Monday, February 14, 2011

Brach’s Conversation Hearts

Brach's Conversation HeartsWith the news that Necco changed its classic Necco Sweethearts (more coverage here) in 2010, I found that Brach’s version more ubiquitous in 2011 on store shelves.

The package is bright red and easy to distinguish from the pastel-princess mess of the Necco reboot. I picked up the Brach’s Small Conversation Hearts at the Dollar Tree for a dollar for an eight ounce bag. The ingredients are similar, a sugar and dextrose (glucose) paste held together with a bit of gelatin and oodles of artificial colors.

Brach's Conversation Hearts

The mottoes I noticed: Luv Me, You Rock, U Go Girl, Ask Me, Hello, Got Love? So Fine, Good Bye, I [heart] You, Be True, So Fine, E-Mail Me, Dare Ya and the ultra romantic, Hey You.

The pieces are well made, I found very few duds in the package - all thick and consistent. The printing was a little blurry on some but mostly readable, except for the low contrast pink on pink.

The flavors are pleasantly indistinct. I could tell the orange ones were a creamsicle orange flavor. The yellow ones might have been banana, but maybe a really bland lemon. The pink were slightly like the seashore (a mixture of cheap flip-flops and Old Bay crab boil and the burning taste you get when sunscreen gets in your eyes). The purple and green were too bland for me to tell apart in a dark room. The white was the comforting flavor of mint toothpaste you find in the corner of your mouth before lunchtime. The texture is smooth and not quite crunchy, though still very firm.

If you were a fan of the original Sweethearts and can’t find them, these are as close as you’re likely to find. But if you never liked either, there’s no reason to try these, they do nothing for the category except look cute. So basically, a nice decorative candy, but perhaps not for eating unless you’re trying to bring your blood sugar up.

They’re made in Argentina and produced on shared equipment with milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts and soy.

Rating: 4 out of 10

Related Candies

  1. Necco Sweethearts Twilight Fire & Ice
  2. Brach’s Cinnamon Jelly Hearts
  3. Necco Conversation Hearts (Sweethearts) 2010
  4. Jelly Belly for Valentine’s Day
  5. Necco Conversation Hearts (Sweethearts)
  6. SweeTart Hearts

Name: Small Conversation Hearts
Brand: Brach’s
Place Purchased: Dollar Tree (Echo Park)
Price: $1.00
Size: 8 ounces
Calories per ounce: 113
Categories: Candy, Valentines, Brach's, Farley's & Sathers, Compressed Dextrose, 4-Benign, Argentina, Dollar Tree

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:13 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyValentinesBrach'sFarley's & SathersCompressed Dextrose4-BenignArgentinaDollar Tree

  1. Any suggestions on getting the conversation hearts that have a softer chew to them? Is it simply a matter of freshness v. staleness, or do Necco and Brachs have different firmness?

    Comment by thegeniusking on 2/17/11 at 1:08 pm #
  2. I bought several bags of Necco Sweethearts that have ziploc-type tops. They were soft when I initially opened the bag, so I assume if I remember to zip the bag closed, they’ll stay fresh for awhile.

    I just hate the fact that they taste SO WEIRD. Nothing like Necco flavors I’m used to. I guess I’ll look for a bag of Brach’s and compare to see which taste is, ummm, less gross? LOL

    Comment by Kim on 2/19/11 at 10:29 am #
  3. this years recipe changed big and they are DISGUSTING

    Comment by bill on 1/16/12 at 10:23 am #
  4. Bought my Husband what I thought were Converation Hearts yesterday, they were packaged
    as Sweethearts, they were awful. What happened to the original? Will not buy again, what a disappointment.

    Comment by Candy McGivern on 2/15/13 at 7:28 am #
  5. I’ve been eating Brachs small conversation hearts for forty years.I will only buy Brachs and nothing else.They are the perfect texture.I can bite down and melt the sugar on my tongue.Any other brand is just that…another type of conversation hearts.Brachs conversation hearts are in a class by themselves.My only complaint is there arent enough white ones.I would love it if i could buy them by the color. White being first then,pink ,then purple.

    Comment by Elizabeth Russell on 2/12/14 at 6:43 pm #
  6. The new favors are UNAPPEALING AND GROSS. PLEASE BRING BACK THE ORIGINAL FLAVORS. I ONLY buy Brach’s Conversation hearts and usually cannot wait until Valentines season but not anymore. I do not look forward to these new FLAVORS. I used to buy in bulk. That’s how much I love them. Will not be buying anymore.

    Comment by Yummy yum on 2/12/15 at 2:59 pm #
  7. Tasty

    Comment by Donutssssss on 2/14/15 at 9:52 am #
  8. So very disappointed with brach’s valentines hearts this year!!!!  I look forward to these all year and when I purchased my first bag a few weeks ago….boy, was I shocked!  What happened to the old classic flavors?  These all tasted kind-of the same (not even sure what the flavor was) and were not tasty at all.  The dog ended up getting ahold of the bag and ate some, but not the whole bag.  Guess she thought they were disgusting as well!  PLEASE bring back the old classic flavors!!!!!!

