Monday, February 11, 2008

Necco Conversation Hearts (Sweethearts)

If there’s an all-ages emblem of modern Valentines candy, it’s conversation hearts. The first “Motto Lozenges” were invented in 1860 based on Necco’s already popular Necco Wafers. They were shell shaped and then later assortments included both mottos and expressions of love and came in a variety of shapes such as horseshoes, baseballs and of course hearts. Eventually they were made smaller and thicker and had briefer messages evolving into the current Necco Sweethearts.


I’ve spent years avoiding a review of them. So I bought a couple of boxes this year (why not, they were on sale for 20 cents each).

I actually like Necco Wafers. I know that sounds odd, because they’re so dry and chalky. (I did not like the Necco Smoothies, though.)

imageIt used to be that the Conversation Hearts were just like the wafers, only thicker and smaller, same flavor rotation. Even though the Necco Wafers have remained unchanged, at some point they mucked around with the Hearts (I don’t know when) and changed up the flavors.

In an effort to be exhaustive (and sorry if I exhaust you), I’ve fully documented a random box of Sweethearts. They weigh one ounce and mine contained 36 hearts (one rather crushed though). There are six colors and they broke down in the following assortment:

  • 8 Pink Hearts
  • 2 Yellow Hearts
  • 7 Purple Hearts
  • 11 Green Hearts
  • 4 White Hearts
  • 4 Orange Hearts
  • Necco Sweethearts Color AssortmentEach year Necco adds new mottos to the little hearts. They always seem to be a little out of step with the modern world, but I think we forgive that lameness and just call them classics. (I didn’t find any that said Fax Me this year!)


  • 1 Home Sick
  • 2 Kiss Me
  • 1 I’m Sure
  • 1 Love Me
  • 1 Let’s Kiss
  • 1 Hug Me
  • 3 Be Good
  • 1 Chill Out
  • 1 Heat Wave
  • 1 Cloud Nine
  • 1 I Hope
  • 1 Love Bird
  • 1 Wild Life
  • 1 One Kiss
  • 1 My Love
  • 2 New Love
  • 3 Love
  • 1 So Fine
  • 1 And
  • 1 Be Kind
  • 1 Sweet Talk
  • 2 Marry Me
  • 1 Do Good
  • 1 Yes Dear
  • 1 Blank (I guess you can fill it in yourself)
  • 1 For You
  • 1 Home Sick
  • There were three others that I couldn’t figure out. This year featured an “eco” theme with the addition of the mottos like “Wild Life” and “Heat Wave”. What’s nice is that there is a wide variety of mottos. In the second box I opened I found others that I didn’t have in this box (IM Me, Real Love, Marry Me and Sun Shine).

    I have to say, I think the quality control isn’t very good on these. There were quite a few that were intelligible, like having a conversation while the garbage disposal is on. Some are a little bumpy and irregular in shape as well. But hey, they were twenty cents and come in a box ready for your own personal message to give as a Valentine, cheaper than a card.


  • White - Wintergreen, like a breathmint
  • Purple - foul bitter grapes (yes, you’d think they’d be sour grapes, but they were bitter)
  • Orange - orange, kinda creamy and sweet
  • Green - lime, mild sweet lime
  • Yellow - banana, not too bad
  • Pink - Cherry but sometimes it’s almost mild enough to be confused with strawberry but with a nasty bitter aftertaste like poison
  • In the Necco Wafers the purple is Clove (I also find that bitter too, but in a more natural way), Pink is Cinnamon and Yellow is Lemon (and there’s a Brown Chocolate one and a Black Licorice one). The changeup in the hearts is understandable, but the Red #40 is probably what I’m tasting ... my husband can’t taste it, so your mileage may vary.

    While I tend to lump Sweethearts in with the other “chalk” candies, they’re not compressed dextrose like many other mints and sour tablet candies are. They’re actually made from a real sugar-based wet dough (that also includes gelatin, my vegetarian friends). This gives it a bit denser feel and also a deeper sweetness than dextrose (a monsaccharide instead of a disaccharide).

    Having these reminded me that I prefer Necco Wafers. I like the tablet shape and how they clink together and are easy to crunch or dissolve. There are too many flavors that I don’t eat in this mix as well ... so I’ll stick with Necco Wafers. But I still might pick these up every year ... especially on sale after Valentines. They also come in: Spanish , Sour and Chocolate (one version is just the chalky chocolate and they also have foil wrapped actual chocolate hearts on the website, but I’ve never seen them in person).

    I was wishing I had a cute story about an experience with Necco Sweethearts ... but I bet some reader has a great one about these or some other conversation hearts.

    Sweethearts - 2010 FlavorsUPDATE January 13, 2010

    It appears that Necco has changed the standard flavors (and some of the packaging) for their time-tested Necco Sweethearts. Prompted by some readers who commented here, I picked up a new bag. They are fruit flavors, no longer the classic fruits & spices. (Strawberry, Grape, Green Apple, Lemon, Orange and Blue Raspberry.)

    Full review with pictures over here: Necco Conversation Hearts (Sweethearts) 2010

    Related Candies

    1. Necco Conversation Hearts (Sweethearts) 2010
    2. All Natural Necco Wafers
    3. Chocotelegram and Chocolate Dispatch
    4. Ausome Jewelry Kit
    5. SweeTart Hearts
    6. Junior Mints - Heart Shaped
    Name: Sweethearts Conversation Hearts
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Necco
    Place Purchased: RiteAid (Vermonica)
    Price: $.20
    Size: 1 ounce
    Calories per ounce: 110
    Categories: Chalk, United States, Necco, Valentines

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:33 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

    1. Hi Cybele these look remarkably similar to something called ‘lovehearts’ in the uk….funnily enough unlike these they arent shaped as hearts and are just round.

      I would have a guess at them being 99% Sugar 1% Flavourings :S cant say im too tempted myself.

      Comment by Jim on 2/11/08 at 8:49 am #
    2. I for one do not find your like of Necco wafers strange - I really like them myself, especially the chocolate ones, which you can get in a roll of only chocolate. They are pretty low in calories too I think.

      Comment by Lidian on 2/11/08 at 10:32 am #
    3. I’ve always hated these. raspberry

      Comment by Sera on 2/11/08 at 10:33 am #
    4. Yeah, not a big fan of these. It never seemed like they were supposed to actually taste very good, but people buy them because of the nostalgic connection with Valentine’s Day and the little messages I guess.

      A cute story? Hmm, I don’t know about “cute,” but I do have a vivid memory from elementary school (4th grade? 6th grade?) where my teacher made every student go up in front of the class, dig around in a bowl of various brands of conversation hearts, and choose another student of the opposite sex to read the message to. It was completely mortifying, and I have no idea how she thought this was a good idea. I remember mine was “U 2 Kid” (yeah…I don’t know, either) and she made me choose someone who hadn’t gotten a message yet so I read it to this one boy, Vincent. After every message, the whole class went “ooooh” like we were admitting some kind of secret crush, but I barely knew this kid. Sooo embarrassing.

      Comment by Ali Marie on 2/11/08 at 12:01 pm #
    5. These are like candy corn to me. Only for a certain season. And I would not think to buy them, or even claim to like them, but will eat them by the handful if they are in a candy jar. The white ones are nasty - toothpasty. But otherwise I like the soft texture on the hearts and the mild flavors. Once a year.

      Comment by KateC on 2/11/08 at 12:26 pm #
    6. I love candy hearts. They ‘chew’ perfectly…lol…must be a childhood fond memory or something.

      Comment by Sherry on 2/11/08 at 1:25 pm #
    7. My grandmother sends me a box of these every year for valentines. It’s cute.

      Comment by Ezra on 2/11/08 at 2:40 pm #
    8. The white ones are the best ones.

      Also, these were the only way my parents could get me to eat that nasty chewable Tylenol.  Just eat the one chewable Tylenol and then you can have TEN conversation hearts! 

      They would keep boxes of them hidden all year for this purpose, and you know, when you’re six, you don’t care that they’re stale.  Totally stealing that trick for my as-yet-imaginary kids.

      Comment by Michaela on 2/11/08 at 4:20 pm #
    9. I don’t have a particularly cute story, just a somewhat pathetic one.  When my (now) husband and I were in a long-distance relationship, I mailed him a valentine with a bunch of these hearts that I’d picked out (they were ones that I thought he’d find funny for one reason or another).  Well, apparently these don’t do too well in the mail: they arrived late, pulverized, and with insufficient postage—he had to pay for his own valentine full of conversation heart dust!

      Tee hee.  Guess I’m lucky he still married me!

      Comment by R on 2/11/08 at 8:29 pm #
    10. Conversation Hearts are one of my seasonal candy favorites, but I only buy one specific brand, and one specific type, because of one of the comments many people have about the Sweetheart brand hearts (and other brands as well) - they’re dry, hard, and chalky.

