If you were a 90s or 2000s kid, you certainly remember your Valentines Day being loaded with Spangler Sweethearts Candy. These sweet tasting confections with simple but effective messages printed on them were a staple throughout the 90s and 2000s. However, from 2012 onward, the candy was almost entirely forgotten about…until now.
There is a reason why Sweethearts were not bought these past few years…there were not available in stores! While being a hit in the 2000s, their popularity began to decline in the 2010s as more awareness was spread about sweeter, tastier, alternatives such as Reese’s Peanut Butter Hearts and Dove Heart Shaped Chocolate. Furthermore, the Jelly Belly jelly bean company had produced giant boxes of jelly beans with various unique flavors such as Sizzling Cinnamon and buttered popcorn. With so much Valentines Day competition, the popularity of Sweethearts had began to decline and less people purchased the candy.
Then, in 2018, the New England Confectionary Company (NECCO) had gone bankrupt and was sold at a bankruptcy auction. It was bought by the Spangler Candy Company, known for their Dum Dum Pops. Because the factory had to be shut down, Sweethearts were not sold in 2018. In 2019, by the time the factory was up and running again, there were only a few weeks until Valentines Day and there simply wasn’t enough time to manufacture and distribute the candy to local stores. Therefore, Sweethearts were barred in 2019 as well.
While Sweethearts were sold in 2020, the threat of COVID had prevented people from leaving their house (though the lockdown was not issued until March of 2020). According to reporter Cheyenne Lentz, “sales of Sweethearts dropped from 8 million packages to about 300,000 packages”. However, as Valentines Day 2021 approaches, the Spangler Company hopes to increase their sales of Sweethearts once again and get their business up and running.
“There are a lot of manufacturing challenges and unanswered questions at this point and we want to make sure these brands meet customer expectations when they re-enter the market”, says Spangler Company CEO Kirk Vashaw. “Still, we look forward to announcing the Sweethearts relaunch this Valentines Day season”.