    Comment by Disappointed on 2/17/15 at 5:22 pm #
  9. Bring back the CLASSIC flavors.  The taste are on the tangy sweet side now; DISGUSTING.  I even bought a bag that said “CLASSIC” and they are NOT, NOT even close. 

    Change doesn’t always mean better, especially with the conversation hearts.

    Comment by Pam on 2/27/15 at 2:45 pm #
  10. The smell when you open the bag is the worst.  It smells like vinegar and that’s exactly what most of them taste like now.  Won’t buy these anymore.  I’ve tried Necco and Brach’s and neither are good anymore. 
    I understand the need to change but perhaps they could market a classic version as well as the new one.

    Comment by Michael on 3/02/15 at 11:35 am #
  11. I was taken aback at the flavor of the hearts. And each flavor was worse than the first!
    The best, kindest term is yuckie!
    Why?  If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!!!

    Comment by sergius south on 1/10/16 at 12:54 pm #
  12. Every year of my life, I’ve looked forward to Valentine’s for the large Brach’s conversation hearts.  Last year is when they changed the flavor. I wrote to them and made sure to tell them they were disgusting, and they should change the wording “classic flavors” on the bag.  This year, I noticed the colors were still different just like last year, but I thought I would try them again.  Nope, I knew as soon as I opened the bag they were the new disgusting flavors.  I’m writing to them again!  If you are going to market something as “classic flavors”, you can change the dang flavors!

    Comment by Heather on 1/27/16 at 4:12 pm #
  13. Just to let you guys know,  I found some of the classic flavor bags with the classic Flavors in it.  I was in the same boat hating the newer flavors and thought I would give it a try again.  To my absolute pleasure they tasted like they should.  I bought another bag at my local grocery store thinking they finally figured out that we all hate the new flavor, but quickly dicovered that wasn’t the case, crappy tasting bag.  Both said classic flavors, but the first bag was great.  I bought more today from same store as before and found the good ones again.  I grabbed as many as I could and took a picture of the code on the bag, thinking that the factory where these particular bags are made must have been an old plant that still makes them with the old recipe or something.  I will add the code asap.  Hopefully that is the key somehow.  Hope you find the good ones.

    Comment by Wade on 1/28/16 at 10:20 pm #
  14. Ok so the code on the back is 5L05CC8R08.  I hope this helps you to find the Necco tasting ones.  The white ones taste like the candy cigarettes Necco used to make before everyone got so politically correct.  I used to eat those for years and I have never smoked, nor did they make me want to.  Sorry off topic.  Good luck, hopefully this will help you find the good ones.

    Comment by Wade on 1/29/16 at 8:48 am #
  15. So I emailed Brach’s the other day to find out what is going on with the flavor change.  It turns out they are making the classic flavors again! This was their response to me:

    Thank you for contacting Ferrara Candy Company regarding Brach’s® Large Conversation Hearts. Hearing from our consumers better enables us to continue to provide quality products and services.  Consumer feedback is very important to us, and we appreciate the opportunity to respond.
    The lot code you provided indicates that this was product that the retailer apparently had from last season and chose to put out now (4J23BB14801 which indicates that it was made in Oct 2014 to be shipped and put out for Valentines day 2015). We are sorry the product was not handled properly in this case and will again notify our distributors of the extreme importance of proper product handling. The change in flavor last year was resolved and the Hearts produced for the 2016 season were made using the flavors that you would expect them to be as “Classic”.  If you decide to give the product another chance this year - please look for bags that start with the number 5 and do not contain BB or CC in the middle.
    Please accept the enclosed with our apologies for any inconvenience caused to you.  We appreciate your taking time to write to us and wish to thank you for purchasing our candy.  We hope that in the future all Ferrara Candy Company products meet your highest expectation of quality and good taste.

    Comment by Heather on 1/29/16 at 10:41 am #
  16. White tastes like WINTERGREEN to me, Cybele!

    Comment by SJCarras on 2/15/16 at 9:07 pm #
  17. Well ok now…. I finally see I am not the only crazie in this world wanting Conversation Hearts A lot AND wanting to know what’s up with the “classic” taste!!
    I now know I will sleep better tonight.
    Am a little confused by Heather & Wades comments though…. That code that ya gave us Wade begins with a “J” but also has “CC” in the middle - so as I got excited to know about the classic flavors being back and what codes to look for…. That example/code had WHAT to look for -but also WHAT IT SHOULD NOT have had if it was a true classic flavored bag.

    Gosh….. Why in the world would they ever EVER touch that version and change it…. What would ever make that company think they’d have to do better than they were already doing - those conversation hearts are known for being very loved by s lot of people!

    Comment by Brandy on 2/23/16 at 3:02 pm #
  18. Brandy, I believe they moved where they were making them when the ingredients got changed. I know the code information was confusing, but that didn’t come from me, it came from Ferrara Candy Co.  I think they need to get their stuff in order.  I think sticking to the lot code that starts with a 5 is the key to the ones we want, at least for this year. Who knows what it will be for next year. The bag I got just before V-Day started with a 5, also had a CC in the center, but they were the right ones.

