Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Necco Conversation Hearts (Sweethearts) 2010

Sweethearts - 2010 FlavorsAs we’re in the middle of Candy Season one of my favorite things to do after a holiday is to see what’s on sale from the previous holiday and glance at the early merchandise on the shelves for the next one. The Epiphany usually marks the emergence of Valentine’s Day candy. I scour the aisles looking for something new. So when I saw the new packaging for Necco Sweethearts I thought they’d expanded their line. They have been offering an all-chocolate version, Spanish language version and lately a Tart version. I thought this new fruity array was an addition.

I bought them but didn’t open them, just tossing them on my pile for review. Then the comments started trickling in from readers, who were finding my old review and weighing in on the changes. It appears that it’s a complete replacement for the classic Necco Sweethearts (see my review of them in 2008).

Necco Sweethearts

There are so many things wrong. Let me start on the front of the package.

The Official Candy of Love

Does Love have a governing board that can decide these things, like the Olympic Committee? No, no it does not. Love, Freedom, Justice and Anger ... these concepts and emotions are boundless and cannot have anything official about them. Invoking any sort of official in association with them is false advertising. Love does not do endorsements. (Unless Necco would like to step forward and show me their contracts with Love.)

New Package Design

I actually like it. It’s bold but still soft and, yeah, a bit feminine and childish. At first I though the colors of the hearts were a little too vivid, but after seeing the actual candies inside, I’m setting that aside. The choice of Love Bug as the statement on the featured heart is a bit odd.

Necco Sweethearts - AngelThe Price

It’s marked in a black stamp there in the upper right corner, 99 cents and the package holds 7 ounces. Can’t really beat that, especially when the little boxes are usually selling for 50 cents for one ounce (though sometimes on for as little as 20 cents each). Not terribly attractive but kind of makes me nostalgic for the time before bar codes.

Lack of Branding

The front of the package does not bear the name of the maker. The name Necco isn’t actually on the package anywhere ... just New England Confectionery Company under the nutrition facts panel (followed by the web address of www.necco.com). The previous years’ packaging does have Necco and its logo featured prominently both on the front and the back of the packages.

Necco Sweethearts - I Heart YouAn Undone Website

It’s January 13, so a little more than a month before Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s candy has been in stores for at least a week. On the back of the package is says for baking, gifting, craft ideas and more visit mysweethearts.com. You know what’s on that page as I write this? It’s a placeholder about some sort of iPhone app. No promised recipes or craft ideas ... not even any mention that would be what I expect to find it there. (See screengrab.)

The New Flavors - Show You Care ... 6 Delicious Ways to Share!

Strawberry, Grape, Green Apple, Lemon, Orange and Blue Raspberry.

I’m not going to break the flavors down one by one. What was nice about Necco Sweethearts was the subtle sweet flavors, nothing exciting, they were simply pleasant.

The new flavors are a blend of sweet and tart. The texture is smoother than the usual compressed dextrose candy like SweeTarts, because this is made with mostly sugar and corn syrup instead of dextrose (which is just a powder form of glucose and has a different mouthfeel).

Necco Sweethearts - Real HeartThe citrus flavors are completely artificial with a tangy note that is wholly un-citrus and more like a chemical. The pink ones taste like a combination of lipstick and the old wintergreen ones, which is just a disgusting mix. Grape has as much clove flavor in it as food coloring though the mixture is nearly palatable.

These do not show I care ... these show that I have no regard for my lover or friend’s expectations of what a heart shaped candy should taste like.

It’s as if Necco took all the artificial colors that they aren’t using for their new All Natural Necco Wafers and pouring it all into these improved Necco Sweethearts. Simply put, they’re a mess. (Now, I would’ve been thrilled if the conversation hearts were also going to be all natural, what an awesome innovation that would have been.)

Necco Sweethearts - Meet MeThey Stink

Once I opened the bag I was in trouble. The smell is a blend of Love’s Baby Soft and strawberry candles. And if I were just sniffing the bag, well,  yeah, I have to expect that. But this thing made my car smell, they make my office smell. When I’m done with this review they’re going in the trash someplace where I am not.

Better Printing

The one thing they have improved upon was one of my beefs with them previously. They production quality is better. The pieces are well formed and most especially the printing is clear. Sure about a quarter of them aren’t printed square in the center, but they’re still readable.

The sayings are cute. They’re using the heart symbol quite a bit. Hey Baby, Smile, Sweet Love,  Dream Big, You Rock, Puppy Love, Meet Me, Love Me, Hug Me, Kiss Me, For Ever, Ask Me, even Marry Me

I’m not saying they shouldn’t make these, someone probably likes them, but they should be an additional product in the line, not a replacement for the iconic original.

UPDATE 1/27/2010: It’s been a few weeks and it seems that the response posted here has been overwhelmingly negative about the flavor change (few have mentioned the new texture).

Necco SweetheartsSo I talked to Jackie Hague, the Vice President of Marketing for Necco who navigated this new change (along with the All Natural Necco Wafers, which I fully support). We had a great talk about candy in general (she worked for Mars for 20 years and was responsible for many of the limited edition M&Ms that so many of us have loved over the years).

First, you can still get the classic Necco Sweethearts. The change over was made mid-way through the production schedule. So the first part of the production run was the classic flavors (Banana, Wintergreen, Orange, Cherry, Grape) and then they switched over the ingredients and equipment for the new formula. They are sold at very few stores, basically the discounters: Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Family Dollar , 99 Cent Only, Freds , Odd Lots, Wakefern and Sav A Lot. (The image shown here is the classic flavors on the left that I found at Dollar Tree and the ones on the right are the new flavors/colors - here’s what the package looks like.)

Second, Ms. Hague said that the changes were made based on consumer feedback. The most common requests from folks who wrote or called were for a softer texture and for more intense & modern flavors. Banana was not well liked, apparently yellow is not ordinarily expected to be banana. The texture was introduced first with the Twilight version of Sweethearts (though future versions won’t have Passion Fruit) as well as the tangier, more vibrant flavors.

So the takeaway from this would be, if you don’t like the new flavors, make sure that Necco knows that. Return the product, write to them or call. I wouldn’t expect a whole lot in return (a canned response) but I do think that they log the feedback - it’s in their best interest. (Ms. Hague also said that they’ve assigned more people to help out with the feedback process, so perhaps the responses will be more appropriate instead of a copy/paste FAQ.) Ms. Hague understood my frustration with not just the lack of information but the contrary information provided by the website and candy packages and it’s apparent they’re working on that.

The Necco website’s Sweethearts product page used to say this, “One thing Sweetheart lovers can count on each year is the candy’s simple, familiar formula. The basic recipe has never been changed. Both Sweethearts and the familiar NECCO Wafers use the same batter—sugar, corn syrup, gelatin, gums, coloring and flavoring.” However, they’ve finally updated their websites to reflect this new change and have omitted that statement that they honor the time-tested flavors ... because they were tested by time and after about a hundred years, even as the #1 Valentines candy selling 8 billion hearts a year, they lost. Necco thinks that this new version will appeal to more people, which is possible, but it’s clear it’s not the same people who have been buying them.

Update 2/10/2013: Both versions of Necco’s Conversation Hearts are on store shelves this year. By far the most ubiquitous are the newer fruity version, but I did find the almost-classic “Conversation Hearts” at Walgreen’s. The old ones are called Conversation Hearts, not Sweethearts. I’ve only seen them in the little boxes, only as singles (not in the shrinkwrapped five packs and no bags).

Necco Conversation Hearts & Necco Sweethearts

The classic version has white (cinnamon), green (lime), yellow (banana), pink (cherry), purple (grape) and orange (orange). So they’ve eliminated clove and wintergreen. It’s too bad. The texture has returned to the crunchier version. The colors are more vibrant and the printing just as inconsistent.

Necco Conversation Hearts & Necco Sweethearts

Related Candies

  1. All Natural Chocolate Necco Wafers
  2. Twilight Sweethearts: Forbidden Fruits
  3. Jelly Belly for Valentine’s Day
  4. See’s Cinnamon (Hearts & Lollypops)
  5. Necco Conversation Hearts (Sweethearts)
  6. SweeTart Hearts
  7. Necco Smoothies
Name: Sweethearts
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Necco
Place Purchased: CVS (3rd & LaBrea)
Price: $.99
Size: 7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 113
Categories: Chalk, United States, Necco, Valentine's Day

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:22 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. The new Necco Sweethearts new flavors taste like Palmolive dishwashing liquid..SOAP!!!!!!!!
    Every year a lot of people look forward to our Valentine hearts from Necco…the new ones are seriously GROSS..NASTY…Wierd tasting..like chemicals….

    Been eating them for 50 years..will never eat another one…....SO YUCKY….
    Y’all really Boo Booed. Big time!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by liz on 2/06/10 at 12:54 pm #
  2. Dear Necco…
    I HATE the new sweethearts!!!!!!!!!!  They are horrible.  I will not buy them ever again unless they change back.  Why would they do this to a great traditional product?  Please bring back the old flavors and sweethearts. I was also very confused by the packaging.  I was looking for the see-thru packaging and never found them.

    Comment by Brenda on 2/06/10 at 6:33 pm #
  3. I’m SOOOOOOOOOOO upset!  I’ve been looking all over for the Necco hearts and couldn’t find them.  I saw the new packaging, but thought they were a different company.  My sister and I look forward to these hearts every year.  We can even tell by smelling the package if it is a Necco product or another manufacturers.  What am I going to do without my old hearts?  The new ones are yucky, yucky yucky!!  I WANT THE OLD ONES BACK!!!

    Comment by cdpb on 2/06/10 at 6:55 pm #
  4. There’s a new diet candy out this Valentines.  Wow, you take one bite and that’s it you toss the rest.  Just think how many calories we save from not eating Necco Sweethears.  BOOOOOOO, I want my Banana and Cherry back!  I so look forward to eating the banana and cherry flavors first, in fact I usually look for bags with more yellow hearts.  Okay, I know there are banana fans out there!

    Well, I just wrote to Necco and will be returning the bag to Target, it is Disgustingly Awful, YUCK!  Well, I off to the Dollar Store!
    Save our Necco Origial Hearts!

