Blink and you missed it last summer when NECCO abruptly closed its candy factory in July 2018, after more than 150 years. The Revere, Massachusetts plant produced NECCO Wafers, Clark Bars, Mighty Malts and of course, those iconic NECCO Sweethearts. But it’s not all doom and gloom for the candy conversation hearts of our childhoods.
Spangler Candy Company, makers of Dum Dums lollipops, acquired both the Sweethearts and NECCO Wafers products following the closure of NECCO last year. The company plans to relaunch Sweethearts in time for Valentine’s Day 2020. Until then, and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we’ve come up with a few places to still get those candy conversation hearts we all know and love.
Brach's Valentine's Day Tiny Conversation Hearts
This is the closest you'll get to classic NECCO Sweethearts we all grew up with.
Flavors: Classic flavor mix of Apple, Banana, Cherry, Grape, Sweet Mint and Orange, as well as Very Berry and Tropical Fruit flavor mixes, too.
SweeTARTS Valentine's Day Hearts
These are definitely your next-best bet after Brach's—but with an extra sweet and sour kick.
Flavors: Tangy, fruity that will definitely make you pucker up!
Smarties Love Hearts
Another oh-so-close but still not exactly the same as NECCO Sweethearts, these bigger-than-usual Smarties have little messages stamped onto each candy.
Flavors: All the classic Smarties flavors
Sour Patch Kids Conversation Hearts
There are a few different Sour Patch Kids Valentine's Day candies, so it's easy to mistake Sour Patch Kids Valentine exchange boxes and even Sour Patch Kids Valentine's Hearts for these hard conversation candy hearts from Frankford Candy.
Flavors: Mixed variety of your favorite sweet and sour flavors
LifeSavers Valentine's Day Gummies Message Wild Berry Hearts & Rings
New this year at Target, these gummy LifeSavers candies let your Valentine's message linger just a little longer than a traditional candy conversation heart.
Flavors: Wild Berry
Jelly Belly Conversation Jelly Beans
Okay, so these aren't exactly candy conversation hearts—but we think jelly beans are basically the next best thing!
Flavors: Mixed variety of sour-flavored jelly beans, including Sour Apple, Sour Cherry, Sour Grape, Sour Lemon, and Sour Orange. Bonus? They're gluten-free, dairy-free, kosher and vegetarian!
Hershey's Valentine's Day Milk Chocolate Conversation Kisses
Chocolate is always a good idea! Even those these aren't hearts, you can't beat the classic chocolate Hershey's kiss for Valentine's Day!
Flavors: Milk chocolate
Dove Valentine's Day Caramel & Milk Chocolate Love Notes
Speaking of chocolate, we love these new message-wrapped chocolate hearts from Dove—exclusive to Target this year!
Flavors: Milk chocolate and caramel
Where to Buy: Target
Romantic Sweet Talkin' Taffy
Although not heart-shaped, these yummy candies still get across the same message with conversation wrappers.
Flavors: Vanilla and Strawberry
Where to Buy: CandyWarehouse
Conversation Heart Donuts
In 2019 Krispy Kreme is releasing a limited-edition Conversation Heart Donut! Choose from 4 fillings and over a dozen edible sayings that make the powdery heart candy of yesterday look like old news. You can shop the line from Jan. 30 through Feb. 14.
Feature Photo: Obi Onyeador via Unsplash