Valentine’s Day 2019 was a little less sweet without the widely familiar NECCO sweetheart candies. Now owned by Spangler, Sweethearts are back for Valentine’s Day 2020, but they may not be the exact same as they were before NECCO closed its doors in 2018.
Since the sale, the Sweetheart manufacturing machinery was moved from NECCO’s facility to Spangler’s. Some of the machinery was lifted by crane and disassembled to fit in trucks for transport. All in all, the equipment’s move to Spangler’s new facility required 60 truckloads.
The time it took to relocate and reassemble machinery cut into Spangler’s production capacity, so there will be more sweethearts on the shelves this year than last year, though less than there will be next Valentine’s Day, in 2021.
With the relocated machines still finding their groove, only 7 percent of Sweethearts in a 10-box sample had the classic printed marking fully legible and only 45 percent had any marking at all, per CandyStore.
Perhaps the novelty of this year’s Sweethearts makes them somewhat of a collector’s item: limited availability, “unique” features, and yet, the same carefully crafted candy recipe since 1902.