    Comment by Lynn on 2/07/10 at 6:12 am #
  5. I bought one bag of the new flavored candy hearts, just because I couldn’t find the old ones.  I just figured that the stores were out of them. Now I know….  The new flavors are nasty and too fruity.  The old flavors were subtle and pleasing.  I use to buy 30-40 bags a year, just to last as long I could hold out, which I never lasted longer than April. I guess I’m going to save money and lose weight, because I refuse to buy those nasty things they now call candy hearts.

    Comment by Matt on 2/07/10 at 7:20 am #
  6. YUCK YUCK YUCK!!! These new flavors are DISGUSTING!  I look forward to my candy hearts all year long, and now they’re ruined!  They taste terrible and smell even worse!  What will I do now???  I’m not buying another Necco product unless they start making the original flavors and at least give us a choice.

    Comment by Rachel E. on 2/07/10 at 7:47 am #
  7. I must agree! I too have been looking for the traditional ones and have been unable to find them.  I also purchased the new ones and they are HORRIBLE.  Why mess with a good thing?  It has brought you loyal customers year after year and it is because no one could compete with you. 
    I hope that next year you downsize and get rid of the person who made this decision and stick with tradition and go back to the original flavors. 
    I look forward each year to Valentine’s Day to purchase NECCO Conversation Hearts and rush to the store after Valentine’s Day to buy up the discounted ones so I can enjoy them even longer.  This is very disappointing.

    Comment by PN on 2/07/10 at 11:25 am #
  8. I agree with almost everyone else who has posted.  I loved the old conversation hearts and couldn’t resist them.  I do not like the new ones and was not even tempted to buy a second one. 

    YUCK!  They have lost a lot of sales from me alone….  guess it will be good on the hips though…

    Comment by Tamara on 2/07/10 at 3:00 pm #
  9. I am angry.
    I didn’t realize Necco changed them until I read your site since I bought my first bag at a dollar store.
    These things sck.
    Necco ruined the best valentines day candy.
    The strawberry and grape taste like medicine. Fine if you enjoy chugging bottles of dimetap.
    The lemon is like on steroids and the rest all taste the same.
    WTH!

    Comment by Emily on 2/07/10 at 3:23 pm #
  10. Thank you for posting this. It was a very helpful guide in writing my complaint to Necco. The wintergreen was my favorite flavor, I cannot believe they got rid of it. I am very disappointed with them

    Comment by Trish on 2/08/10 at 6:09 am #
  11. I googled to find out what the hell was up with this change and saw your 2 articles. I bought two 16oz bags (2 for $3) at Rite Aid today and was so grossed out when I tried them! They taste like chemicals or toothpaste or something! I could snack on a whole bag before, and now I get sick of them after a few hearts. Each heart is too overpowering. It’s like something went horribly wrong with a Skittles recipe. Gag!

    I want the old ones back! My boyfriend brought home those tiny boxes from Dollar General 2 days ago and they were the original flavored tooth-cracking hard ones… which is why today I was so caught off guard by these imposters!

    Comment by Ashley on 2/08/10 at 10:07 am #
  12. Everybody:
    STOP TOSSING THEM IN THE TRASH! RETURN THEM TO THE STORE! This will help get them changed back to the originals, and allow them to see how much we hate these nasty new flavors.

    Comment by Ashley on 2/08/10 at 10:33 am #
  13. I also contacted Necco when these horrible imposters arrived on the scene.  I likened it to the New Coke disaster.  Thanks to your blog we ran out to Dollar Tree and snagged some old-school hearts.  Necco’s answer was prompt but not helpful.  I hope they are getting the message.

    Comment by Linda on 2/08/10 at 11:23 am #
  14. I have been eating the old traditional conversation hearts forever.The new ones are possibly a new fuel source after they are dumped in a land fill for a while.Yes they are that awful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Why would anyone destroy there profits with the new ones.I am sure they had to sell billions of the traditional ones year after year.,I guess we have to remember Obama promised change,And again it is not for the better.

    Comment by Glenn on 2/08/10 at 2:01 pm #
  15. LOL…..Even Obama wouldn’t approve of this type of change.

    Comment by Teresa on 2/08/10 at 2:39 pm #
  16. Very good point!

    Comment by Glenn on 2/08/10 at 3:10 pm #
  17. One good way to cut calories this Valentines is not to buy the new SweetHearts.  They are so far removed from the original flavors that they are not worth the packaging and marketing that went into it. 
    Soap is a great way to describe the new flavors.

    For the love of the season please bring back the original flavors at somewhere besides the dollar stores. 

    How about broccolli, asparagus, or tofu to your new flavors for next year.  I am sure when trying to market healthier choices these will go over well too.  Color coding them will make it easier for people to know what they are trying.

    Comment by Steph on 2/08/10 at 6:09 pm #
  18. My husband and I, along with his parents, think the new flavors are TERRIBLE!!! We use to go through a bag every couple days around Valentines Day. Now we have had a bag of the new ones for a couple weeks now and cant manage to finish the bag. I dont know why they thought they needed to change. If I wanted something with a stronger fruity flavor I would buy jelly beans or something…
    If they insist on selling these new flavors you should call them fruity (or something) and continue to sell the original as original!

    Comment by Brooke Potter on 2/09/10 at 6:34 am #
  19. Hate the new flavors! Picked up a bag of the conversation hearts thinking they were the original, ended up throwing the whole bag away. NECCO will find out when Valentines Day has passed and the candy is left on the shelf not moving. No

    Comment by Jennie on 2/09/10 at 8:42 am #
  20. The new flavors are horrible! I used to love the white and yellow flavors and now there isn’t even a new flavor that’s equivalent. Way to ruin a Valentine’s Day classic, Necco.

    Comment by Katie on 2/09/10 at 10:34 am #
  21. One of my valentines day traditions was stocking up on necco candy hearts. This year I saw the new box and still bought them in bulk thinking they were the same. I was immensely frustrated to discover they now have overwhelmingly strong flavors. They leave a chemical aftertaste. This year I bought them, and I am sure others did too, based on my memories of the old sweethearts. In the future, I will not make this mistake. The mild flavor and crunchy texture were what made necco hearts special. I hope that they see the trend and return to the formula they once advertised as a time tested classic.

    Comment by Alan Debor on 2/09/10 at 4:13 pm #
  22. I used to purchase so many bags of NECCO hearts every year.  When i say the new packaging i was impressed.  but then when i tasted them, ewwww…. my poor hubby is addicted to these and is suffering from withdrawl.  thank god for the dollar store.  From what i have seen the change was made to appeal to a younger youthful market.  Well Necco what about your regular consumers who have stood by you for years.  I guess we dont matter.  I don’t care taht your twilight convo hearts was a huge hit.  HELLO ANYTHING WITH TWILGIHT ON IT IS A HIT!!!!  your marketing team made a mistake.  I hope the old flavors come back, please we need them.  It is an american tradition.

    Comment by Jennifer on 2/09/10 at 4:44 pm #
  23. The new conversation hearts are a slap in the face. I LOVE the white hearts, my friends would even save them for me. Now they have blue instead of white and they are gross. I hope Necco sales go down a lot and that they revert back to their old style. Sure, maybe they were misshapen and the text was hard to read, but they TASTED GOOD. Isn’t that what matters?!?!

    Comment by sarah on 2/10/10 at 4:26 am #
  24. OMG. Before I came here to see if you’d reviewed I bought a bag and was SHOCKED at what a disaster it was and for one of the first times ever as a consumer… wrote NECCO. I adore most of their products, grew up on them. I have a sweet-tooth palate so even changes on classic candy I enjoy. But this wreckage? I’m happy to know at least the dollar store has the right stuff. Sorry, but I don’t know who NECCO was talking to.

    Comment by Dora on 2/10/10 at 7:59 am #
  25. I am so glad I read your blog… I just bought an 8-pack from Target… I was excited to see you could buy them in Spanish. However, when I opened a box they 1) smelled awful 2) tasted horrible 3) I could barely read any of the phrases.  The same production methods for the English version must not have been used, I could only read about 1/2 the box. I also miss my favorite white wintergreen flavored ones! I really hope they change these back!

    Comment by Sarah on 2/10/10 at 9:36 am #
  26. http://digg.com/food_drink/Candy_VPM_Jackie_Hague_Gets_a_Sweetheart_Deal

    Comment by Melanie on 2/10/10 at 11:11 am #
  27. Every year I look forward to grabbing several bags of Necco Sweethearts candy from the local grocery.  This year was no exception, but I was unaware that they had changed their recipe.  When I saw the new pink bag, I just figured the change was cosmetic.

    My first impression upon opening the bag was, “Ewww, what’s that awful smell!”  I hate the smell of these new candies!  Really, I mean, they smell like cheap perfume and fruit-scented chemicals.  The taste was even worse than imagined.  There wasn’t even one flavor I found appealing.  I tried 4 different stores in the area and they all sell this new crap!  I complained to the grocer as well and wrote a letter to Necco.

    Thankfully, the dollar store had lots of the original so I stocked up!  Mmmm… I’m happy again.  These bring back great memories from childhood and, by the way, I LOVE the banana ones!

    Come on Necco, dump this new trash!  You’ve been putting on the label that sweethearts are the #1 valentine’s candy for decades…  If that was really true, then why change the product that made you and kept you at #1?  Were you lying about that statistic???

    Ok… soapbox dismounted. wink

    Comment by Dave on 2/10/10 at 1:09 pm #
  28. This is a copy of my email to Necco:
    Sweethearts: You have ruined an American tradition.  Please don?t reply with some boilerplate excuse about marketing studies.  You surveyed people who don?t like sweethearts, isolated all the things that gave the candies their identity, and then eliminated them.  It?s like designing an improved cat by polling dog people.  You wind up with something that is neither cat nor dog: a drooling, needy mutant that fetches your slippers and claws the furniture. 

    When I lived overseas, Sweethearts were an annual welcome taste of home.  In my adult life, they are (were) like a brief visit to my childhood.  I realize it would be miraculous for a senseless corporation propelled by the advice of highly paid, fresh-from-college marketing analysts to admit a tragic error.  But I appeal to anyone there who actually does remember what it was like to be a kid and open their first box of Necco sweethearts on Valentine?s day.  The world does not need more mutant candy.
    Formerly yours,
    ...

