That’s right. According to our review of the newly returned in 2020 conversation hearts phenom SweetHearts, 97% are without a complete phrase on them. And 65% have no markings on them at all.
We opened 10 boxes of the new SweetHearts and counted what came out. Here’s the breakdown:
And here’s an unboxing video:
Yup, mostly blank in that one too. See more images below.
Also, if you were hoping to stroll down to the local candy store on Feb 13th and pick up a few boxes, you might be further disappointed. They may be gone by then.
Spangler spokespersons told CandyStore.com that supply will be limited this year due to repeated production setbacks. Distribution has been limited mostly to major national drugstore chains, but even they will not have the normal pre-2018 supply.
On top of that, the awkward form factor of this year’s SweetHearts may further increase demand from the likes of candy and nostalgia collectors. CandyStore.com has been contacted by more than one such collector already who were eager to capture this year’s anomalous version.
So act fast.
While these developments may disappoint SweetHearts lovers who have been patiently anticipating their return, the news here is not all bad. There are also some very positive developments with the new SweetHearts.
SweetHearts Are Back
Firstly, they are back. Which can’t be said for all the former Necco candies.
The new owner, Spangler Candy, has had some legitimate production obstacles that we’ll discuss more below. That kind of thing is part of the deal when you take on such a large project.
The key is that they are committed to bringing the famous conversation hearts back. This is good news for SweetHearts lovers. We owe Spangler our gratitude for saving them.
The New/Old Flavors Are Great
Second, the new flavors are really good! When Spangler bought Necco Wafers and SweetHearts, they got the original recipes going back more than 118 years.
The flavors had been changed and recipes tinkered with several times over the decades, but the 2020 version of SweetHearts is the same as the 1902 version. With new/old/original flavors Banana and Wintergreen.
They taste really good. Especially the Banana ones!
Before we discuss the third positive aspect of this news, a few words on why Sweethearts aren’t at 100% just yet.
Production challenges plagued Spanler’s efforts to quickly bring SweetHearts production roaring back to full capacity. First, moving all that extremely large and decades old equipment out of the old Necco factory was more complex than expected – even requiring a crane for vertical extraction on occasion. (Can you imagine!?)
Then the equpment had to be broken down to fit into trucks so they could be transported from Boston to Ohio. This took more than 60 truckloads.
Once it was all down and put back together in place, not all of it worked as expected. The printer that types those cute little sayings on each heart malfunctioned and then it’s replacement printer pulled the same trick. Spangler was able to get some printing working in time for production, but did warn that there wouldn’t be as many phrases and some of them would be blank. See above.
They were aware of the problem and brought the product back for 2020 nonetheless. And that brings us to our third piece of good news.
SweetHearts Will Be Better Than Ever
So, there won’t be as many SweetHearts out there this year. And of those that are available, there won’t be as many sayings on them. If that seems like bad news, consider that there were no SweetHearts at all last year! And after all the obstacles they faced, Spangler was still able to get a better-tasting product out in time for Valentine’s Day.
This bodes well for the future of SweetHearts. Spangler is confident that they will reach full capacity in time for a full supply of well-written conversation hearts for Valentine’s Day 2021.
Extra Special Valentines Only
With the catch phrase SweetHearts in extremely low supply this year, it only makes them more valuable as Valentine’s Day offerings.
If someone opens a box that contains only 2-3 hearts that do have a cute, fully-readable saying on them, they won’t be able to pass out sweet nothings willy nilly. They’ll need to be more targeted with their offerings. Getting a 2020 SweetHeart from a Valentine is special. It could be the start of something truly magical!
Happy Valentine’s Day! Yay SweetHearts!