      I always get Brachs Large Conversation Hearts.  They always seem to be fresh and nearly melt in your mouth.  Instead of being hard and chalky, they’re almost soft, although there is some resistance to chewing them.  If you’re familiar with Necco wafers, they’re much softer than those.

      The orange ones are my favorites.

      Comment by Rassi on 2/12/08 at 9:58 am #
    11. When my husband proposed to me, he bought two bags of conversation hearts, and he and his best friend sorted through them to try to find a “Marry Me” heart—but not a single one in both bags! He refused to buy yet another bag of candies neither of us liked.
      Anyway, we had gone out to dinner, and after dinner, walking back to our hotel room, he said he’d brought some candy to eat for dessert, and he pulled out a handful of conversation hearts. (I was thinking, “I skipped real dessert for THIS?”) He gave me three- “Girlfriend”, “Love You”, “Forever”, then pulled out the ring. Of course I said yes, and we went back to our hotel, where he had chocolates and champagne waiting.

      Comment by Pumpkin on 2/12/08 at 10:29 am #
    12. The white ones are definitely the best.
      Also, I don’t think the horrible taste of the red hearts is due to Red #40, because they’ve always tasted awful and bitter to me and I can never really taste Red #40.

      Comment by Alex on 2/12/08 at 2:18 pm #
    13. so on a trip to Target last night, i saw the Conversation Heart Sours mentioned here, and for $2 i got 8 boxes. I figured why not and picked up a pack.

      ive always like the regular conversation hearts ok i guess, and i like Necco wafers best just because of the funky flavors like licorice. so i opened a box of the sours on the way home, and popped one in my mouth.

      at first, they werent too bad, especially if you had them one at a time. but as i tried to eat a few different ones at once(which i do with the regular hearts), the flavors got worse. maybe with sourness tastes get amplified (especially the bad flavor), but after about half a box i really hated these. and they had a wicked aftertaste that got worse the longer it sat on the tounge. i actually hated these so much i gave them out the remaining boxes at work today, which originally i was going to keep them for myself. if i give away candy, you KNOW it must be bad.

      Comment by doug on 2/13/08 at 2:18 am #
    14. Bleh. I don’t really like these, but for some reason I buy them every year. I always have to throw away the purple and pink ones.

      Comment by Karen on 2/13/08 at 7:12 pm #
    15. It’s funny cause I read this on the day you published it and was thinking “I haven’t had a candy message heart in many years” and then yesterday the child I am a nanny for gave me a box of them for valentine’s day.

      I’ve tasted every flavor and to me the orange and green are the best…my box had MANY MANY unlegible hearts though and the ones I could read, most of them were very off center…there were also quite a few broken ones.

      I think these are great for nostalgia and not much else.

      Comment by Erika on 2/15/08 at 4:47 am #
    16. Cybele, I had to write a quiz about candy hearts for work a few weeks ago (see my link), so I bought a few different brands for research.  The ONLY candy hearts I find edible are the SweetTart ones, but those only have like five different slogans, so they weren’t much help on the quiz.  (The SweetTart hearts were also the only candy hearts I found with decent quality control.)  The Necco ones, and the other brands I bought were almost all misprinted and hard to read.

      Comment by Lisa on 2/16/08 at 4:28 am #
    17. I was recently given a bag of what I’m assuming are the king-size version of these candy hearts, and I must say that they’re even worse than the normal-sized ones. They even had stupider sayings: the majority just said “Thank You,” and then I had about 10 more that said “Nature Love,” and then a lot of unintelligible ones. I’m with you: Necco Wafers will always be the best.

      Comment by Haley on 2/17/08 at 5:47 pm #
    18. I’ve always loved these - but only Necco, not the Brach’s. One year I hid them all over my boyfriend’s dorm room - in pockets and such - he was still finding them months later. (And he married me, so it didn’t traumatize him!) My son’s preschool teacher gave them each a box of these and then had them make a bar chart showing the distribution - it varied quite a lot throughout the class! My favorites are the orange and yellow - if I’m just buying one box, I’ll look at them carefully to check the color distribution…

      Comment by Tricia on 2/18/08 at 8:33 am #
    19. Like the last poster, I only like Necco’s hearts and not Brach’s.  I also prefer my hearts in a box and not in a bag.  I like them to be crunchy.  In fact, I take the bagged ones and let them sit out for a few days so that they become crunchier.  Anyone else think the same?
      Also, I noticed that the messages seem sloppier than ever this year.  Mangled ink, off center, pressed in too hard, etc.  It’s almost a rarity when they’re legible.  I don’t remember this being a problem before.

      Comment by Cathy on 2/22/08 at 5:17 am #
    20. Delicious is all I have to say. Why wouldn’t anyone loves these?

      Comment by Brandy on 2/24/08 at 3:58 am #
    21. Oh geeze! I just bought a bag and they are all hard - NOT AT ALL SOFT like I like them.  I know leaving the bag open makes them harder… IS THERE ANYTHING THAT WILL MAKE THEM SOFTER?  I am Soooooooo disappointed!

      Comment by Susie on 1/26/09 at 10:15 am #
    22. actually, my last name is Hart, and my parents named me Candice so they could call me Candy as a nickname. Everyone calls me Candy, and i love me name. on my 18th birthday thats coming up, i’m going to get a tattoo of 3 candy hearts on my shoulder smile

      Comment by candy on 2/02/09 at 5:28 am #
    23. I don’t like the hardness of the Necco Conversation Hearts (how do you know they’re stale until you open the box?) and I can’t find the more-desireable (for me) Brach’s version. I’ve found a great technique for softening up almost any hard food I’ve tried it with. Stick the conversation hearts in the microwave for about 40 seconds. You may need to adjust your time, but when they’re done they’re warm, and better still, more of the flavor comes out. Bon Apetit!

      Comment by CeeBee on 2/15/09 at 7:19 am #
    24. I always loved these conversation hearts, but the only ones I can find now are the Necco, and I hate them. They are so hard I’m afraid they’re going to break my 70-year-old fillings. Also, almost half the bag I bought last month were unreadable. Their taste is not near as strong and each color’s flavor not as distinctive as the Brachs. I think they’re all missing a bet by not updating their sayings, like “Text Me”, “URAQT”, “BFF”, etc. They could really sell if they’d get more input from the net. (See my comments also on marshmallow Easter Eggs.)

      Comment by Sally on 3/28/09 at 9:49 am #

      Comment by TIADIA on 11/01/09 at 12:28 am #
    26. I love the small and large Brachs—not the Neccos (too hard for me). But am very disappointed in quality of the words—as some reviewers said you can hardly read them, they are not centered. Love the hip modern sayings like computer LOL, TTYL, etc. They’d sell tons more of these if they’d fix the quality problems. Favorite is the white! Isn’t Red #40 ground up cochineal bugs? Coloring has been used for centuries for lipstick, dyes, etc. We grow them in NM on cactus.

      Comment by Sally on 11/02/09 at 2:19 am #
    27. Cybele's avatar

      Sally - Red 40 is usually made from coal tar. (Which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s unnatural.)

      People who have allergies to aspirin may have reactions to it.

      The red dye made from insects is usually called carmine, cochineal or crimson lake. I have no problem with that, I can’t detect the taste.

      Comment by Cybele on 11/02/09 at 5:02 am #
    28. I bought a bag of the new 2010 Necco sweethearts and ALL the flavors were different.  They changed them. None are the classic hearts.  I really HATE this new direction.  I vote to return to the flavors and consistency of last year.  please.

      Comment by JP on 1/10/10 at 5:55 pm #
    29. Per my previous comments, Brachs are the best if you can find them. Last year I found an off brand at our local Alco/Duckwalls store and they were as good as Brachs (and on sale since it was after Valentines Day).

      Comment by Sally on 1/11/10 at 3:17 am #
    30. First off Brach’s are a terrible knock-off.  Second, the new flavors are disgusting.  If they wanted to do a super fruity version they should have did it as a separate product.

      Comment by LongDongSilver on 1/11/10 at 6:21 am #
    31. Necco big hearts are the best but only if you can find them fresh which isn’t an easy thing to do. When they get hard they are inedible and a danger to your teeth. I’ve always thought they should sell the exact same type candy in another shape all year long. I wish the Necco CEO would read these comments.

      Comment by Alex on 1/11/10 at 1:32 pm #
    32. I have always loved chalky candies and looked forward to snacking on the Necco sweethearts this time of year. However, I am extremely disappointed with the new flavors. How about a little warning so I could have stocked up on the originals last year…

      Comment by David S on 1/11/10 at 6:01 pm #
    33. Totally agree with the recent posts.  The new Necco conversation hearts flavors are HORRIBLE!  Instead of throwing the bag away, I put them out in the office.  Even my co-workers who will eat practically anything have left those alone after one taste.  PLEASE bring back the orignal flavors.