    Comment by Brad on 2/10/10 at 2:18 pm #
  29. OMG!!!!  I hate the new and “improved” Sweetheart candies.  I was excited this year to enjoy the tradition flavors (yellow being my favorite) and what do I taste but a gross lemon, strawberry, blueberry…YUCK! And the texture almost made me gag. I threw out a big bag and the 8 pack boxes.  BRING BACK THE OLD SWEETHEARTS!!

    Comment by Jess on 2/10/10 at 3:11 pm #
  30. STOP THROWING THEM OUT AND RETURN TO THE STORE!!! Even if it’s just a dollar, wait until the next time you go back to the store, otherwise they will think we want them!  The taste is well, indescribable because it’s too many foul mixes.  I returned 5 bags, with one being open.  Today while in Target, I overheard a shopper stating that they couldn’t buy them for a class because the colors and flavors weren’t ‘normal’ and a bit ‘odd’.  I love the yellow, throw out the white, and I don’t care how hard they are.  These little hearts are an American Tradition!  I don’t know who was the supposed ‘test group’, but my kids don’t like them.  Twilight ones are only purchased for the gimmick and I’m sure tossed in the trash.  Is anyone sending these comments to NECCO?  I emailed them and got the hokey computer generated, generic response in return. BLUCK!

    Yes, this could be another unwanted ‘Obama Change’.  Good point!

    Comment by Linda on 2/10/10 at 3:47 pm #
  31. I tried some of these and YUCK. They are terrible. DH and I would usually buy a few bags and share them, but not this year.

    Comment by Rene S on 2/11/10 at 6:14 am #
  32. OMG . . . put it all back. Never . . . nver . . . never mess with perfection.

    Comment by Catherine Burnett on 2/11/10 at 7:32 am #
  33. I was never a big fan of the old ones, but the new red, green and purple make me gag. So nasty. Worse than cough drops masquerading as lollipops.

    Comment by April on 2/11/10 at 1:22 pm #
  34. I bought one bag ate one piece and immediately threw it out. I wait from February to February for my favorite candy… And then this is your ideal of Sweethearts…Yuck!! I was at Walmart, and the shelves are stock with that junk. When you had old candy, they were always running out. If its not broken why would you change something that was so good??? 
    Well, I have saved money and lost weight thanks to your new improved candy…Nice blunder NECCO

    Comment by Donna Sullivan on 2/11/10 at 1:34 pm #
  35. I really HATE the new version of Sweethearts. I wait all year long for these hearts, and was very disapointed with what I got. My husband and I don’t celebrate Valentine?s day, but he always brings me home a bag of Sweethearts by NECCO. (These are the only candy hearts I like) My favoriate ones were the white ones. The taste of these new sweethearts is terrible! PLEASE NECCO BRING BACK THE ORIGINAL SWEETHEARTS!!

    Comment by Jamie on 02/11/2010

    Comment by Jamie Gruwell on 2/11/10 at 1:41 pm #
  36. I just wanted to add my voice. I bought a bag thinking it was just new packaging, Didn’t mind the new colors or the softer texture, but the flavors are HORRIBLE. My kids don’t them either. Why didn’t they keep the classic along with the “new” flavors.  I e-mailed Necco like so many others here and got the standard response. Hopefully, if enough of us write and don’t buy the product they’ll get the message.

    Comment by Californiagirl on 2/11/10 at 4:56 pm #
  37. I hate the new flavors. EWW! Thanks for the review. I REALLY hope they bring back the regular ones!!

    Comment by Jessica on 2/11/10 at 5:08 pm #
  38. Thanks Necco for messing with my Valentines Day! Next time take a survey from the other million folks who you dissapointed…

    Comment by Jonathan on 2/11/10 at 7:41 pm #
  39. I’m a candy lover.

    I’m WAS a Necco Sweethearts fanatic.

    I’m now on a quest.

    A quest (with the help of my three equally disappointed children) to find originally flavored Sweethearts, erase my family’s disappointment, and restore some of the sweetness of Valentines Day.

    Let’s all join the quest to help force Necco to revert back to its original flavors!

    We were Necco Sweethearts fanatics.

    We are candy lovers.

    We can do this.

    Comment by David on 2/12/10 at 3:14 am #
  40. So this is what happened!! I bought a couple of boxes when I was on vacation a couple of weeks ago and I almost vomitted in the middle of the mall. Threw at both packages right there. Sweethearts were one of my absolute favorite candies, I would buy bags of it after V-Day to much on throughout the year. I’m hitting every dollar store I can today and buying them out. Hopefully I won’t get the new version.

    Comment by Callie on 2/12/10 at 8:38 am #
  41. Funny you should mention vomiting. My granddaughter, who hates the new ones, got two boxes in her Valentines at school yesterday. She gave one to a boy in her class and she says he vomited. I don’t know if he was faking or what, but I bet he was trying to spit it out if he wasn’t actually vomiting.
    It looks like people are buying them because they don’t know. I wonder how long it takes before the average person catches on, meaning the people that aren’t addicts like some of us.
    I’ve seen articles and stories on TV about the conversation hearts and how long they’ve been in business, etc. We need someone to do one on the changes they’ve made. They’re counting on the good publicity they’ve been getting all these years to keep the sales up.
    I’m still angry!

    Comment by Kathy on 2/12/10 at 9:26 am #
  42. And FYI, I just went to Bog Lots in my town (and had a friend check the other one) and both stores only had the new version. Luckily I noticed that they had listed the new flavors and their corresponding colors on the back of the bag, so I didn’t buy them. Not sure if they had the old ones and then got a new shipment in and it was the new version, but just be aware. Also, when I went to Dollar General (where I bought them out of the boxes. No bag.) The clerk had no idea about the change. I’d love to know if stores are getting a lot back.

    Comment by Callie on 2/12/10 at 11:45 am #
  43. i searched store after store, finallyfinding what looked to be my sweethearts. oh the beloved sweethearts i love them more than chocolate! yes even peanut butter or caramel and chocolate. but i was horrified when i finally sat down to indulge in my finally found sweethearts. sure they were softer that was a nice touch but i was in disbelief when i tasted them, i frantically tasted every color searching for some familiar taste. nothing. the nasty still lingers on my tongue, boxes in the trash. so i search for them online to find out the worst news. they have been discontinued!!!!!! this is bad, necco if you think this will boost your sales think again, you will have poor innocent unknowing sweetheart lovers buying them this year only to see all your sales plummet. im going to stock up for this holiday. unfortunately i dont know if i will get to have them on my wedding day as party favors. this is depressing

    Comment by arian pesch on 2/12/10 at 11:50 am #
  44. My favorite Valentine’s snack has just become utter garbage. The new flavors force me to recall the bitter taste of chewable medicine, and the lack of a mint white flavor has left me in despair. My family bought a pack of these new “candies” to pile into a bowl for the holiday, but their pungent aroma is grotesque and, frankly, intolerable. I miss the taste, texture, and aroma of Necco’s classic hearts, and I will be severely disappointed if they don’t return to the market.

    Comment by Anonymous on 2/12/10 at 12:45 pm #
  45. The new flavors are awful. I bet Necco’s conversation hearts won’t be the “official candy of love” for long. I don’t love them at all. I bought a bag assuming they were the traditional candies in a new package. The tastes are horrible. I tossed the bag in the trash: where they all belong as far as I am concerned. What a shame! I good candy gone bad by a poor research and marketing strategy. Survey an ample number of people next time Necco BEFORE you make such changes. I have asked around (friends and neighbors, coworkers) and I can’t find anyone who likes them.

    Comment by Randy L on 2/12/10 at 1:34 pm #
  46. I’ll admit-the original Sweethearts were never my favorite candy. However, they not only do provide much nostalgia to my recently completed childhood (I’m 18- go figure), but I also like the yellow and white ones.

    A kid at my school was sharing a bag with classmates today. I had five hearts- one for each flavor except blue raspberry (none in the bag). I didn’t really mind the texture or even the scent (though eventually the latter became quite overpowering). The flavors, however… BLEH! I think green apple and the lemon were the worst. I felt sick to my stomach right after eating five hearts.

    So yeah, I’m further proof that the “target audience” doesn’t really like these, either. Count me in the “I HATE THESE” bandwagon.

    Comment by Kady the Red Panda on 2/12/10 at 4:56 pm #
  47. I cannot believe this company made such a bad move.  They took historic candy and changed the formula. Stupid.

    I am so upset that I wasted my money on this new stuff.  YUCK.  I, too, wrote to NECCO; but I’m sure I’ll get a robot reply.  More upsetting is that I do not live near any of the dollar stores listed as having the original candy in stock. 

    Thanks for blogging this—at least I’m comforted in that fact that I am not alone in my passion for the original formula!

    Comment by Johanna on 2/12/10 at 7:30 pm #
  48. I AM a young mother (29 is still young, right?) and I hate the new flavors.
    It’s not only me though, my 7 year old hates them, and my nieces and nephews too.
    They’re so disappointed that they changed.
    I’m going to have to go searching the dollar stores to find some originals and stock up.

    Comment by Cyan on 2/13/10 at 3:48 am #
  49. SO glad I finally figured out what was going on. I didn’t even realize the “Sweethearts were the Necco brand. I have been all over town looking for Necco hearts and finally realized they had all new candy. I HATE them! THey are terrible!!!

    Comment by J.wells on 2/13/10 at 5:35 am #
  50. Horrible, I thought it was weird when I say blue hearts.  What an insulte to put the best Necco Conversation Hearts in the dollar stores and the worst at the large retailers.  How did that make sense to your marketing department?  You should of at least given us the choice between the new and the old at all stores.  I do shop at the dollar stores, but don’t expect to find the best candy there.  I look forward to these hearts each year and was very disappointed.  Now I’m not sure I can trust your product, is it worth my money?  Or will I be grossed out?

    Comment by Cheryl on 2/13/10 at 1:10 pm #
  51. Can’t stand the new favor, texture or color!  Thanks for the advice on Dollar Tree - I just bought the last 10 bags of original Sweethearts they had in stock!!

