Conversation Hearts

When we think of February we think of President’s Day, Groundhog’s Day, Heart Disease Awareness month and Valentine’s Day, to name a few events.  I think all of us agree though, that we remember Valentine’s Day the most.  Maybe it was a card you received or you just loved all the candy you got.  One of the most famous or most “talked” about candy is the Conversation Hearts which came from the Necco company which was bought from Spangler in 2018.  (Spangler is known for Dum-Dum’s, Starburst, and Candy Canes). 

The Necco company which started in 1840, used to sell the popular Valentines conversation hearts candy until recently.  Spangler Candy Co. took over the rights to Necco’s iconic brands and said they would return in 2019.  I haven’t seen or heard if this was the case.  Even if they don’t come back under this brand name have no fear, Brach’s continues to sell the exact same candy.

Here are some fun facts about this time tested Valentine candy.

  • The hearts were first made over 150 years ago.
  • They weren’t available in the heart shape until 1902.
  • They were originally called “Motto Hearts.”
  • Necco made about 100,000 pounds of hearts each day to prepare for Valentine’s Day each year.
  • The hearts will keep for up to five years.
  • They have started adding emojis and emoticons.
  • Necco sold more than eight billion candy hearts a year.
  • Each year, ten new sayings are added to the hearts.  In 2015, some of the new sayings were PUGS & KITTENS, and the mustache symbol.
  • The entire amount produced each year, sells out in about six weeks.
  • Candy hearts are one of the best-selling Valentine’s candy.
  • The hearts are fat free and sodium free.  They contain three calories per small heart.
  • For each heart, five letters will fit on the top line and four letters on the bottom line. If a “W” is used, then only four letters on the top line and three letters on the bottom line.
  • They first started out as popular wedding treats in the 19th century.
  • Before the standard heart shape, sweethearts were made in shapes such as baseballs, horseshoes, watches, and postcards.
  • The first sayings that are still on hearts today were MARRY ME, BE MINE, BE TRUE, and SWEET TALK.
  • Some expired sayings are: FAX ME, DIG ME, GROOVY, MY SUCH EYES.
  • The original flavors are:  banana, grape, wintergreen, cherry, and orange.
  • When the hearts come off the line, they are actually mushy.  It takes an hour and a half of a very complicated drying process on 13 belts to get them to harden.
  • The most popular new sayings are: TWEET ME, TEXT ME, YOU ROCK, LOVE BUG, SOUL MATE, and ME + YOU.
  • The ink is made of food coloring and alcohol to dry quickly.


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