      Comment by Jackie on 1/12/10 at 7:58 am #
    34. I am so disappointed with the new flavors too! They are gross!  Write into Necco’s contact page and complain about the old flavors disappearing,

      They have not even updated their website with the new flavors yet.  Ridiculous to change a product that they have been making since 1902 without a single announcement.

      Comment by Laura on 1/12/10 at 1:15 pm #
    35. Cybele's avatar

      Thanks for the heads up on the new flavors. I picked up a bag and have a full review over here: Necco Conversation Hearts (Sweethearts) 2010

      Comment by Cybele on 1/13/10 at 8:33 am #
    36. I admit that I am an addict when it comes to Necco conversation hearts, munching on handfuls when they are in season.  The NEW flavors are sooooo bad that it is safe to say I will no longer be munching all those calories.  Thanks Necco?

      Comment by disappointed on 1/13/10 at 10:36 am #
    37. I bought a package of 8 boxes of Conversation Hearts from my local Walmart today, looking forward to them since its been since last Valentine’s Day since I have had any.  Needless to say, the new flavors left me “speechless”.  They are really nasty.  I’ll probably throw away the remaining 7 boxes.  My intent was to buy my old favorite Necco hearts and I feel as if I was “duped” into buying a new, totally different in flavor and texture candy!  I want the old Necco conversation hearts back!!!!!

      Comment by Speechless Hearts on 1/13/10 at 3:01 pm #
    38. I was so excited to purchase my 1st box of Sweethearts for the new year…but, not anymore! The new flavors are REPULSIVE. I’m done with these candies until the old formula is back. How dumb do these people have to be—don’t they know that the people who buy these candies are grown people (even if they are buying it for a child)? And grown people know how these candies are supposed to taste?

      Get a clue, Necco! Change is not always good!

      Comment by Yucky New Hearts on 1/14/10 at 12:03 pm #
    39. The Dollar Tree is selling the old sweethearts until they run out of stock. Yes they are hard and you can’t read the message on half of them but compared to the new sweethearts….they are soooo good. Go to posting #35 and check out Cybele’s 2010 review. Someone has a list of stores that still carry the old sweethearts.

      Comment by David S on 1/14/10 at 12:31 pm #
    40. Soooo disappointed in Necco for changing the flavors with no warning.  I ate one without realizing the flavors were new and just stood there, incredulous, thinking something was wrong with my tastebuds or I bought a different brand.  I think they taste terrible.  Contact Necco.  Maybe if enough of us complain they’ll see the error of their ways and bring back our beloved Sweethearts.

      Comment by Linda on 1/14/10 at 1:42 pm #
    41. I dont like the new flavors was so sad not to find my favorites which i look forward to every year for Valentine’s day. My husband would by me bags for my gift now he can’t because I can’t stand the new flavors PLEASE BRING BACK the old ones

      Comment by karen from texas on 1/14/10 at 4:31 pm #
    42. I just got a 12-pack at Walgreen’s and tried a box. About a third of the box was normal and the other two-thirds were much softer and awful tasting (I’m guessing those are the new, fruit tasting ones). Is there a reason a portion of the box is still good or is it all like that? I’m just kind of confused.

      Comment by qwerty on 1/14/10 at 4:37 pm #
    43. I do not like the new flavors either.  Yuck.  Why do companies feel compelled to mess with a good thing?

      Comment by Terry on 1/15/10 at 6:50 am #
    44. My husband looks forward to Necco hearts every year.  I was so excited to walk into my local walmart and see them out.  I saw the new packaging and was happy.  when my hubby tried the new flavors, he thought i purchased the wrong product.  I can’t believe necco would do this.  Is there someone new in charge????  why would you change such a classic candy?  FIX IT NECCO

      Comment by Jennifer on 1/15/10 at 2:53 pm #
    45. I HATE THE NEW NECCO CONVERSATION HEARTS!!!!!!!!!They taste horrible!  If it is not broke don’t fix it.  This is like Wrigleys changing Juicy Fruit or Double Mint gum!  Bring back the original Necco!

      Comment by Tess on 1/16/10 at 4:17 pm #
    46. i hate the new sweethearts too! i wrote a letter to necco using their contact page:

      i encourage all of you to do the same! if they hear that the new flavors are not appreciated they might go back to the old ones, or at least sell them in addition to the new ones. i just want my cinnamon hearts back!

      Comment by annie on 1/17/10 at 5:43 am #
    47. Hey!  What happened to the OLD conversation hearts?!  I bought a couple of boxes thinking they were the same….ew.  The new flavors are sickening!  I REALLY want the old necco hearts back.  I bought those up like crazy every year!!!  They were my FAVORITE candies.

      Comment by Abbey Jacobs on 1/17/10 at 2:30 pm #
    48. Wow.. nice group of convo hearts lovers here!  Never thought anyone else had an obsession with these like I do.. love the comfort of the chalky flavor.. but, terribly dislike the new flavors.. Horrid!  Well.. I won’t eat many, and thus save my teeth for the first time in 50 years!!  grin

      Bad move, Necco…

      Comment by Pat Dumas on 1/18/10 at 12:48 pm #
    49. I am crushed to find that the new Sweetheart candy is a new forumula.  My thrill of this time of year is the little boxes hitting store shelves and I buy them immmediately and enjoy them through February.  It’s the first sign that spring is around the corner to me.  I love them.  Even after 20 years of marriage I still hand cute ones to my husband as I eat them, and give them to all our kids on valentine’s day.  I was so excited to buy my first bag of the season this year only to come home and be horrified that they were not what I expected.  I went back to the store a few days later to find they were all that way!!!  I thought I had accidentally purchased the wrong kind, but no, there are none of the classics in stock.  I had to buy Brach’s and I do not prefer them at all.  I don’t know what they were thinking to completely take something so nostalgic away without warning and assume everyone would be happy with the change.  They just lost a ton of money on me over the next 6 weeks.  I guess I should be happy that I won’t be tempted to eat them all the time.  I’m still very sad though.

      Comment by J Sutton on 1/19/10 at 9:46 am #
    50. I’m glad to have come across this blog. I too, LOVE the little conversation hearts as do my kids. I saw the bright pink new bag at my Wal Mart and read the flavors on the back. I thought “Okay, the original flavored ones should be around here somewhere…” Nope! My kids and I got in the car and opened the bag and were mortified. They are AWFUL! I was blown away by the fowl taste of the pink ones- strawerry. The blue raspberry- ewe. The lemony yellow-kaput! (I miss my banana)The green apple was the only one I approved of. They should go back to the original and throw in the green apple. I hope they go back to the old flavor

      Comment by andrea on 1/19/10 at 10:20 am #
    51. I HATE THESE NEW FLAVORS. Plus, I think that they have increased the artificial colors. No doubt they made some money on those Twilight branded hearts (which have more extreme flavors).

      It’s fairly obvious that they didn’t do proper research, as older persons who actually purchase these and have for some time, would hate the change.

      While adding new flavors would have been nice, as long as they weren’t overdone like these are, changing the recipe without warning is the kiss of death for any food product. For shame!

      Comment by wietog on 1/19/10 at 11:15 am #
    52. These new flavors are AWFUL!  Every Jan/Feb I buy a bag of large hearts.  I am so disappointed this year.  I keep going back and trying out these new ones in the hopes that they’ll grow on me, but no luck.

      Comment by Michelle on 1/19/10 at 4:34 pm #
    53. I for one am horrified by the nonsense they are bagging and calling Necco Sweethearts.  I have gone to 25 stores in New York thinking that these pink bags were imposters, only to find that the company themselves are making this dribble!!
      Thanks to the other posters who have rendered my findings accurate.

      Comment by Karen on 1/20/10 at 3:34 am #
    54. I’m so glad to have found this blog AND to find that I’m not the only one who absolutely HATES the “new and improved” conversation hearts.
      Have bought no less than 10 bags of the large conversation hearts each and every year for as long as I can remember - it was something I always looked forward to(I have certain candies that I buy religiously each year - candy corn and vanilla Tootsie rolls at Halloween and my conversation hearts at Valentines Day).

      Drove all over town to find the “original” hearts I love only to be disappointed by these new things. Tried one ... more than enough. Threw the rest out immediately. NECCO, please bring the others back ... fast! Have you not heard of focus groups or asking your customers what they want???? “New and improved” surely doesn’t always work. This is a prime case. For me, you ruined both a product and a tradition I so enjoyed; you won’t see my business again until and unless the originals return. Let’s hope NECCO gets the message from everyone saying their piece ...

      Comment by Deb on 1/20/10 at 5:35 am #
    55. I actually called and wrote to Necco yesterday and when I read this email a few minutes ago, I was shocked at their response. I’ll be happy to share it with you.

      Dear Ms. Casino,

      Thank you for writing to Necco,  I wanted to personally thank you for all of your input on our new Sweethearts.  They are a great US made product and I am glad to hear you are a longtime fan. Over the years, our number one product requests have been around producing a more flavorful and softer product. Sweethearts have been America?s favorite Valentine?s Day candy for over 145 years now and we needed to ensure that Sweethearts continue to delight people of all ages.