    Comment by Patty on 2/13/10 at 2:37 pm #
  52. I just emailed the Necco Company to tell them the new Sweethearts candy smells terrible and tastes just as bad.  These candies have been a tradition in our house forever so it’s sad to have them gone.  And they really are gone.  These new flavors aren’t anything like the old ones.  You might as well buy Brach’s.  (Also, I can’t get the chocolate coins I used to buy my kids for Christmas every year any more.  What the heck is going on with the candy industry.)

    Comment by Tina on 2/13/10 at 8:34 pm #
  53. Please bring the old recipe back.  The new ones suck!

    Comment by SM on 2/14/10 at 4:32 am #
  54. i hate the new kind of candy hearts i used to buy them in the big bags and now i am soo mad because i loved those candy hearts i would buy at least 3 or more every year why are they doing this to us =[=[

    Comment by Debra on 2/14/10 at 8:24 am #
  55. I bought these for my husband as I do every year for Valentines Day, they are his favorite candy.  Well he says they are AWFUL! he is so dissapointed and instead of giving him is favorite annual treat I gave him the “most disgusting candy” he has ever tasted.  Thanks Necco for changing the candy and ruining my V-day present.  Of course he still loves me just hates the candy.  So if the hearts stay changed we won’t be buying them anymore…better run to dollar tree and buy the old kind before they are gone.

    Comment by JDH on 2/14/10 at 10:52 am #
  56. I look forward to the tart conversation hearts every year.  I buy about 2 dozen (or maybe a few more) every year and then I hide them from my family.  These are my treats that my husband & kids cannot have.  I bought the new Dazzled tart hearts thinking it was just a name change & they were horrible!  The softer texture wasn’t bad but the flavors were awful.  I have not bought any more at all.  Even the kids wouldn’t eat these & they love candy!!!

    Comment by Jamie on 2/14/10 at 11:20 am #
  57. Usually we agree with your assessment of confectionery but I would have to say we’ve got to disagree on the new Sweethearts. The old ones basically had no flavor and unpleasant texture. Now they at least have some flavor and what we consider a nicer texture. I do hope they won’t mess with Necco wafers though!

    Comment by Pete on 2/14/10 at 1:23 pm #
  58. Cybele's avatar

    Pete - as I mentioned in the review, they did mess with the original Necco Wafers. I did a full review of the new All Natural ones. They got rid of lime green and the flavors are definitely shifted a little bit. (But I still like them.)

    I’m guessing the old texture appealed to folks who like the crunch and chalkiness of things like Altoids, but not the intense flavors. Nothing wrong with that ... there are actually other products out there like this new Necco Sweethearts, so why make them ore like everything else and not keep them like they’ve always been.

    I’m not saying that these aren’t a valid candy, it just seems like they could make both.

    Comment by Cybele on 2/14/10 at 1:29 pm #
  59. Wow, the new candy hearts are TERRIBLE!!!!  I cant believe this is what the determined that people would like.  The focus groups they conducted must have been devoid of any ability to taste. 

    Very Sad :(

    Comment by Jim on 2/14/10 at 3:50 pm #
  60. Candy hearts *used* to be my all-time favorite candy, and now they have been ruined. The new flavors are absolutely gross.

    Comment by Sandy on 2/14/10 at 5:14 pm #
  61. First of all, I’d like to say thanks for the head’s up on where to find the old ones - I just cleaned out my local Dollar Tree of everything they had left (it was 50% off to boot - yay!)

    So the other day at WalMart I bought my usual yearly bag of candy hearts. I noticed the bag had changed and didn’t think too much of it… then I get home and open the bag and get hit with this sickening fruity chemical pukey smell! Upon inspecting the bag I realize there are now new flavors. Ok, I’ll give them a try. In a word, HORRID. After sending a strongly worded email to Necco I went in search of answers and stumbled upon your blog.

    I’m not usually the type to email a company; I have to be pretty impressed or pretty disgusted to do so. I have to say that it was bad enough for them to change a classic, but what they changed it to is horrible. I have to seriously doubt the people at Necco bothered to sample these. They’re not even “not good,” they’re actually horrible. I sadly threw them out.

    I hope they listen to their consumers and bring back the classic candies next year. In the meantime, my 44 1oz boxes from the Dollar Tree will just have to suffice.

    Comment by Kristin on 2/15/10 at 11:47 am #
  62. For those of you in WI, the brand Eileens makes large conversation hearts identical to the old Necco ones.  I stocked up today after I spent all week looking for my favorite hearts, then finally realized they changed the recipe.  Nobody I know can stand the new ones.

    Comment by Elisa on 2/15/10 at 1:11 pm #
  63. I LOVED THE BANANA FLAVOR TOO!!! So did my kids.
    At least every store I went to today had lots of these candies in the sale bins. Hopefully sales were as horrible as the candies taste!

    Comment by Californiagirl on 2/15/10 at 5:46 pm #
  64. How can we find out who the actual head of the company is so we can write to him/her? I think that person should read these comments.
    I don’t believe our emails are going high enough up the ladder. The president of the company needs to know what most people are thinking of their product.
    And the nerve of the people who answer our emails to tell us to try other products. The way their answers sound it doesn’t seem as if they’re really paying any attention to us.
    That’s a big mistake.  The real fans won’t be buying the candy again, and with the taste of the new ones I doubt if other people will be buying them either.
    I hope they finally get the message.

    Comment by Kathy on 2/16/10 at 6:10 am #
  65. Imganie blowing off your long time customers to reach a younger audience.  What moron company would do such a ridiclous move?  Oh wait…it was NECCO…

    Comment by Jennifer on 2/16/10 at 9:56 am #
  66. Just AWFUL!! The worst idea since New Coke. I hope enough people can convince them that this was not a good thing to do. At least they could offer both kinds. If not, I wont be buying any more. Are they going to scew up NECCO WAFERS next?

    Comment by John E Denti on 2/16/10 at 10:25 am #
  67. I am so disappointed that they changed their flavors. I miss the white hearts. The new flavors taste awful.

    Comment by mary on 2/16/10 at 10:53 am #
  68. The new flavors are horrible!  Go back to the old!  I tasted the new ones, not realizing they were a new flavor and was really almost sick.

    Don’t ruin a good thing when you have it.

    Comment by Stephanie on 2/17/10 at 4:28 am #
  69. Update: They responded to my complaint:

    I am so sorry the new flavors of SWEETHEARTS(R) were disappointing to you. The bolder fruit flavors are a hit with many people but I have some good news for you… 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.  You can find the old flavors at the following locations: Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Family Dollar, 99 Cent Only, Freds, Odd Lots, Wakefern, and Sav A Lot.

    Thanks again for your input.

    Aimee Scott
    Brand Manager- Sweethearts

    So this is good news… at least we’ll have the original variety back next year. I call shenanigans on the new flavor being a hit with “many people” though… maybe if you like the taste of chemicals and baby tylenol. I don’t think I have unusually high standards, they’re just gross.

    Comment by Kristin on 2/17/10 at 3:18 pm #
  70. I am curious about what they mean by the originals coming back as a “solo item”. Does anyone know? Also, I wish they would just admit they made a tremendous blunder. Their long-time fans would respect them more. The new flavors may be a big hit with many people (maybe a dozen or so) but that can’t compare to the thousands or even millions of people who love and BUY the originals.

    Comment by Teresa on 2/17/10 at 4:53 pm #
  71. I honestly really like these, but I was never a fan of the old ones.

    However, I keep running into the old flavors in my boxes! raspberry The banana and wintergreen, specifically.

    Comment by Anne on 2/18/10 at 8:12 am #
  72. I love this candy, its always been my favorite, I wake up early the day after valentines day and buy as many bags as I can so I can eat them the fallowing months. I noticed the bag was different so I didnt buy it from the store, I tried my friends and they were NASTY. Soft and weird flavors. EW I am very disappointed in the new change as with many of my friends.

    Comment by Shannon on 2/18/10 at 11:21 am #
  73. Had to look twice when I saw the new package at the store - saw they were made by Necco so figured it must just be new packaging.  Was SO excited to get my favorite treat of the year and when I opened the bag the first thing I thought was, “These do not smell like they usually do…”  It was such a fake, terrible fruit smell…my stomach sank.  I went ahead and tried a yellow (has been my favorite since I have been able to eat!!!) and tasted a terrible lemon-y flavor that made me gag.  I had to throw away all the bags of the new product.  Am now having mini panic attacks wondering if I’ll ever have my beloved favorite treat again?!?  Glad to know I’m not alone in my thinking!

    Comment by Lo on 2/20/10 at 5:59 am #
  74. After reading everyones comments now I finally know what happened!!! I bought the, what I thought, were the traditional hearts…they were awful..so I tried the Brachs brand…they weren’t right either! So I asked other people and they hadn’t seen the necco hearts…needless to say I sent them to my daughter who is in college and she said they were awful…and we both miss the “white ones”...I wish I would have known to go to the dollar store to find the “real” sweathearts :(

    Comment by Dissappointed on 2/23/10 at 9:20 am #
  75. These new ones are disgusting!

    I could only eat 2 and then threw the rest away.  They taste like a mixture of sweet tarts and chalk and something I couldn’t identify.

    If this is a new recipe, they need to go back to the drawing board.

    Comment by Kerri on 2/24/10 at 11:17 am #
  76. I live in NECCO’s back yard and grew up on Haviland Mints and NECCO Wafers.  This year’s Conversation Hearts were the WORST.  I found some “CH” Boxes today at Walgreen’s for 12 cents!  I only picked out the chocolate flavors and left the rest in a heap.  Even the old fashioned NECCO wafers wrapped in waxed paper are not as good as they used to be.  Let’s hope our friends at NECCO bring back the old flavors next year!  Valentine’s Day wasn’t the same with them this year.

    Comment by Silas Kain on 2/25/10 at 3:57 pm #
  77. I hate the new flavor of the conversation hearts. Unfortunately, I didn’t find a site with the news that the old ones were available at Dollar General until after Valentine’s Day.

    On a related note, it would be nice if Brach’s conversation hearts were a little thinner.  I just broke a bridge on them.

    Comment by Mmmidwfe on 2/27/10 at 11:50 am #
  78. I’ve had a bag of these so called “new and improved” sweethearts candy and they were DISGUSTING!!! A better word for them would be a DOWNGRADE and definitely not an upgrade!!! The originals are so much better and actually taste good. These are just a cheap immitation of what is good about Sweethearts candy!!!

