’s Day, was forced to close last year after its search for a buyer fell flat.

Spangler bought the rights to the company for just shy of $19 million.

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