      It?s never easy to change something that hasn?t been changed for a very long time and we appreciate your support as we continue to come up with new flavors and ways to say I Love You. Here?s more information about all of our exciting changes:

      Our new softer Original Flavors now include: Green Apple, Blue Raspberry, Strawberry, Lemon, Grape and Orange. The color of the hearts were changed to match the flavors so people could tell what flavor they were eating before they even tried them. The new expressions on the Sweethearts were chosen by over 10,000 Americans at back in the summer. The complete list of the top new sayings includes both contemporary expressions like Tweet? Me and Text Me and beloved classics like ?Love Me? and ?Sweet Pea.? The packaging was changed to make the product easier to find at shelf. And our little 1oz boxes are now slightly smaller with no window, to be more sustainable and easier to handle for tiny kid hands. The back of our 1oz boxes was also changed so that kids could write in their To/From names in pencil.

      If you are looking for something to share with the little girls in your life be sure to check out our new Sweethearts Dazzled Tarts with flavors including: Pink Lemonade, Wild Berry Grape, Sour Apple, Watermelon, Extreme Tangerine and Blue Raspberry. These new Sweethearts are dazzled and have crowns and shoes on them!

      So, thank you for your feedback and please stick with us. Let us know what you think of our other Sweetheart products. Also, check our  for free recipe ideas and craft projects.

      Thank you again for writing.


      Theresa Denis
      Customer Correspondent

      Now, that is not a response for the email I sent about how I used to love them and now I refuse to buy them, not even my kids like the new flavors.

      Comment by Andrea on 1/20/10 at 7:06 am #
    56. Yeah, that form letter is such a blow off. What part of “I hate the new flavors” don’t they understand?

      I emailed them and sent them links to these comments.  wink  They haven’t written me back though.

      Comment by Terry on 1/20/10 at 2:04 pm #
    57. I got the same letter word for word, with the exception of the name.  It was a slap in the face. Obvisioulsy they did not read my letter. It does not feel like Valentines day is coming up.  I usually have many bags of convo hearts lying around, now none….sad and disappointing

      Comment by Jennifer on 1/21/10 at 8:01 am #
    58. I agree—I loved the conversation hearts but after one bag this year, I won’t be buying any more.

      Comment by Jeanne on 1/21/10 at 11:46 am #
    59. Good news today!  I found old stock Sweethearts at the Dollar Tree today!!!!  Both the 8 oz. bags and the little boxes!  I stocked up, as I may never see them again.  Just thought I’d let everyone know who is as disappointed as me in the new junk they are calling Sweethearts!

      Comment by J. Sutton on 1/21/10 at 12:32 pm #
    60. This blog is a real find!!  People who understand what I am going through…..

      I’m so disappointed with the current flavors and consistency of Sweethearts!!  Like so many others who have commented here, I absolutely loved Sweethearts, but I won’t be buying any more of them.

      I miss the “crunch” the most - I could live with the new flavors if I had to, but I hate the new texture of the candies.  GROSS

      J. Sutton thanks for the heads up on the Dollar Tree - I am going there today!

      Comment by LAinWLA on 1/21/10 at 12:43 pm #
    61. My wife bought these new sweethearts and I thought they were the wrong brand they were so bad. Sadly I found out that they changed one of my favorite candies.  Its safe to say that I wont be buying anymore of the necco hearts until they get their old recipie back!!

      Comment by Levi on 1/21/10 at 12:52 pm #
    62. I got the same form letter back from Necco too.  My next move is to ship them the bag of Sweethearts I bought, with a note attached saying they can keep their new product - and they just lost a long-time customer.  What a shame Necco.

      Comment by Linda on 1/21/10 at 1:47 pm #
    63. I just bit into my first sweethearts of the season - boo hoo, I want the old ones back.  Waaaahhhhh.  A childhood staple down the drain.  My kids like them,  and the flavors and colors burst a little stronger - but hey, subtle is good.  At least put out both varieties - like original and new.  See what happens. 

      I came immediately to the computer and googled sweethearts candy change flavor and found you all - thank you for being here.

      Comment by Janine on 1/21/10 at 2:21 pm #
    64. So… I’m sitting here eating these “new” Sweethearts, talk about gross. They SUCK! I can’t believe Necco would change a good thing. I’ll never have a crunchy white sweetheart with illegible text again. :’( When I went to the store I thought they were a knock-off version at first… I sent an email to Necco already, everyone here should unite and do the same-

      Comment by kaylee on 1/21/10 at 5:22 pm #
    65. I actually called, the lady said she would document. Hopefully my phone call was heard louder than my email and my email in return which I am almost positive wasn’t read.

      Comment by andrea on 1/21/10 at 8:13 pm #
    66. You remember how bad the ‘New’ Coke was in the 80’s. So bad they reverted back to the original formula. I just went to the store to buy my favorite valentine candy (Sweethearts). I saw the new packaging and thought the new look was appealing.  When I opened it and put it in my mouth, I found it appalling. Please Necco, go back to the original formula.

      Comment by Brandy on 1/22/10 at 9:47 am #
    67. Nice product testing? They have destroyed my annual craving until they go back to what worked for 100 years!

      Comment by Joe Raschke on 1/22/10 at 2:12 pm #
    68. This is like the “new flavors” of Life Savers to me; I find them both to be terrible. Of these, I loved the banana flavored ones, and the lime ones after that. It’s depressing. On top of that, I’m alone for Valentine’s Day again this year…

      Comment by Will on 1/22/10 at 4:57 pm #
    69. I agree these new conversational hearts are just disappointing.  I really had the tart and sour flavors.

      Comment by Sally on 1/23/10 at 11:33 am #
    70. I WANT MY MONEY BACK—these new flavors are HORRID!  We’re so disappointed, Necco could have at least labeled the packages as ‘new flavors’ or something.  I thought I bought the wrong candy!  They do not at all resemble the candy we all obviously enjoyed over the years.  What a shame :(

      Comment by Susan on 1/23/10 at 1:53 pm #
    71. I look forward to Necco conversation hearts all year! I was SO disappointed when I opened the bag I bought this year. Then I bought some boxes, hoping they hadn’t been ruined as well…but no luck! I am going to send them to Necco and let them know how disappointed I am!!!!

      Comment by Wendy on 1/23/10 at 4:29 pm #
    72. I can’t believe you changed your flavors!  Please change them back!  I have been a fan for 40 years and eveyone I know is so disappointed with the change.

      We have loved the old neccos hearts for years.  Taste the new ones, do you really think they are good?

      Warmest regards;
      Ann Hodge Age 45

      Comment by Ann Hodge on 1/23/10 at 6:06 pm #
    73. I am so glad to have found all of you - don’t feel so alone in my fondness for these candies - and my MAJOR FRUSTRATION with them changing the candy flavors!!  I refuse to even try them (though definitely will seek out a Dollar Store!).  There is nothing on the box/bag that indicates the flavors have changed - and that alone seems like false advertising!  Why, oh why, would they change such a good thing?!  Stupid move, Necco.  You’ve lost a lot of good customers.

      Comment by Jill on 1/24/10 at 2:22 pm #
    74. I was out at Michael’s craft store today and spotted a light pink bag with colorful conversation hearts. They even said that. With my frustration with Necco’s crappy change, I turned over the bag to read that they were made by Necco. Can you believe I was willing to pay $1.99 for a small bag just see if they were the right flavors!?! They were! Such a relief!

      Comment by andrea on 1/24/10 at 9:16 pm #
    75. These new ones are naaaasstyyyy! even our 8 year old, who likes ALL candy, couldn’t stomach these!

      I sent in a complaint email.  I got the same canned response that commenter # 55 rec’d. ugh. just an ad for their new candies! how lame!

      Is anyone else afraid that the discount stores and $1 stores that have the classic one are just the “last stop” and when those are gone, they are gone? that’s not what NECCO said, but I find it “ODD” that only the discount stores would have ordered the classic candies. 

      If they have to make new ones, FINE, but STILL PRODUCE THE OLD ONES Please!!!!!!

      Comment by Handy Man, Crafty Woman on 1/26/10 at 10:41 am #
    76. When I called to complain, the woman said that they didn’t make the original ones at all this year, so the ones people are finding have got to be left overs from years past.

      Comment by andrea on 1/26/10 at 1:52 pm #
    77. Cybele's avatar

      Andrea - you’re right, they didn’t make them “this year” as the inventory in stores right now for Valentine’s Day 2010 was made in 2009. From what I understand, the company made the old formula first, for the dollar stores/discount retailers. Then they cleaned & retooled the equipment and started making the new formula. The company’s website says it takes 10 months to make the 8 billion Sweethearts sold from January to February each year. (Of course that doesn’t mean some of the stuff in stores isn’t really old.)