    Comment by Jose G. on 2/27/10 at 3:09 pm #
  79. I sent a complaint to their website and got a reply within a few hours. Here’s what it said:

    I am so sorry the new flavors of SWEETHEARTS(R) were disappointing to you. The bolder fruit flavors are a hit with many people but I have some good news for you… 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.  You may still find the old flavors at the following locations: Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Family Dollar, 99 Cent Only, Freds, Odd Lots, Wakefern, and Sav A Lot.

    Thanks again for your input.

    Aimee Scott

    Brand Manager- Sweethearts

    so we can REJOICE because next year they’ll be bringing back the classics!!

    Comment by Lauren on 3/01/10 at 1:20 pm #
  80. Look forward every year to the necco sweethearts; buy many bags.  Bought the new bag this year; ate two pieces (the second because I couldn’t believe they could really be that bad)and threw out the bag.  I can only hope their sales plummeted and they bring back the old recipe.

    Comment by SUSAN on 3/16/10 at 3:35 pm #
  81. I bought 5 bags on sale for ~$.75 because I always love these (despite my friends’ criticism for eating chalk) but my hopes were absolutely crushed when I tasted my first one… I hoped it was just a bad batch so I opened another bag only to be let down again. I tried to force myself to eat them but became disgusted by them extremely quickly and trashed the rest. I’m not getting anymore unless they go back to the delicious ‘chalk’ flavors. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!!”

    Comment by Pete Franz on 7/07/10 at 10:32 am #
  82. So I have always liked the valentine candy hearts and I thought I was the only weird on who enjoyed the chalk-like little candies. 4 years ago I met Michael, who is now my fiancee. Only after a few times together we found out we BOTH love candy hearts. We would buy several bags at a time and eat so many candy hearts.

    One year for valentines day, he got me an entire backpack of valentine hearts as a gift. Wonderful Gift- I was so happy!!

    This year we were so disappointed to see the recipe had changed. The blue flavor is so yucky, and my favorite color, pink is the worst. I ask Necco to change back to the old flavor because it started our relationship. We would love to have the old recipe candy hearts at the wedding as wedding favors but we can’t seem to find them… please change it back.

    Comment by Andi on 9/04/10 at 3:42 pm #
  83. I heard that Jackie Hague has recently left NECCO.  Not sure if her departure had anything to do with the new Sweethearts, but hopefully the company will return to the original formula soon.

    Comment by Old NECCO Fan on 9/30/10 at 11:24 am #
  84. You know what?  It’s December, and while on the site you mentioned has a recipes and crafts section, the design looks like one I could have made in 2 hours.  Not to mention the separate “pages” on the site look exactly like one of the page dividers on Wix (website creator).

    Comment by dewfall on 12/21/10 at 7:42 pm #
  85. I just opened the new box and noticed that these were not my beloved sweethearts.  I immediately started googling it to see wth was going on. I can’t believe after all these years they would change it why not just make both versions.  If i wanted a soft sweetheart with crappy flavors I would eat brachs instead.  I’m going to the dollar tree in the morning I hope they still have the old ones I will buy them out.  Glad to see they are bringing them back next year I was starting to consider that 32 lb box lol.

    Comment by Kimberly on 1/01/11 at 8:33 pm #
  86. For Valentine’s Day a while back, a friend of mine had given me a few boxes of conversation hearts, but I remember there being two different types. Sweeathearts and Sweeathearts Tarts. The regular had all the flavors that have been there as long as I have been eating them, and the Tarts had the same flavors as the new ones. Also the tarts had white, which was pineapple flavored. Was that the new kind, or is there really a different kind with one added flavor to make the other hearts “tart?”

    Comment by D. on 1/02/11 at 5:41 pm #
  87. I am probably the only single person who looks forward to Valentine’s Day, and it’s just because for 6 magical weeks in a year it becomes easy to find my FAVORITE candy. I was totally unaware of the change and bought my first bag on Jan. 1. AWFUL! I’m glad to see I’m not alone in this. But I have a question: does anyone else find that the new wafers give them headaches? I never get headaches and when I got one two days ago I chalked it up to a random immunological aberration, but two successive days have confirmed a direct cause-effect relationship between eating the new Sweethearts (even just a few) and a low-grade dizzy-headache. Has anyone else experienced this?

    Comment by Dale on 1/03/11 at 4:41 pm #
  88. Its next year and I’m not finding any Necco harts anywhere! I bought the dollar store out last year. The new flavors sucked! I was looking forward to the old harts commming back! To make matters worse I’m pregnant this year and I am super craving my fave candy!!!HELP! Where can I find the old ones?!?!

    Comment by april on 1/04/11 at 8:29 pm #
  89. It’s 2011, I’ve seen Necco hearts at several stores. Still ONLY the “new” flavors. It is a year later and the memory of the disgusting flavors lingers….No classic flavors anywhere. I don’t like Brach’s they are too chalky. This means my candy heart eating days are over.

    Comment by Californiagirl on 1/06/11 at 8:53 pm #
  90. I just saw the hearts for the first time at a Michaels store. Looks like they’re horrible, disgusting new ones. I can’t believe they’re not going back to the old ones.
    The problem is that most people who like the hearts, including some who use them for gifts and crafts every year, don’t know about the change. How long will it take before enough people notice and stop buying them?
    Too bad they don’t know about this blog.
    I was wondering how we can let people know that the hearts they’re seeing on the shelves aren’t the ones they expect them to be.
    Any ideas?
    I haven’t checked my local dollar store yet.
    Kathy

    Comment by Kathy on 1/07/11 at 8:50 am #
  91. i tried it that sux but i dont believe that necco did this candy.

    Comment by Bora on 1/08/11 at 3:34 pm #
  92. These “new” flavor are horrible and completely ruined the joy of Valentines candy’s coming out after christmas time.  Why in the world would they produce such aweful flavors after decades of selling a successful Valentines’ Classic???? I hope to see a recall on these new disgusting flavors and the originals back on the shelves of all major grocery stores!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Andrea on 1/09/11 at 3:11 pm #
  93. Banana was the ONLY reason I ate the Necco original Sweethearts.  Now I’m switching to Wonka SweeTarts and leaving this craptacular mess to the troglodytes who didn’t like the original flavors.  Savages.

    Comment by jeneria on 1/09/11 at 4:34 pm #
  94. POST #269 states they were going to offer both kinds this year.  I can’t bring myself to check the stores to see if this is true; I know how much disappointment it will bring me.  Every year I eagerly await the arrival of the sweethearts, and this year I am craving them so bad.  From the recent posts, I am assuming they are sticking to the new flavors.  It’s sad.

    Comment by Christine on 1/09/11 at 6:23 pm #
  95. Looks like other people are discovering those new and horrid sweethearts. It might take a few years, but they’ll find out they made a big mistake.

    Comment by Kathy on 1/09/11 at 8:14 pm #
  96. I was post #281 last year… It looks like they’re sticking with the awful flavors again. I don’t know why they would ruin the faithful candy-heart-eaters experience to try to bring in new customers.

    Instead thy just lost out on 10/15 bags a year…

    Comment by Pete Franz on 1/10/11 at 4:46 pm #
  97. I’m not sure if this was already said because I didn’t read the thread but, Brach’s conversation hearts taste the same IF NOT BETTER than NECCO. I was also upset when I noticed last year the flavors were different. Then I found Brach’s and I <3 them smile

    Comment by Ashley on 1/10/11 at 5:35 pm #
  98. I just checked the a dollar store and they had the horrible new ones in the little boxes. I thought they were going to keep providing the old ones to the dollar stores. At least that’s what it sounded like.
    I am so disappointed. There’s got to be a way to get these people to listen to the ones that liked their candy.

    Kathy

    Comment by Kathy on 1/10/11 at 8:04 pm #
  99. Ashley,
    Interesting you should mention the Brachs candy hearts. Today, when I saw those awful new ones in the boxes at the dollar store, I also saw the Brachs brand in bags. I decided to try one just to see what they were like. I have to say that I don’t like them as much as I did the old Necco Sweethearts, but they’re a whole lot better than the new Necco candys. Maybe we should all write notes to the company letting them know we’re switching brands. That might bother them more than just saying we’re not buying theirs anymore. I’m going to promote Brachs candy hearts whenever I can.
    I hate to admit this but I threw away a whole bunch of the old ones last year. I bought too many and thought that they wouldn’t last till this year and that they would have the old ones again in the dollar stores. Now I’m sorry I threw them out.
    Kathy

    Comment by Kathy on 1/10/11 at 8:12 pm #
  100. april on 288: if you want to paypal me for shipping, I can send you some I stocked up last year. They’ve been sitting in a ziploc bag for 11 months and I haven’t touched them, only the tarts, cause I love those.

    Comment by Heather on 1/11/11 at 9:53 am #
  101. sorry to double post, but I just checked my candy stash(I have a major sweet tooth and a fear of running out of my favorite candy) and I have half a gallon size bag of the sweethearts and a whole one of tarts, lol (and a small bag full of brown, orange, yellow, and green wafers-got rolls of those on clearance at Safeway when they changed the flavors, LOVE the green ones). You can probably still find the old wafer rolls at dollar stores, I got those and the sweethearts at a 99 cent only store last year. I bought like 20 8-box packs of the tarts at Dollar Tree, heh. I think I’m going to go see if they have them again and I’ll post what I find out!

