Sweethearts, a longstanding representation of American romance, will not be found on shelves this Valentine’s Day. Necco, the company that has been making the iconic candies since 1986, was acquired by Round Hill Investments LLC in May 2018. But when the company entered bankruptcy shortly after, the plant responsible for Sweethearts was shut down and the business sold on to Spangler Candy Company. Spangler assured fans that they will continue production of Sweethearts, but they were unable to get them ready in time for this year’s holiday.
While consumers may be heartbroken, Sweethearts’ absence this V-Day may be music to competitors’ ears. Several brands have already started to fill the heart-shaped hole on retailer displays. As of early January, new Sour Patch Hearts, Dove’s Pink Champagne & Milk Chocolate Swirl Hearts, and Heart-Shaped Reese’s Puffs were available for purchase. Hershey’s even created a bundle featuring a heart-shaped skillet and your choice of candy-infused baking mix. Oreo was one of the few without a holiday makeover, but does have special plans with milk; so please stop asking them to be your Valentine.
Even without Sweethearts, shoppers needn’t worry. There will be no lack of tasty options and innovations to celebrate the season. And there are so many reasons to celebrate in addition to Valentine’s Day; brands are starting to embrace rising holidays like “Galentine’s Day,” “Singles Appreciation Day” or “Just Because Day.”
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