      Comment by Cybele on 1/26/10 at 2:01 pm #
    78. I too hate, hate, hate the new Sweetheart flavors.  I don’t like most candy, but I look forward to Valetine’s season.  Not because of all the lovey, dovey stuff, not because of the flowers, not because of the chocolates, but because of the NECCO sweethearts.  I was so letdown when I opened that first little box this year.  Oh, the blue one threw me a little, but I just assumed NECCO had added a new color. I tried it and hated it and then I went through the box and threw all the blue ones away.  I thought I was safe and then I sampled one of the tried and true colors…YUCK! 

      I’ll be writing to NECCO tonight to let them know that changing my Sweethearts is more disappointing than the year my husband forgot Valentine’s day!

      Comment by Joan on 1/26/10 at 3:37 pm #
    79. Change a formula that’s worked for 100 years?  Brand suicide.  The new flavors are nauseating.

      Comment by Bill on 1/27/10 at 9:03 am #
    80. This year was a letdown in the sweetheart department. I always look forward to them, but the new flavors are awful.

      Comment by David on 1/27/10 at 3:07 pm #
    81. I, and everybody that I’ve talked to about the new line of Necco hearts, despises them.  I’m so disappointed with ALL of the flavors, which are ALL disgusting.  Valentine’s Day won’t be the same.  I went to 4 different stores in search of the old, classic flavors, but I haven’t found them yet.  I usually buy a grip of the conversation hearts to snack on throughout the year, but sorry, Necco.  You have lost me. The two bags I bought will be the only ones for me this year.  I want my favorite Valentine’s candy back!!!

      Comment by Carolyne on 1/27/10 at 5:45 pm #
    82. I miss the old flavors too! The new ones are too fruity.

      Comment by babyliisa on 1/28/10 at 11:42 am #
    83. I’m so incredibly bummed that I won’t have my bag of Sweethearts this year.  It’s just not Valentine’s Day without them.  Please Necco, please bring back the original flavors.  What a joke these new flavors are.  Blech! Disgusting.  I need my orange sweethearts!!!

      Comment by So Sad on 1/28/10 at 5:23 pm #
    84. I just wanted to add my name to the list. The new flavors absolutely stink. I was at Target with my wife and she grabbed a bag of Brach’s Hearts and put it in the cart. I promptly swapped them out for the Necco’s. After my first bite, I knew I made a mistake by not keeping the Brach’s.

      Comment by Nonsense on 1/31/10 at 9:28 am #
    85. The new flavors are dreadful!!  Please change back to the old flavors….  You are ruining your company.  Inside 3 years your sales will be down 50% or MORE!

      PLEASE; go back to the old flavors!


      Comment by V.A. Hodge on 1/31/10 at 9:35 am #
    86. I’d like to add my voice to the chorus: the new Necco Hearts are nasty! No more Conversation Hearts for me I guess- Brach’s are just as bad.

      I was always one of those people who bought a bunch of Sweethearts every year, going out of my way to buy the NECCO brand- really don’t like the Brach’s Hearts.  There were two things which made the old Sweethearts great:

      1. They were rock hard and crunchy
      2. They had simple, clean flavors that weren’t too strong.

      I’ll have to try the Wafers again… I don’t like the chocolate or anise flavors of wafers, and I don’t really like throwing away a third of the roll because of that. Liked all of the flavors in the original Sweethearts, except purple- the purple was a bit bitter from the food coloring, but it did kind of grow on me over the years- like the bitterness of coffee or tea. smile

      A lot of folks in the comments have complained about their being hard: buy them in bags, or buy Brach’s if you want soft hearts. Those little cardboard boxes are not air tight, so it should no surprise that they get hard. 

      If I could get the original candy… I’d stock up!

      NECCO- bring ‘em back!


      Comment by RevAaron on 1/31/10 at 5:41 pm #
    87. The new hearts were disgusting, especially since I was looking forward to one of my favorite candies that I can only get this time of year.  Add me to the list of disatisfied ex-customers. (That is unless they change them back to the old formula)


      Comment by Stephen on 1/31/10 at 7:24 pm #
    88. Here is the comment I just posted to the Necco site and I’m hoping the rest of you will post your own version to them so we can get them to come to their senses.  “I just bought a bag of “Necco Conversation Hearts (Sweethearts) 2010” at my local Albertsons and I am SAD to say that I will NEVER buy them again!!!! I opened the bag as I glanced quickly at the back of the package and saw new flavors listed there…the smell of NASTY CHEMICAL “FLAVORINGS” hit me over the head and I (against my better judgment) placed my hand in to sample what I was hoping would at least be palatable….YUCK! They were EACH so unpleasant that I found NOTHING enjoyable in that bag…NOTHING of what I have come to look forward to each and every year at valentines day.
        It used to be that I would happily sift through the box or bag and find my favorite flavors and then simply toss out the couple that I didn’t like as much… or leave them around for some more desperate sugar fiend. It’s true that some of the flavors were a bit off putting for me to eat in quantity however the smell when I opened the bag was Perfect, subtle and sharp at the same time….and old fashioned. grin I could imagine my Mom or Grand Dad eating them when they were kids like I had eaten them when I was a kid in the 80’s. I even went so far as to buy a roll of necco waffers now and again just to tied me over till “V-day”. True, I never ate more than one of the white or black…but the smell of the total package is part of it’s charm and it’s kind of fun to give one to a kid who has never eaten them before just to see the look in their eyes when they got a taste of something TOTALLY unexpected….but fun and funny. The smooth, slippery a yet powdery way they melt on your tongue is also part of the perfection. I gave my 2 and a half year old son a Necco waffer for the first time 2 days ago (and it was one of the flavors that I don’t particularly like mind you) and the look of delight on his face was so sweet and enchanting I was actually excited to give him some hearts for valentines day. I love(d) the way they had the extra thickness (as opposed to the thinness of the wafer) to bite through, the mild and yet sharp flavor mixture, the little impression in the candy where the stamp had placed the “note”  ..But after eating the new, “improved” product…he will NOT be getting the new flavors or the new “better” texture formula candies from me, because I will not be buying them so long as you continue to make this SUB PAR product. 
      Here’s hoping that you come to your senses and re-improve them back to the way they should be. They were a perfect product ....Quirky and unique. The new product is just sad.
        If you MUST add to your product line and “Give ‘em what they want” because you think you original flavor mix might not match what the new generation is looking for…you should at least come up with a better flavor profile that will not taste like something t a 4 year old made while playing in the lab. The flavors ..and colors are beyond bad taste and enter the realm of absurd….in a bad way.
      Signed and frustrated customer,
      xxxx xxxxx
      P.S.  Perhaps your formulators could eat less salt, chain smoke less and do less coke before the next taste test…..just an idea.”

      Comment by Mika on 1/31/10 at 7:26 pm #
    89. Just wanted to add my two cents here with everyone else.  Bought a bag of the conversation hearts at my local CVS this week as I always do during the Valentines season.  First thing I noticed was the new packaging but it never occurred to me that not only was the packaging new but so were the candy hearts.  These new flavors are just ridiculously horrible!!!  Why oh why would you change a good thing?  I am so disappointed that I won’t be able to enjoy my candy hearts this Valentines like I always do.  I usually buy quite a few bags during this season but you won’t be getting my business anymore.  I hate these and will never buy them again.  Please bring back the ORIGINAL CANDY HEARTS!!!  Like others have said if you want a new product fine but don’t do away with the ones we love, keep them too.  Also, like someone else said if you continue with this new product you have just lost at least 50% of your customers - I can assure you.  I haven’t talked to one person who has tried these new candies that said they liked them. YUK!!!

      Comment by Susan on 2/02/10 at 3:24 pm #
    90. Oh my goodness, I popped open my yearly bag of sweethearts this week I was so sad.  They were the nastiest thing have ever tasted.  I agree with the lady above… bing back the read sweethearts!  For this year I’ve switched to brachs… not as good :( but at least better than the current Sweethearts.

      Comment by Kris on 2/04/10 at 7:35 am #
    91. Hello All -

      Wrote my letter to those Necco fools.  Got the same form letter.  My nephews said if they wanted fruity flavor they would get Skittles, the Sweethearts were just nasty.

      On the upside I just discovered Brachs Hearts.  Close enough and what I will be buying this year!

      Neccos did not even put out an ad campaign announcing their new flavors.  The should have just created a new product.  They need a new ad agency.

      Don’t mess with a classic.


      Comment by Angie Slagg on 2/04/10 at 10:58 am #
    92. I am so happy to find that I am not the only one who feels like Valentines Day has been ruined. I HATE HATE HATE the new flavors and the new softer candy. THEY are terrible.  I was so sad when I bought my first box in the middle of January and popped the first yellow heart, MY FAVORITE, in my mouth and spit it right back out.  I thought maybe it was jsut this one and tried another but it was the same.  I was so mad I threw both boxes I bought away.  I then bought a bag of the large hearts and eagerly openeed them only to find they were not the same either.  Then I saw the new info on the side, NEW FLAVORS.  I am so disappointed!!! :-( I sent Necco a complaint tonight and said thanks for ruining my valentines day!  I hope they get so many angry emails that they realize the people whom they supposedly say emailed and asked for better tasting softer candies are NOT the people like us who buy them every year!  I miss my yellow sweethearts!!!!