    Comment by Heather on 1/11/11 at 10:03 am #
  102. Heather post # 301

    Hi,
    I’ll get to my local dollar store and see what they have. I was in San Jose, about 35 miles from here, when I saw the new ones.
    Let me know what you find out, and I would be interested in any of the sweet ones you want to sell. I can’t believe how many bags and boxes I threw away. That was really dumb!
    Do you have sweet ones in boxes or bags?
    Thanks,
    Kathy

    Comment by Kathy on 1/11/11 at 10:51 am #
  103. The Dollar Tree didn’t have any old ones, only new ones. :( I’m going to try the 99 cent store when I go to my boyfriend’s house. I got an Oriental Trading Valentine’s magazine in yesterday and they’re offering what looks like the old boxes of tarts for 36 boxes for $12.99. I want to order them, but what would I do with 36 boxes of the Dazzled ones if they turn out to be the newer ones? Besides, they have the new Sweethearts in the same magazine…

    The ones I have from last year are all in a Ziploc bag because I didn’t have room for all the little boxes and because I think being in a sealed bag would keep them better. I’d sell you a fourth of a gallon bag if you want some. I only have a half gallon bag full. Wait until I check the 99 cent store though, they might still have some old ones. -Heather

    Comment by Heather on 1/11/11 at 11:12 am #
  104. The new conversation hearts are nasty, nasty, nasty.    After giving them all a legitimate try they went straight to the garbage.  The one thing I looked forward to most about Valentines Day was my favorite Necco Conversation Hearts.  How could you take away my wonderful candy hearts (from my childhood I might ad) and replace them with these nasty ones?  Who in their right mind could eat these.  They taste just awful.  Do you really sale these?  Please, go ahead and sale your new hearts,  but bring back my old ones too please!!!

    Comment by Kathy Temple on 1/11/11 at 7:28 pm #
  105. I went out and bought a bag of Brach’s.  They do NOT compare to my old Necco hearts but are WAY better than the new Sweathearts that Necco put out.  I guess I will be switching and I suggest to all of you who hate the new Sweathearts to give the Brach’s a try.

    Comment by Kathy Temple on 1/12/11 at 1:10 pm #
  106. So disappointing. As a marketing professional, this is typical of a new “marketing” person coming on board to a classic brand and wanting to make their “mark”. When all they need to do is run with the power that the brand already has. They could have still made packaging changes, and improvements in other marketing efforts, and drove an increase in sales (isn’t that what a business and brand really is intended to do?). But these “professionals” always take it too far. Be smart - admit you made a mistake - and bring back the original hearts. PLEASE!!!!!!

    Comment by Al The Original Hearts Lover on 1/13/11 at 11:32 am #
  107. I am very disappointed in Necco’s decision to discontinue the Tarts in favor of the Dazzled Tarts. I unfortunately cannot eat the dazzled version due to a slight allergic reaction to whatever makes them ‘dazzle’. *sigh* Guess it’s time to go write a letter to the company.

    Comment by Tamber on 1/14/11 at 2:38 pm #
  108. Totally HATE the new hearts!!!!! I look forward to the hearts every year - my FAVORITE candy of all time! I would eat bags at a time - so addicting! These new hearts are not the same. Won’t buy anymore of these candies unless they bring back the original. So glad other people feel the same way about the new flavors…...

    Comment by Nicole on 1/15/11 at 6:18 am #
  109. Kathy at 302: The 99 cent store had boxes of the old ones in packs of 8. I bought 6 of them for you. Can we email somehow? I don’t want to post my address here in case of spam, though. I also got 10 rolls of the old wafers for whoever is interested. I can get more wafers; thay have boxes of them, lol. -Heather

    Comment by Heather on 1/15/11 at 12:16 pm #
  110. I found that Wegman’s sells their own brand of the hearts which taste just like the original flavors. They are on the hard side of the spectrum but the flavor is most important to me!

    Comment by Pete Franz on 1/18/11 at 9:15 am #
  111. http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?storeId=10052&identifier=CATEGORY_517

    Comment by Pete Franz on 1/18/11 at 9:17 am #
  112. Does anyone know where to find the old ones?

    I bought a bunch last year, but then my husband tossed the remaining boxes when we moved.

    I thought they promised they were coming back, but so far haven’t been able to find them anywhere.

    If anyone finds some and would be willing to sell let me know.

    Comment by Georgia on 1/18/11 at 2:43 pm #
  113. Georgia at 312: I have 6 8-packs of the boxes. If Kathy doesn’t reply, you can buy them from me if you want to. I also have 10 rolls of the old wafers if you or anyone else is interested.

    Comment by Heather on 1/18/11 at 4:59 pm #
  114. I have been to Meijer, Target and Wal-Mart.  NONE of them in my city carry the Necco Brand. (And I can count at least 7 of them total.)  The only conversation hearts are Brachs.  Even though I don’t like them as much as the old Necco Sweethearts, they are better than the new.  I picked up a few bags.  I bet the Brachs company is glad their sales have gone up due to a marketing mess-up at Necco. *FINGERS Crossed*...Wal-Mart has open spaces on the shelves; maybe they are waiting for the “classic” hearts as promised last year.

    Comment by christine on 1/18/11 at 6:10 pm #
  115. #309 Heather,
    My email address is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

    Do you still have any hearts in the packs of 8?

    Kathy

    Comment by Kathy on 1/18/11 at 8:57 pm #
  116. Maybe we should all start writing to Necco, again.
    I think their address is somewhere way back in these posts from last year.

    I’m just hoping that it won’t take too long for all the unaware people find out that the new ones are horrible and quit buying them. It might take a couple of years, maybe, if we’re lucky.

    Comment by Kathy on 1/18/11 at 9:00 pm #
  117. These new ones are absolutely horrible and inedible. I enjoy candy but the smell these put off reminds me of medicine and the flavors are so disgusting that they made my stomach really acidic. How could they have thought that humans would enjoy them? As I write this I can still smell their rancid odor from across the room. GROSS!!!

    Comment by Jonathan on 1/18/11 at 9:24 pm #
  118. I HATE THE NEW ONES SOOOO MUCH——BRING THE ORIGINALS BACK, PLEEEEAAAASSSE!!!! please…  :(

    Comment by Lacey on 1/19/11 at 8:33 am #
  119. I compared the Brachs and new Sweethearts.  I did not like the Brachs…they were too hard and chalky.  I Still like Sweethearts better. 

    However, I bought the bag at my local Walgreens and found that there were no grape flavors in my bag, yet it shows the 6 flavors on the back of the bag…humm what’s up with that?

    Decided to buy a bag this evening at CVS and there it was…The Grape! I feel like I hit the bingo jackpot…wahooo!!!!

    Comment by Lady Lu on 1/19/11 at 6:29 pm #
  120. Please bring back the old candy hearts the ones you introduced last year taste horrible!  Every year I look forward to eating my large candy hearts so imagine how I felt when I popped a few hearts into my mouth….NASTY!!!!!  Even my kids commented on how bad they tasted…what did you do?  Please fix this problem and bring back the old favorite Valentine hearts…the real Necco hearts!

    Comment by Cathy Heebsh on 1/19/11 at 7:10 pm #
  121. I am a little late chime in, but just today found this out. Last year I guess I was lucky enough to get the original Necco sweethearts. Boy was I disappointed when I tore open the bag and popped my favorite (banana) in my mouth. These are HORRIBLE!!

    Comment by Samantha on 1/19/11 at 7:22 pm #
  122. #320 Cathy
    You probably need to write to the New England Candy Co., or Necco, about your feelings. I think there’s an email address for them somewhere on here. I’ll try and find it when I have time.
    It’s interesting how many are just now discovering the changes in the Sweethearts.

    I was in Target tonight and saw something I’ve never seen before, Brach’s hearts in little boxes like the Sweethearts. Maybe I’ve missed them in the past. I was wondering if Brach’s is thinking they’re going to start selling more candy hearts now that Necco has changed their formula, and I do mean formula. They taste like medicine.
    Kathy

    Comment by Kathy on 1/19/11 at 8:41 pm #
  123. I thought I bought a knock off.. Then I googled it and saw that the flavors were changed? So upset and sad over this change. Been looking forward on eating them this year, last year I couldn’t find them any where again thought it was a knock off and this year decided to google it. How weird that “Necco” took their name off the bag? Grape is the only one that taste the same, the rest are a nightmare! I already emailed Necco. I will be switching to the Branch brand even tho they don’t compare to the old ones, much better then the new Necco ones! :( very sad a candy that always stated it would never change. I agree with many on here they taste like chewable medicine tablets from childrens tylendol!! Yuck!!

    Comment by Jessica on 1/20/11 at 6:47 pm #
  124. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. I just bought a 5lb bag from a retro candy website. They said something about the old hearts are back 1/28.

    ..... Maybe this is good news. I’ll let you know when my order arrives.

    Comment by Georgia on 1/21/11 at 3:10 pm #
  125. Heather at #309 ~ I hadn’t logged in for a few days and just found your response to me tonight.  That is SO sweet of you!  I am just checking to see if you still have them or did you make arrangements with someone else already?
    Just let me know if you still have them and I will send you my email address if you do.  Thank you for being a “Sweethear”!  LOL!

    Comment by Kathy Temple on 1/21/11 at 9:41 pm #
  126. Whoops!  Heather #309 ~ I just backed up and reread the posts and realized you were writing to a different Kathy.  There seem to be a few Kathy’s on here….lol.    Sorry!

    Comment by Kathy Temple on 1/21/11 at 9:55 pm #
  127. Ok,  so I just wrote a letter to the Necco Company and plead my case.  I encourage you all to do the same!!!!  Maybe together we can get our favorite candy brought back.

    Comment by Kathy Temple on 1/21/11 at 10:16 pm #
  128. #326 Kathy Temple
    Go ahead and make a deal with Heather if you can. I’ve replied to her but haven’t heard back. I might have missed it but at this point I’ve given up on the Sweethearts. I’m going to be writing to the company, again, and I hope everyone else does also.

    It’s interesting how many people just discovered this year that they’ve changed their formula, so maybe in a few more years the rest of the fans will know and won’t be buying the new junk.

    Kathy

    Comment by Kathy on 1/22/11 at 11:16 am #
  129. Kathy at 308: I emailed you a few days ago… I’ll try again now.

    Comment by Heather on 1/22/11 at 11:24 pm #
  130. Georgia @ 312 .... I don’t know that you are going to have any luck finding any of the old ones.  I searched on sites that feature retro candy and they are only selling the new ones and stating that the old ones have been discontinued.  But the very best of luck to you on finding some.

    Comment by Kathy Temple on 1/23/11 at 12:27 am #
  131. These new flavors are disgusting and I will never ever buy this candy again.  I threw out half the bag…what a waste of a time traditioned candy.  Why change what was already my favorite candy!!!!!!