    Comment by Heather knaub on 2/23/16 at 4:35 pm #
  19. This conversation Hearts aren’t as good as the original Necco conversation Hearts.. . You might as well get a spoonful of sugar or sugar cube and suck it down cuz that’s what they taste like. . They are too sweet.

    Comment by Rhonda on 3/25/16 at 1:58 pm #
  20. I love the lemon drop.  I usually buy ten bags at a time.  The last bags that I bought were so sour.  I thought maybe they have changed the recipe or I hit a dud bag.  I opened every bag and tasted them and threw every bag away.
    I then went to the store yesterday and purchased a bag of lemon drops just to see.
    Same thing in the garbage. Too bad

    Comment by elaine on 8/19/16 at 12:04 pm #
  21. So excited that conversation hearts are out already.  Made sure I bought classic tiny conversation hearts.  These are not classic. Taste is like juicy fruit gum.  Yuk

    Comment by Candace on 1/01/17 at 7:58 am #
  22. Fyi, CC coded ones are good again (Necco flavored).

    Comment by Wade Fasshauer on 1/01/17 at 5:14 pm #
  23. I just purchased a bag tonight and they actually taste like they are suppose to. The number on this bag is 6L14CC8R201. I was nervous getting them , because last year they were nasty and I use to look forward to Valentine’s Day to by a bag. I’m glad they are back on track .

    Comment by Darren Walker on 1/11/17 at 4:16 pm #
  24. I just bought a bag today & they do NOT taste the same.  Different bag then up above.  I bought 2 bags and normally the 1st bag would be gone, but still have most of the 1st bag.  I notice the colors are a little lighter too.  Big disappointment.

    Comment by C Houle on 1/19/17 at 1:52 pm #
  25. Sorry you got the crappy ones.  The good original “classic” flavor ones have a number on the back of the bag that contains a “CC”.  I have found this to be true for the last two years without fail.  I hope this helps.  I don’t know how they can continue selling the crappy ones with “Classic Flavors” on the bag.

    Comment by Wade Fasshauer on 1/19/17 at 5:27 pm #
  26. Just bought a bag.code 6k11cc8r2c2.Horrible.Had the white one first.Knew immediately.I had a 2 lb bag in cart,small hearts,put it back after finding the 7,5 ounce pink bag.I knew it was a risk.So I only ate 2.I might as well just throw out the rest.I shop up in the Duluth area.I will check out codes in Illinois next week.

    Comment by Elizabeth Russell on 1/25/17 at 8:07 am #
  27. I am very disappointed in Brach’s. A few years ago, the company messed with the recipe, and it did it again this year.

    These are not classic flavors. The hearts are flatter, colors are different, and the taste is just awful.  The purple and pink ones make you cringe at first taste. The only decent tasting ones are the white ones, and they used to be my least favorite.

    I am a candy conversation heart addict and would buy pounds to ration throughout the year. Not buying anymore this year.

    I did send a complaint via the company’s website.  Hopefully, enough people will complain, and the company will go back to the original recipe.

    I am in central Wisconsin, and the bag I purchased does have cc in the lot number.

    Comment by DeeAnn Donahue on 1/26/17 at 11:48 am #
  28. My bag of Brach’s large hearts tastes fruity and gross. It’s number 6X22CC8R302.

    Sad that stores are selling old bags of hearts! Wish I could find the good original flavor!

    Comment by Karen Tolkkinen on 1/27/17 at 11:35 am #
  29. I’m sorry if I told anyone the wrong thing. I only buy at Walmart in Livermore, CA and haven’t had any issue.  I bought some at a local Raley’s store and they were wrong.  They tasted terrible.  I guess I have had some good luck at Walmart.

    Comment by Wade Fasshauer on 1/27/17 at 12:01 pm #
  30. I really wish you would go back to the “old” candy hearts…the “new” ones aren’t as good and many people really don’t care do them

    Comment by Tanya VanDam on 2/03/17 at 5:19 pm #
  31. Just opened a bag of NECCO and they are horrible. Sure wish they’d go back to the original chalky ones. Terrible!

    Comment by Ronda on 2/15/17 at 3:03 pm #
  32. Thank you, Brach’s, for bringing back the original flavors!!!!  The ‘new’ flavors that were out for the past couple of years were absolutely terrible.  I threw out those bags of conversation hearts and stopped buying them, which used to be my favorite candy.  VERY happy to see the original flavors come back!

    Comment by KL on 2/16/17 at 9:50 am #
  33. Well,another Valentines day goes by and still no good conversation hearts.I would like everyone to post the code of your bag of hearts to compare.The only good thing to come out of this is less time working off all the candy.

    Comment by Elizabeth Russell on 2/17/17 at 6:55 am #
  34. A week ago I saw an open bag at a Ralph’s (a Southern California tradition since 1873) grocery store of Brach’s thing is to dicuss candy with Siri.Too bad they never came up (to compete with Necco Twilight*) with Brach’s Hunger Games*
    *Neccos last after the marketing is no longer current ha ha! Just like their other candies.

    Comment by SJCarras on 2/23/17 at 8:30 pm #
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