      Comment by Valerie K. Mickelson on 2/05/10 at 1:06 am #
    93. Ugh, just bought a bag of sweetheart, and they taste like crap! So disappointed! Sweethearts have long been one of my favorite candies, and they’ve gone and killed them. Please, NECCO, bring back the old flavors!

      Comment by Elaine on 2/05/10 at 9:20 am #
    94. Cybele's avatar

      Folks who are commenting here about the new ones might want to visit the updated review mentioned at the end of the post and see what others are saying. I believe Necco has visited that thread and read the comments, I cannot say that they are visiting this one.

      Comment by Cybele on 2/05/10 at 9:23 am #
    95. A Theresa Denis from Necco responded to my complaint.  I have emailed her this site asking her to visit.

      Comment by Angie Slagg on 2/05/10 at 9:37 am #
    96. I was wondering if anyone was actually calling to make their complaints?

      Comment by andrea on 2/06/10 at 11:03 am #
    97. Cybele's avatar

      Andrea - if you read the second post, the one updated for 2010 (this one is from 2008) you’ll see dozens of people who document not only their contact with Necco, but also their form letter responses. Check it out when you have a moment.

      Comment by Cybele on 2/06/10 at 11:41 am #
    98. I HATE the new sweethearts, what happened to the good classic flavors?! I think this was overall a horrible idea, and if they wanted to try out the new flavors, they should have at the very least, kept selling the classic flavors.

      Comment by chelz on 2/07/10 at 8:10 am #
    99. I do not like the new flavors of the valentines sweethearts. I love the classic flavors the best why did they have to go and change them.  I think they need to keep selling the classic flavors.  The fruit flavors are nasty.

      Comment by Michelle on 2/08/10 at 1:31 pm #
    100. We both agree that the new flavors suck, but can ANYONE tells us why they advertise a “blue raspberry ” option and two bags later we have yet to find one!??!? The smell perforates our entire house from one end to another. It is nauseating. BRING BACK THE CLASSIC. What would America say if we painted the White House pink? Or cut out the First Amendment of the Constitution??? This is an outrage! This is a scandal! (btw…lemon and green apple are nast, and they dominate the bag)

      Comment by Liyssa on 2/08/10 at 7:14 pm #

      Comment by purcell on 2/09/10 at 7:38 am #
    102. My kids and I look forward to eating and reading the candy hearts every year. This year however they have been ruined by the NEW flavor change. I purchased a bag of the new flavors and all of my kids tried them ( I have 5 children) Not one of them liked them especially the older ones who liked the original flavors.

      Comment by Lori on 2/09/10 at 3:04 pm #
    103. I see that I am one of the few who are in favor of the new flavors.  My mom has has always bought the old kind and I never ate them because I thought they were chalky and boring.  This year I was pleasantly surprised when I ate one and it had a much better flavor and consistency.  Way to go Necco!

      Comment by Rob on 2/10/10 at 6:38 am #
    104. As much of the other people on here has said I HATE HATE the new sweethearts. I ran into some at the local dollar tree with the old formula. I just hope that there are more left when I return. I believe that the only person happy is my dentist!

      Comment by Jen on 2/10/10 at 11:11 am #
    105. I HATE THE NEW SWEETHEARTS! I do not understand why NECCO would mess with a tried and true V-day candy. These used to be the only v-day candy I looked forward to. I miss the white (wintergreen) and the yellow (banana).

      Comment by Ex-Vegan on 2/10/10 at 8:38 pm #
    106. I cannot believe they changed the flavor of one of my favorite candies.  YUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Both my sister and I swore they were “bad” like soured milk.  Disgusting.  Then we bought more and I did a search and found that no, the company just screwed up a TRADITION.. Shame!

      Comment by Val on 2/11/10 at 8:58 pm #
    107. I always waited for Valentines so I could get a few bags of “Necco Valentine Hearts”.  I am not sure what you did to them - but I HATE them now.  You totally ruined the flavor.  Please go back to the old ones which everyone loved…

      Comment by Shirley on 2/12/10 at 4:01 am #
    108. They have to be losing money like crazy this year. By now I will have usually consumed 3 to 4 bags myself. I’ve had one bag and thats it. Like many of you I thought I must have bought the wrong type, only to find out that this is it. I will look more closely next year and if those blue hearts are in the bag I wont spend a nickel on their product.

      Comment by Mike on 2/12/10 at 9:09 am #
    109. I for one DO NOT like their new flavors. I really wish they would go back to original. Where can I find them anyway???

      Comment by Em C on 2/14/10 at 7:37 am #
    110. Cybele's avatar

      Em C - as I detailed in the 2010 review that is linked at the end of the post, the old flavor version can be found at a few dollar stores. I found them at Dollar Tree.

      Comment by Cybele on 2/14/10 at 8:38 am #
    111. I hate the new flavors too. they’re too sweet and taste like medicine. they made me gag. i loved the old flavors.

      Comment by Misty on 2/15/10 at 1:34 pm #
    112. I had to looks online to see if anyone was posting about these horrible new flavours & I found your site.

      I was so looking forward to having my usual candy hearts for Valentine’s Day. My favorite have always been the white hearts.

      Low & behold I buy a bag for the office & not only is there zero white hearts, they’re all different, disgusting flavours. I hope Necco realizes their mistake and they make them differently next year. If they really want knew flavours, make new to add to the old. Don’t just disregard the old.

      Comment by Nicole on 2/15/10 at 6:09 pm #
    113. I, too, am glad I found this site. I thought I was the only one that thought this change was terrible. I am almost 50 and have been eating Sweethearts for most of my life. I looked forward to certain candies, like Now and Laters and Jawbreakers and Sweethearts. When NLs added new flavors, they did not get rid of the old ones. Would Brachs stop making classic jelly beans just to add new ones? I only buy Brachs JBs to eat with my peanuts. I bought 3 boxes of Sweethearts right before Valentines Day and was excited because they were the last few boxes.  I gave a box to my sweetheart along with a card. She loved the card and hated the candy. She, too, had eaten these for years. The new flavors are just awful. The ones with Splenda are even worse. ‘New’ Coke lasted a year. Hopefully, that will be the shelf life of the ‘new’ Sweethearts. It’s off to Dollar Tree to see if I can get some classic flavors!

      Comment by Carl on 2/16/10 at 9:31 am #
    114. I have to say I do not like this new hearts at all… I was disappointed when they changed the box a few years ago, now they’re totally different! Changing conversation hearts is like changing the candy cane. These are a huge part of the holidays. I can not believe that the old ones are gone :(

      Comment by Stephanie on 2/16/10 at 3:08 pm #
    115. when they start posting gay ones, I will be impressed about their updating, but the homophobes won’t let them, probably, at least not in general sales. that makes me mad

      Comment by Sarah Pollen on 2/16/10 at 3:41 pm #
    116. and you people need to get out more.. i hadnt even noticed they had changed.. wow….....

      Comment by Sarah Pollen on 2/16/10 at 3:46 pm #
    117. Cybele's avatar

      Sarah Pollen - so what would make the current ones unusable for homosexuals?

      Okay, I’ll grant you that the only one that’s not valid in all 50 states is “Marry Me?” But then again children eat these ... they aren’t allowed to marry either.

      No, I’m sorry, you’re wrong, my readers don’t need to get out more. They are wonderful people who know that there are simple things in life that make them happy. I’m sorry you don’t find anything lovely about that. You need to twist this into a negative.

      Comment by Cybele on 2/16/10 at 3:55 pm #
    118. Cyble, i like my car and there is nothing you or anyone else can do about it!!

      Comment by Sarah Pollen on 2/16/10 at 4:00 pm #
    119. sooooo sooooooooo grosss. bleh. blehhhhhhhh.

      I searched all over for these this year (not recognizing the box because it looks so cheap and hokey) and finally realized today that its just a new box. I picked up 2 multi-packs and was so disappointed to open it and see no white (my favorite flavor) hearts in there.
      Furthermore, I thought the new flavors were disgusting. Grape used to be my least favorite flavor, but out of the new flavors its probably my favorite because its the only one that didn’t change that much.
      I didn’t even finish the box, and I’ll probably give the rest away… they’re soo gross.