    Comment by jeanine on 1/23/11 at 11:47 am #
  132. I could not find the original flavors last year at my local dollar stores, but I looked today, and found the original flavors in the 9 oz bag at Family Dollar. They also had the new (yucky) flavors in the little boxes.  Hope others are as lucky- I bought nine bags.  My kids think I’m nuts, but that’s ok.

    Comment by Jacque on 1/23/11 at 7:43 pm #
  133. Cybele's avatar

    Jacque - congratulations on your perseverance! I’ve been scouring for the past few weeks. I’ve tried Dollar Tree, Big Lots and 99 Cent Only stores and have not seen the original version. (And of course everyone seems to have the new ones, CVS, Walgreens, RiteAid, Target and the grocery stores.)

    I wrote an email to Necco about 10 days ago, but they still haven’t responded.

    I urge anyone looking for the classics to send an email to Necco. They need to know or else nothing will change.

    Comment by Cybele on 1/23/11 at 7:50 pm #
  134. The new flavor of Necco Valentine Hearts is terrible. I am so disappointed that they changed the recipe. I will never buy any more of the new product.

    Comment by Linda Lanier on 1/24/11 at 2:41 pm #
  135. The following is a quote pulled from the original review of the NEW sweethearts which is at the beginning of this blog.

    “So the takeaway from this would be, if you don’t like the new flavors, make sure that Necco knows that. Return the product, write to them or call. I wouldn’t expect a whole lot in return (a canned response) but I do think that they log the feedback - it’s in their best interest.”


    Too bad we’re not returning these candies. I know I threw mine away last year, but maybe if anyone that finds their way here, and hasn’t thrown the candy away, will return it for a refund, maybe that will help them get the message.
    Please read the review at the beginning to get the whole story.
    I, personally, don’t believe Ms. Hague, who is responsible for these horrible candies, when she says people wrote and asked for more “modern” flavors. Who knows what a modern flavor is? And why would anyone that eats the Sweethearts be writing to complain after all these years. Wouldn’t they just not eat them? The old candy certainly has a huge following and these people were happy with the flavors. I think they, the company,  just thought they’d try to get a bigger market. I hope for each customer they gain they lose 2 or 3 or more of the people that were eating their product before. I seriously don’t think they’re going to gain anyone after the first taste.
    Kathy

    Comment by Kathy on 1/24/11 at 4:36 pm #
  136. I’ve been eating Necco wafers for over 50 years, since I grew up in Boston.  About two weeks ago I finished the last package of the classic original Sweethearts that I bought at Target the day after Valentines Day 2 years ago.  When I went to Target last week to buy a new batch, I discovered that they only sell the Tart and Fruity flavors, and there were no classics at all.  I then googled and found this blog.  Not noticing that the blog was written last year (2010) I read that the dollar discount stores were the only ones still carrying the classic version.  So, today I visited my local Family Dollar and, voila, I found and bought 3 cases (36 bags) of the 9 ounce bags of the classic flavors.  These will last me the next two years.  What I’ll do after that if Necco stops making them is something I don’t even want to think about.  If you’re reading this Ms. Hague, don’t repeat the bad judgment exhibited by the Harvard MBA “brainiaks” at Coca Cola who decided to shut down production of Classic Coke in favor of New Coke.  Wait - maybe that was you?!

    Comment by PhilipJohn52 on 1/25/11 at 5:21 pm #
  137. #336 Philip?
    I hope you did get the old ones at your dollar store. I was counting on the dollar stores having them again this year and threw the extras I bought last year away. Now I find that they are selling the horrible new ones also.
    It’s too bad there aren’t more of us, as in the coke fans, so we could turn them around. I can’t even believe a company would change a recipe that was over 100 years old. They won’t gain any new customers, I’m sure, but they will lose.
    I just wish everyone would return the half eaten bags to the stores where they were purchased.
    Sorry to say that I see no sign that they’re making the old ones anymore at all.
    Kathy

    Comment by Kathy on 1/25/11 at 7:45 pm #
  138. I’m disappointed in the new hearts as well.  I always enjoyed the classic flavors each year, it was a part of Valentine’s Day for so many years.  I do not like the new flavors.  They taste like kids stuff and kinda weird. The blue ones are the worst, and I definitely miss the classic white ones!  Bring back the classic flavors!

    Comment by Dara on 1/26/11 at 3:08 pm #
  139. I have also written to Necco and have heard nothing back. I have not talked to one person who likes them!

    Comment by Samantha on 1/26/11 at 4:56 pm #
  140. I found some originals!!!! I commented on this blog last year when I discovered the new flavors and hated them and found some at Dollar Tree. I’m glad I subscribed to the comments and am glad I did because this year I found some at Family Dollar! I bought them out and am planning to keep a bunch but also sell the rest (about 20 bags) on ebay. Before I posted them on ebay, I wanted to offer them to my fellow original sweetheart lovers! My email is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you are interested. Let me know ASAP!!

    Comment by Jessica on 1/27/11 at 11:42 am #
  141. when i was little i alwYS GOT THE ORIGINAL SWEETHEARTS UNTIL THIS YEAR . MY MOM GOT ME SOME AND I ASKED IF THEY WERE ORIGINAL.THEY WERENT . THEY SAY THEY CAN’T TELL THE DIFFRENCE BUT I CAN ITS MY FAVORITE CANDY AND SINCE IT’S SEASONAL ITS NOT LIKE I GET IT ALOT .PLEASE BRING THE OLD BACK

    Comment by DADDYS LIL GURL on 1/27/11 at 4:53 pm #
  142. those things taste NAAAASSSTYYYY!!!!!! XP

    Comment by crazypanda on 1/27/11 at 6:01 pm #
  143. PhilipJohn @336: If you are still living in the Boston area, do you mind sharing the exact location you found them? (unless you bought them all up—lol)

    Comment by Lindsay on 1/27/11 at 9:40 pm #
  144. If you have a Blain’s Farm & Fleet store near you (http://www.farmandfleet.com) check out their bagged candy.  They have their own store logo on all their candy, but my wife the candy hearts expert says they are EXACTLY the same as the Necco brand.  Taste, look, even the sayings on the hearts are ALL the same.  They could very well be Neccos-In-Disguise.

    I strongly suggest checking out a Farm & Fleet near you.  This is as close to the real thing I have seen in this city of just under 200,000.  Brachs is everywhere here. :(

    Comment by Dave on 1/28/11 at 12:26 pm #
  145. I am writing on behalf of my husband, who is avsolutely addicted and until now heart broken about the change in your candy hearts.  He HATES the new flavors.  I am so happy to tell him where he can find the old flavors.  Thanks, Kelly Almasy

    Comment by Kelly Almasy on 1/28/11 at 4:32 pm #
  146. Family Dollar stores.  They have ‘em.  Go get ‘em.

    9oz bag for a buck.

    I also need to add that I did a side-by-side comparison of the ones from Farm and Fleet and the Necco ones I got at Family Dollar tonight.  Gotta tell you, I don’t see ANY difference.

    So there you go.  Farm & Fleet or Family Dollar for sure.  Sorry, Farm Fleet stores only exist in Illiois, Wisconsin and Iowa.

    Comment by Dave on 1/29/11 at 8:15 pm #
  147. I don’‘t even have the option of finding the old ones this year, I wish I had noticed this change last year, when you posted this, so I could have loved them one more time :( I’m so sad.

    Comment by Nicole on 1/30/11 at 9:00 am #
  148. I too as many others am absolutely disgusted with the new SweetHeart flavors. I couldn’t wait for the Valentine season to come around just so I could get the conversation hearts. I would purchase enough to last me months. Last year I went to the store and saw that they had started stocking the Valentine’s candy, so I picked up the newly packaged SweetHearts. I didn’t even realize they changed the flavors until a grabbed a couple and ate them. The flavors are so disgusting!!! My favorite was actually the banana flavored yellow heart becuase of the sheer fact that it was different from the typical lemon and it was a nice mellow flavor.

    Comment by Melanie on 1/31/11 at 6:46 pm #
  149. I think I have figured the whole thing out.  Necco knows darn well that the original flavors are better.  They put out these new awful flavors to make the original ones more sought after and more valuable.  Now they are selling them through other outlets online for two, three, four times as much money.  I think they are making a lot more money.  That’s why they don’t care how many emails we send. Shame on Necco.  I’m set for the next seven or eight years since I bought about 15 bags at dollar stores last year.  I would rather eat old candy with the original flavors than the new candy with the horrible, stinky smelling flavors.

    Comment by Tina on 2/02/11 at 10:52 pm #
  150. #349 Tina,
    I don’t think Necco is selling on line, that would be some people who have probably seen this blog and know we want the originals. Unless Necco goes back to the old ones I doubt they will be available in dollar stores for very long.
    I also bought a bunch at the dollar store last year, but I thought they were going to always be available and threw away what I had left. So stupid of me!
    I only have enough left for this year, thanks to Heather selling me some boxes she found.
    Kathy
    P.S. I am seeing more and more competition for the Necco hearts. I found some the other day made by the Frankford Candy Co. They looked like the hearts but tasted like and the texture was more like the sweet tart things that come in a “tube” wrapped in clear paper. I’ve seen some with the name Wonka on them and then there are the Brach’s. Maybe they think they have a chance with Necco changing their formula.

    Comment by Kathy on 2/03/11 at 8:46 am #
  151. I wish we could get something going on Facebook. I found one page but there were no comments.
    The only way to get a change is to get the word out.
    It’s been too long ago for me to remember but with the “new coke” fiasco, there was no internet. It must have been talked about on TV. They changed back real quick when they found out nobody liked their new coke.
    K

    Comment by Kathy on 2/03/11 at 8:49 am #
  152. Post 351. There is a facebook group you can join. Try http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/group.php?gid=295742408367. It has around 700 old SweetHeart fans. Family Dollar in Boise Id. still had some of the old flavors. I didn’t buy them out this year, I’m trying to wean myself from them.
    David

    Comment by David on 2/03/11 at 4:52 pm #
  153. check out candycrate.com you can still get the original flavors there

    Comment by Georgia on 2/04/11 at 7:10 pm #
  154. I’m so sad about the changes! I was at the store to pick some up, specifically Necco, but couldn’t find them, apparently due to the package change and no Necco name anywhere. I bought the another brand that is soggy and gross, because I need it for a photo prop. So sad! The only good thing is less sugar for me. Was I the only one who the banana?! Thanks for posting you findings.

