For the first time since 1886, a particular brand of those sugary heart-shaped candies imprinted with messages such as “Cutie Pie,” “Marry Me” and “True Love” will be missing from Valentine’s Day treats and gifts.
Sweethearts, produced by the New England Confectionary Company (or, Necco), have been out of production since Necco closed its doors in July 2018.
The company was then sold in a business auction to Round Hill Investments.
Round Hill, in turn, sold the Sweethearts brand to the Spangler Candy Company in September 2018.
Spangler makes candies such as the popular Dum Dum lollipops.
Spangler, however, said it wouldn’t be able to produce the annual 8 billion little hearts in time for Valentine’s Day 2019. Instead, it has focused on being ready to supply the conversation hearts in full by Valentine’s Day 2020.
So, what is a Sweethearts candy fan to do?
There are other versions of the message hearts made by other candy companies, but for many, those can’t quite match the original.
Bags of old Necco conversation hearts are still floating around in online auctions, but they are old candies sold at inflated prices.
If you want the original formula hearts, you’ll just have to wait another year and fill in the best you can this Valentine’s Day.
You can read more about the temporary halt in Sweethearts candy in 2019 and how the brand impacts candy sales each year here.