      Comment by Ashley on 2/19/10 at 4:09 pm #

      I must complain. I purchased some of your large sweethearts at Walmart. Got home, opened them and soon realized, “these are not the sweethearts I wanted”. Strange flavors, not the familiar flavors I’ve enjoyed for my 40 something years. So, I went to Kroger, looked at the bag and thought, “these are the correct ones”, bought two bags. Get home, same s__t. What happened? Whose idea was this? Did you learn nothing from the Coca Cola debacle? You don’t change something, and then, u don’t even tell people. You just don’t do that. I’m telling my friend this story over the phone (he’s laughing his ass off)  as I’m digging around trying to find the only flavor that is any good amongst the new flavors, blue raspberry. There are hardly any of them, just like the banana flavored ones in the old days, or last year. My friend commented that the banana ones are the best, which they ARE, and you put very few, or did, in the bag. BUT there are a ton of the yellow LEMON flavored ones in this new flavored bag. Why, why, why would you do that? You obviously know the flavors people like best, why put so few n the bag, now you are doing it again, with the blue raspberry. My suggestion, stop this nonsense, go back to what you had before and add the blue raspberry ones, get rid of the orange ones, no one likes those anyway. Reminds people of St. Josephs aspirin from childhood. Bring back the familiar flavors and put in tons of banana flavored ones,else I, and I’m sure many, won’t be buying next year. Someone has made a huge error in judgment there.Thanks for your time.
      PS. I know I should have looked at the back of the bag the second time, I’m a guy, I grab what want or need and check out.  Should have been on the FRONT of the bag “NEW FLAVORS!”

      Comment by ROB on 2/21/10 at 1:19 pm #
    121. This is the note I got back on Feb.16 after I complained and said I would never buy another sweetheart again.
      Hi Dean- - I am so sorry the new flavors of SWEETHEARTS(R) were disappointing to you.  I appreciate you providing your feedback and wanted to let you know that we are going to be offering the Classic Sweethearts flavors in a solo item next year so you will be able to purchase the original flavors next year. If you can’t wait, you can purchase the Original Sweethearts at Dollar Stores and at Kmart this year if they still have some product on the shelf.  Fingers crossed!

      Thanks again for your input and happy belated Valentines Day!

      Aimee Scott

      Brand Manager- Sweethearts

      Comment by dean r on 4/05/10 at 12:35 pm #
    122. i just bought a pack of the 2010 necco sweethearts not knowing of the flavor change and they are DISGUSTING! i vote for the old flavors like banana and wintergreen!  if the flavor is going to remain the same then im going to stop buying them!

      Comment by justin on 1/02/11 at 9:36 pm #
    123. Hate, Hate, Hate Necco for what they have done to my New Year. My only resolution was to buy up a ton of these heart candies and enjoy them until mid Feb. Now, I have nothing to replace them with but nasty new flavors.

      Bring back the old flavors!!

      Comment by Dana on 1/07/11 at 8:07 am #
    124. Just picked up a bag of the new flavors from CVS (after searching multiple stores for the original ones to no avail)... They are disgusting. I am so disappointed because this is my favorite candy and I only get to have it one time a year. Why is everything good discontinued?

      Currently searching online for original flavors.

      Comment by Helen on 1/12/11 at 4:20 pm #
    125. Great post and review!  Thanks for putting up this page. smile  I too HATE (and that seems like such an inadequate word for how much I detest) the new flavors of Sweethearts Candies.  Flavored poop also comes to mind.  As does candied antifreeze. wink

      Perhaps I have a bit of good news though… if not hopeful at least.  Just today I visited the Necco website and when you go to the order page for the original Sweethearts candies it now reads “Temporarily Unavailable”.  Could this maybe mean that they are thinking about bringing it back?  I wrote them to ask but have not heard anything back yet.

      Second bit of good news…  I was recently at the grocery store and saw a new Brach’s version of their conversation hearts called “Sweet” Conversation Hearts.  I’ve tried their regular ones and hate them, but I had not ever seen a package with “Sweet” in the name, so I bought it.  To my surprise, WOW!  They were very similar to the old Sweethearts candy from Necco!  Could it be that they are trying to capitalize on all the customers that Necco lost?  If so, they will win me too!

      The only problem is, I can’t find the new product online (even on their company website).  I will try to explain what the package I found looks like.  It was in the small boxed variety.  It says Brach*s at the top, then (immediately under this) it says “Sweet” in large letters.  Under that (in small letters) it says Conversation Hearts.  There is a cartoon of a little red heart with two arms posed to introduce the product (purple sleeves and white gloves) smiling.  Below that is a pic of two actual conversation hearts (one is yellow and says URS 4EVR and the other is blue and says CRAZY 4U).  These tasted really great!  Not quite the same as Sweethearts but very close!  I’m curious if anyone else can find these and tell me if you agree that they taste similar?  Thanks!!!!  Happy Valentines Day everyone!!!

      Comment by Dave Y on 1/21/11 at 3:35 pm #
    126. Hey..

      I can’t find one bag of Necco Sweethearts at all.. anywhere!  Here on the Jersey Shore, the CVS’s and Walgreens only have Brachs.  Not one bag of Necco Sweethearts have I seen anywhere this 2011 season! 
      Amazing.. the end of an era, or a complete candy
      revolt that changed the world!!!


      Comment by Pat in jersey on 1/22/11 at 9:24 pm #
    127. Well went to target today and bought 4 bags of the Sweethearts Branch brand. So much better then the new Necco ones.. I am fine with replacing them with these. Necco messed up big time!

      Comment by Jessica on 1/23/11 at 11:43 pm #
    128. I HATE THE NEW KIND! Yuck…fruit. Ick. Please bring back the classic flavors. PLEASE!

      Comment by April Rueber on 1/26/11 at 5:35 pm #
    129. The new candy hearts are horrible. there are no more old ones and we hate the new ones, the least you could do is supply them both….. freaking do it. the real origional ones were freakin better. bring them back.

      Comment by Abby manzoni on 1/28/11 at 5:33 pm #
    130. Sweethearts!!!!no they are not!!!their horrible
      nothing like they used to be. I will never buy again.

      Comment by Wendy on 1/29/11 at 2:49 pm #
    131. Funny story*** I have been a huge fan of Sweethearts since I was a kid.  Every year after year I’d so look forward to their appearance in the stores.  As I got older, they would become a ‘sure thing’ from boyfriends.  Once I became married however, I never saw a box again unless I purchased them (should’ve been a sign).  Years later I rekindled with a long but not lost love. As Valentines got closer he had made mention of my beloved Sweethearts ~ I informed him of the horrid ‘new recipe’ & that my life long love of Sweethearts was over.  He made contact with Necco company, found out there was some surplus of ‘old recipe’ & ordered me a case of 1lb bags! What a surprise, delivered to my office via UPS - I was in heaven!!! They lasted almost to Valentines again.  With the new recipe Sweethearts still in production… Sweethearts are officially just a wonderful memory of childhood & the beginning of life long love. Thank you

      Comment by Kellie on 2/03/11 at 1:38 pm #
    132. I can’t stand the new flavors.  I am traditional I guess and want the old ones back.  Bleck to blue raspberry and yellow lemon.  I did email them, I’m sure they don’t care.

      Comment by Michelle F on 2/10/11 at 1:34 pm #
    133. Last year I complained about the new flavors to Necco and got a letter saying they were going to offer the classic/original ones this year. However, I haven’t seen them anywhere and I REFUSE to buy a single box of the GROSS new ones introduced last year. Did anyone find the classic/original flavor in any stores? I did try the Brach’s hearts and they are pretty delicious (taste almost identical to the original Necco ones).

      Comment by Sandy on 2/10/11 at 6:34 pm #
    134. The “new” conversation Sweethearts by Necco are disgusting…..I used to love the old ones, but now I get the Brach’s conversation hearts….those new “berry” or whatever they are, are disgusting

      Comment by Vypie on 2/14/11 at 10:29 am #
    135. I used to love the conversation hearts, but those Sweethearts they sell now are absolutely GROSS….what were you thinking Necco????  I cannot stand them….now I’m forced to buy Brach’s (not my favorite, but a helluva lot better then the new Necco ones).....IF it ain’t broken, don’t fix it…bring the old hearts back!!!!!!  Toss those new flavors in the trash right next to Crystal Pepsi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Comment by Jake on 2/14/11 at 10:31 am #
    136. i was looking all over trying to find the old flavor necco hearts, not knowing the company discontinued them. i too, have bought brachs brand. not as good as the old necco flavors but still better than the new horrible taste. makes you wonder who did the final taste testing. as my kids said to me, “mom, these taste horrible.”

      Comment by wendy on 2/14/11 at 10:56 am #
    137. This Valentine’s day, I got a box of “Brach’s Sassy! Hearts( tart and tangy flavors)”. These are actually very tasty, if you’re like me and love all sour things! The messages are perfectly legible, and not printed on the hearts, but it seemed like the messages were part of the mold used to make the hearts. My favorite flavor was the white one, and although they only had about 10 messages, they had a pretty good taste!

      Comment by matilda on 2/16/11 at 4:13 pm #
      My ex and I have broken up and i really care for him so decided to stay friends. He has been doggin me lately but i see alot is goin on bad for him. All i keep hearin is how i need to be there for him because he will need me. As i ate this candy one day, he was rite beside me (Mind you i LOOOOVE sweethearts and have since i was 8) but oddly, as i read heart like i ALWAYS do…I pulled one that said LOVE HIM and have photos to prove this…NEVER saw this EVER wat is this???

      Comment by Dee on 3/13/11 at 4:20 pm #
    139. NOT! a fan of the new flavors. White was my absoulute favorite and now I dont even like buy this brand. Change back and you’ll have a loyal customer

      Comment by Jordyn on 3/15/11 at 10:31 pm #
    140. The new flavors are horrible. Wife and I have loved these for years but will not buy again. Please NECCO, give an option of different flavors in different packaging. Don’t take away what everyone has loved for so many years.

      Comment by Charles on 1/27/12 at 8:09 pm #
    141. WHY?

      What was wrong with the flavors that we knew and loved? I usually freeze 11 bags and take out 1 bag per month. They keep well if you bag them with a freezer bag around each bag and then put a storage bag around that and then put them in the deep freeze. Would taste just like new. I even take some to my dentist’s office every time I go…they love getting a few hearts in the summer and fall.

        Sorry girls….I threw away the 3 bags my wife brought home. I hope they are back to normal next year…the racoons won’t even eat these.

      Comment by Andy Finley on 1/29/12 at 12:48 pm #
    142. Where can we still get the good ones, not the yucky new ones?  Just like Old Coke vs. New Coke,,  Which one is on the store shelves?  I won’t buy another package of your new flavors.

      Comment by eleanor on 2/03/12 at 5:01 pm #
    143. If you go to the Necco store, it seems there are Sweethearts and Convesation Hearts. It seems the classic flavors are sold in a big box, like a milk carton. Can anyone else confirm this?

      Comment by dbon on 2/10/12 at 11:05 am #
    144. The little box says it all.Lovingly made in USA Hope all your products are.Made me feel so good to buy these for the children grandchildren friends.After I read this I just couldn’t buy enough.Took some to nursing home to friends.makes me feel so good that someone in the USA has a job today.We always answer every survey we fill out IF ITS MADE IN CHINA WE PUT IT BACK!

      Comment by Ava Johnson on 2/11/12 at 11:16 pm #
    145. I discovered last year that my beloved candy hearts were ruined after sending my boyfriend on a wild goose chase looking for the good ones. The old ones were perfect! Why did they change? I ate two of the new flavors tonight and I still hate them. I’m not buying them any more until the bring the old ones back!

      Comment by Cara on 2/14/12 at 6:45 pm #
    146. I have to agree with the majority of the comments.  The new flavors are…  Well..  Yuck.

      Please change them back.

      Comment by Shannon on 2/18/13 at 11:44 am #
    147. I hate the newer flavors and love the older ones. Why not make both to give consumers a choice? I don’t buy them anymore because of the change.

      Comment by Tim on 2/23/13 at 1:08 pm #
    148. Hey,

      I was wondering if you could help me out: I canĀ“t get sweethearts here in Europe, but really need to know the exact size: width, length and height of the small and the big Necco sweethearts. If anyone has still some lying around could you please mesure them for me? Thank you very much!


      Comment by Heike on 7/30/13 at 7:22 am #
    149. I haven’t had any Necco Hearts since they changed the flavors.  They are god awful now.  I miss the old flavors.  Necco wafers are hard and don’t have the same flavors.  Note:  The hearts in the boxes are always hard.  Buy them in the bags.  Usually the small hearts are softer than the large ones.  I wish they would bring back the old flavors.  I loved everyone but the white.  I don’t like mint.  Everyone knew when I had eaten them because there was always a pile of white hearts left behind.

      Comment by Kerri on 12/23/13 at 10:51 am #
    150. How do u make sweethearts?

      Comment by Danny on 2/10/14 at 2:01 pm #
    151. Cybele, in the vintage Necco standard wafer flavour pink’s wintergreen (as you yourself have noted in the past and since this article was posted, no doubt), and not peppermint (but the color does mislead folks to think peppermint or strawberry..)

      Comment by SteveCarras on 12/13/14 at 8:26 pm #
    152. i despise the flavor i wait every year in hopes they will return them to glory. i was in the process of ordering a case of them just to tide me over through the year, never was i so glad as the day i bought that box in checkout, earwax and bad perfume is all i tasted. thankfully brachs hasn’t tainted theirs. $150.00 + valentines week just in personal use candy hearts (yes addiction)and im there cleaning up wal-mart and target the 15th

      Comment by david on 3/31/15 at 1:00 am #
    153. SARAH POLLEN…are u joking about your you were saying in your 2010 post?? Just wondering.SC

      Comment by SJCarras on 12/12/15 at 5:43 pm #
    154. THEY’RE BACK!!!!  YESSSS!!!  Just came back from the store (Yoke’s Fresh Market) and grabbed two bags of the “Classic Flavors”!!!!  FINALLY!!!!!  The original flavors are back!  Don’t know if this is a limited time thing or not, but I will be buying plenty of these. smile  Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

      Comment by Dave Y. on 1/13/16 at 9:17 pm #
    155. It’s true, it’s true, the original flavors are back! i just bought a giant bag at Walgreen’s! I’m so excited! I missed these so much!!!

      Comment by Cara on 2/02/16 at 10:43 am #
    156. Feb 2016: I’ve looked in several stores. I see “CLASSIC FLAVORS” but only by Brach’s and another company. I do *NOT* see any NECCO hearts. Sorry, there’s nothing like the real thing. I won’t buy the other brands.

      Comment by Laurie on 2/02/16 at 10:47 am #
    157. Laurie, keep looking, I looked in every store Ive walked into the last month, dollar stores, grocery stores, CVS, Target. Im looking the bag right now, it says on the back. I found them at Walgreens. They are the real deal, I promise. But it does not say Necco on the front. I have an orange in my mouth right now and it’s fabulous, just like before. I’m so excited I’m even eating whites which I don’t really like. Good luck.

      Comment by Cara on 2/02/16 at 11:07 am #
    158. Cara:

      Pictures or it didn’t happen smile

      I’m going by Walgreen’s later today. I’m counting on you, Cara.

      Comment by Douglas on 2/02/16 at 11:32 am #
    159. Check your local Wal-Mart.  Was just in their Valentine’s candy isle last night and they had lots of bags of the Necco Classic Flavors hearts!

      Comment by Dave Y. on 2/02/16 at 1:54 pm #
    160. Well, shoot. I saw a bag marked “Sweethearts” but it looked nothing like Necco so I didn’t buy it. Didn’t want to get stuck with a bag of gross candy.

      Didn’t think to check the back, the bag looked so odd, I thought it was an off brand. Why they wouldn’t put NECCO right on the front on the bag is beyond me! Will look next time I go out.

      Comment by Laurie on 2/02/16 at 1:57 pm #
    161. Oh and I forgot to mention they actually show them on their website now as well. I even emailed them to say thank God they are back! My bag does say 150th anniversary on the front so that might help to find the right ones.

      Not sure how to paste a picture but I’ve eaten so many today that my stomach hurts and I just keep eating them!

      Comment by Cara on 2/02/16 at 2:15 pm #
    162. hahaha, me too!  I’ve got two bags stashed in my office desk drawer and…. oh…. make that one bag! wink hehehe

      Comment by David Y. on 2/02/16 at 3:53 pm #
    163. i havent seen them anywhere and brachs are not as good as the classic hearts. im in ny no walmarts close by where did u guys find urs?

      Comment by sylvia on 2/08/16 at 7:27 pm #
    164. I don’t even know how I got down the rabbit hole of finding Necco Conversation Hearts in the middle of the summer.  But I am glad I did!  These candies are the best!

      Comment by Adam on 7/30/16 at 7:42 pm #
    165. Just give me a number!

      Comment by Chloe on 1/05/17 at 3:08 pm #
    166. I just received a big bag of these from my distributor and the colors are different from last year. Is it because of the change back to “classic”? I immediately assumed it was the wrong product(!). So if anyone can confirm this, please do: last year there was a white in the mix, and no blue or orange. This year, the colors are totally different—there’s no white at all, and there is blue and orange in the mix. Are these the “new” real deal, or an even nastier substitute?
      Thanks in advance!

      Comment by andy on 1/06/17 at 9:18 am #
    167. Had two brands of the same “Be My Valentine” type 7-11, not Necco but “store brand:w/white wintergreen, likely=Brach’s, then Necco,first time for both (I don’t recall anywhere here writing the following, but a year ago or so I had both Spangler and Melster Circus Peanuts..QUITE the difference in taste between them, and in the same grocery bag..(Melster first from Dollar tree then a few shops across, this is a real old early shopping mall, built n 1952, at Rite Aid, the Spangler/Rite Aid brand.This was over a year ago. More similiarty between BRachs and necco cnady hearts, and real crisp. I DO with the Neccos used just the wafer flavors ha

      Comment by SJCarras on 2/25/17 at 9:13 pm #
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