Last year, the popular Sweethearts conversation hearts disappeared from store shelves after an ownership change. In 2018, New England Confectionary Company, the original producer of Sweethearts, went out of business. Round Hill Investments purchased the candy maker at auction but sold its Necco wafer brand and Sweethearts to Spangler Candy several months later.
Because this happened in the fall of 2018, the candy company was unable to produce Sweethearts in time for Valentine’s Day in 2019, even though it remains the most popular candy for the holiday.
“It became really apparent to us how much people were going to miss them,” Spangler spokeswoman Diana Moore Eschhofen tells CNBC.
The candy will be back for 2020, but it will be in limited supply at select retailers. The company hopes that by 2021 Sweethearts will return to normal production.
Because of new equipment issues, the company could not print as many unique sayings that have become synonymous with the candy. This will disappoint customers, but Spangler hopes this will be fixed by 2021 as well.
Another change to the candy is that Spangler is reviving its original recipe, which was found buried in paperwork. This change brings back flavors such as banana and wintergreen.