As the adage goes, there is some good news and some bad news. First, the good: SweetHearts Are Back. Now for the bad: 65% are blank, according to CandyStore.com.
Iconic SweetHearts conversation hearts, one of the most popular Valentine’s Day candy, are back in 2020, but production issues plagued their new manufacturer. The bulk candy company reviewed the new SweetHearts and found:
- 65% had no markings on them at all – completely blank.
- 24% had unintelligible misprints.
- 8% had partially printed phrases.
- Only 3% had full, well-placed phrases.
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.o act fast, Clair Robbins of CandyStore.com says.
The SweetHearts are back — with some all-new flavors. 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 reportedly taste really good. Especially the Banana ones.
So, why the blank SweetHearts?
Production challenges plagued Spangler’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.
Then the equipment 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.
With the catch phrase SweetHearts in extremely low supply this year, it only makes them more valuable as Valentine’s Day offerings.
- Valentine Candy: Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay