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For The First Time Since 1866 We'll Have A Valentine's Day Without Sweethearts

Ryan Ford 30 Jan 2019

For me, Valentine's Day has always seemed like the hokiest, most made-up of all the holidays and observances. But at the same time, it's not like you can just overlook it completely without a clear agreement from your significant other.

Let's face it, everybody likes to receive something nice on Valentine's Day. Everybody likes to know that they're being thought of. And one of the oldest ways to do that won't be available this year.

If you could count on anything on Valentine's Day, it was that someone would try to send their sweetie a message via sweets.

Unsplash | Laura Ockel

And that was made possible by Sweethearts, those little, hard, heart-shaped candies that have sweet messages printed on them.

Is there anything more American than using candy to communicate?

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Well, for the first time since 1866, Sweethearts won't be around for Valentine's Day.

Giphy | Salih!

Sad to say, they just won't be manufactured this year. The company that made them, New England Confection Company, famous for their Necco wafers, shuttered its facility last summer.

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The good news is that Necco didn't just disappear, so there's a chance that Sweethearts could be back for 2020.

Unsplash | Laura Briedis

Necco was purchased by Spangler Candy Company, but they couldn't get down to making Sweethearts available this year.

"We are committed to making sure these brands meet consumer expectations when they re-enter the market. Doing it right takes time," Spangler's CEO, Kirk Vashaw, told ABC.

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In fact, Vashaw confirmed as much in a press release following the sale.

"We look forward to announcing the Sweethearts relaunch for the 2020 Valentine season," he said, according to WPIX. The company also released an image of three candy hearts with the messages "Miss U 2," "Wait 4 Me," and "Back Soon."

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This should also serve as a heads-up that if you do see Necco's Sweethearts on a store's shelves this year, they're probably not fresh.

Unsplash | NeONBRAND

I mean, it might be hard to tell if you've ever actually bitten into one of the chalky little treats, but do you really want to chance it?

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Still, the candy conversation hearts are a tradition, if not a tasty one, and they have their loyal fans.

Many of them took to Twitter to voice their disappointment that this year, Valentine's Day will be a little less sweet.

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As others noted, Sweethearts might have been sending the wrong message if you're not a grade-schooler.

I mean, we can all do a bit better than candy hearts after a certain age, right? Unless there's absolutely nothing else to buy.

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And some don't even want to see Sweethearts come back in 2020.

They just want to throw 153 years of tradition out the window and let other candy makers serve their Valentine's Day needs.

I guess time will tell for sure, because if Sweethearts come back in 2020 and people have moved on, well, I guess the market will have spoken.

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