    Comment by Shari on 2/04/11 at 8:59 pm #
  155. #354 ~ By NO means were you the only one who LOVED the banana!!!!!  I was a HUGE fan of the banana and I have read other peoples post that were big banana fans as well.    I am so glad to see so many posts appearing here day after day.  Please go to Facebook and join this website to also show your discontent.  We need to all join forces to bring back the old ones. http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/group.php?gid=295742408367

    Comment by Kathy Temple on 2/04/11 at 9:34 pm #
  156. I’ll have to remember to check the store again. They might still have some if anyone’s interested. I’ll post again once I check.

    Comment by Heather on 2/04/11 at 10:36 pm #
  157. #356 Heather,
    I’m interested! Let me know if you find any.

    Kathy in Santa Cruz

    Comment by Kathy on 2/05/11 at 1:04 pm #
  158. #353 About Candycrate.com, it says “coming soon.”
    Don’t know when that was posted.

    The way I feel right now, I’ll be so angry if they do start making the originals, I might not buy them anyway. They don’t care about their customers.

    Comment by Kathy on 2/05/11 at 3:55 pm #
  159. Well, I was cleaning out my storage tote that I keep my candy containers and candy related products in, and I found a heart shaped tin of Necco Sweethearts(the originals) that I bought a few years ago and forgot about. It still unopened in it’s original shrink wrap! I have no idea if they’d be good to eat or not but since I kind of feel like they’re now a rarity, I think I’ll continue to save them. grin

    Comment by gracecarriveau on 2/06/11 at 7:17 am #
  160. For those of you that are fortunate enough to still have bags of the original hearts. If they are hard you can soften them up very nicely by placing them a sealed container with a slice of bread. They will then soften up in a few hours. I wish that we had stores in my area still selling the originals, NECCO sucks for taking away my favorite candy.

    Comment by Terry Pangburn on 2/06/11 at 8:46 am #
  161. I thought you were fine with just the ones I sent raspberry

    Comment by Heather on 2/06/11 at 5:57 pm #
  162. I know I’m a little late on this, but the new sweethearts are HORRIBLE!!! I didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day last year because I got dumped and so I didn’t eat any of my favorite candies, now that they’ve made this change I’m glad I didn’t. I couldn’t finish the box and my mouth is still burning from the chemically feel. The new mouthfeel is OK, but the tooth-breaking crunch is part of my fond childhood memories.
    The first thing I did was fire off an email to Necco about their terrible “new” candy. If they want to have “modern” flavors that’s fine with me, but give classic-lovers a chance to enjoy the real Sweethearts. I’m only 20 and I long for the classic! Anyone know how to get the good ones this year?

    Comment by Sarah on 2/06/11 at 6:32 pm #
  163. I found some at Family Dollar! I bought way too many though so if anyone wants to buy some originals, let me know!! .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

    Comment by Jessica on 2/07/11 at 1:43 pm #
  164. Heather, I thought all you had were opened. I wanted to get unopened because I’m thinking of next year.
    If you have any unopened ones let me know. I kind of worry about the small boxes because they’re not completely sealed. The ones I got from you were fine but I don’t know about a year from now.

    Kathy

    Comment by Kathy on 2/07/11 at 6:26 pm #
  165. I tried the new ones, UG they are gross! What’s with the blue ones? They changed the yellow too.. I miss my old hearts AND the old box! you suck necco!!!

    Comment by Rose on 2/07/11 at 6:57 pm #
  166. I tried each flavor a few times, then threw the whole bag away.  Disgusting.  A work colleague did the same thing, and we’re both desperately looking for the classics.

    Comment by John E on 2/08/11 at 10:45 am #
  167. Hi Cybele,

    I’m a radio producer in Bosotn. Years ago I booked you for Open Source, with Steve Almond.  I hope you are well.

    I’m writing to see if you have interest in joining a show i’m currently producing, The Callie Crossley Show, on Monday, 2/14 to talk about NECCO Sweethearts. this would be from 1:40-2:00 ET.

    Please email me or call 617-300-2461 if this is of interest. All best, Chelsea

    Comment by Chelsea Merz on 2/09/11 at 12:20 pm #
  168. ARG! I can’t believe they took away my hearts. Before I realized there had been an official change, I’d been through every convenience and grocery store looking for them. The new ones are GROSS and the white ones were my favorite!!! I loved that they were a little harder to chew, not breaking my teeth while eating them was part of the enjoyment. I realize I am a quirkier customer when it comes to that candy… but they still make black licorice! BRING THEM BACK! I’ve going through utter withdrawal.

    Comment by Jessie S on 2/11/11 at 6:22 pm #
  169. Kathy, I don’t have any that are unopened. I can check the store to see if they still have any boxes.

    Comment by Heather on 2/12/11 at 11:30 pm #
  170. I sure hope that somebody has sent Necco the link to this blog so they can read all the posts from ALL the unhappy people that want their ORIGINAL conversation hearts back.    I want my favorite holiday candy back…...sniff, sniff.

    Comment by Kathy Temple on 2/13/11 at 12:24 am #
  171. I was so disappointed when my boyfriend brought these home for me! At first I thought he messed up and got Brach’s and I realized they were some weird alternate-universe version of the delicious candy I’ve always loved. Anyway, like everyone else, I think they’re completely terrible. Really bad marketing decision! I’m 25 and these are the only candy I’ve ever liked to eat around Valentine’s Day! My boyfriend and I both grimaced when we tried all the new flavors…they taste like medicine and fake flavorings! Sad…I think I might have to get some Brach’s (we don’t have Dollar Tree stores in Brooklyn).

    Comment by Jenny on 2/13/11 at 1:51 am #
  172. Jenny, it’s too bad NECCO doesn’t read this blog so they could see how many younger people like the old version. They were trying to appeal to the younger generation with that terrible new candy.
    I don’t think anything is going to work except the national media doing a story on this.
    Kathy

    Comment by Kathy on 2/13/11 at 9:06 am #
  173. The store didn’t have any hearts. I do still have some of the old rolls of wafers if anyone is interested.

    Comment by Heather on 2/14/11 at 3:00 pm #
  174. I absolutley 100% HATED these hearts! They are disgusting! I want the originals back! I will NOT buy these again!

    Comment by Tiara on 2/14/11 at 6:23 pm #
  175. Sooooooo disappointment that I wasn’t able to get my favorite Valentine’s candy this year.  I searched and searched and only found the new version.  I did not like them at all.  Maybe with all the negative comments they’re receiving, NECCO will rethink their decision and go back to the old recipe.

    Comment by Cathy on 2/15/11 at 10:07 am #
  176. For all you hardcores out there I HAVE A CASE of the old school AWESOME hearts. And yes they are fresh and crunchy - I am eating them now - who wants some?  E-mail me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) - I think these may be the last on earth - the new ones SUCK!!

    Comment by Tracy Lewis on 2/15/11 at 9:05 pm #
  177. Bring the old hearts back! I miss yellow and white!!

    Comment by Mg on 2/16/11 at 5:09 am #
  178. My daughter and I purchased boxes (notice the plural) of the “new” Sweethearts without noticing the change of flavors.  So, the bottom line evaluation from a 52-year-old (me) AND a 14-year-old (my daughter) was that they were terrible.  We threw away not only the box we had opened, but the others as well.  Couldn’t think of anyone we disliked so much to as inflict that taste on them!

    Comment by Debi on 2/16/11 at 12:59 pm #
  179. Forgot to mention that I did write the company immediately after tasting the horrid little things.  While others received a canned response, I received no reply at all.

    Comment by Debi on 2/16/11 at 1:03 pm #
  180. One of the colors tastes fruity with a hint of shampoo… Blah. I miss the banana ones, they were my favorite, then the strawberry and so on… Oh NECCO, why did you make such a huge mistake?

    Comment by thelonepenguin on 2/17/11 at 10:39 pm #
  181. The candy hearts were well shaped,good flavor.
    some of the printing was blurry,off center to the point of being onthe sides,and some had no printing all.

    Comment by Terry Potts on 2/20/11 at 6:45 pm #
  182. Original Neccos on sale on ebay! http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130489697487

    Comment by Tracy Lewis on 2/21/11 at 11:30 am #
  183. ok Im 27 and I dearly love the little hearts as well as the heart red hots. So being at the store I found a bag of little hearts and one of the large. All excited when I got home (live an hour from any large store), opened the bag to savor my favorite the WHITE heart!!! I only like the white ones, the rest either go in the candy bowl or in the trash. Looking through both bags and NO white ones, I tried one… almost choked on it, both bags went in the trash. Never so disappointed, will not buy anymore. My 5 yo wont even eat them, bc they are nasty!!! The green, sour apple isnt that bad but after eatting one you have a almost hot burning sinsation to your tongue. That is the one I almost choked on… after that NO MORE!

    Comment by Amber on 2/21/11 at 8:29 pm #
  184. It’s very apparent that NECCO does not care about its consumers.  Last year they made a drastic change to a long-loved candy without any advertising of such change.  They changed their packaging to a solid (no window) package so the consumer could not recognize the heart change, and ommitted the company name from the front of the bag and placing it on the back in very small font.  Even their website does not mention the change.  They have a handful of generic letters they use to respond to some (not all) consumer inquiries that do not address any, or all concerns. They have shown us consumers that our opinion doesn’t matter so sending letters has not made an impact on their decision.   

    Last year they promised they would have classic, as well as the newer version to satisfy their consumers.  A promise they fulfilled to meet.

    It’s insulting to all consumers.  I am ashamed to have an American ran and operated business be so deceptive.  Their actions should not be tolerated. 

    To all who read:  From this point on, if you purchase their product and feel disguist like I did, RETURN IT to the store.  Throwing it away will not put much of a dent in their company.  If you return it, they lose money and the stores may acknowledge the consumer dislike and quit ordering as much of their product.

    Comment by cc on 2/22/11 at 10:08 am #
  185. I picked up a bag of Sweethearts at CVS on Valentine’s weekend (2011), excited to have a familiar childhood treat I haven’t had in years. They are, and have always been, a favorite candy of mine. Especially as my Birthday is the day before Valentine’s day, and just about everything Valentine’s inevitably means “BIRTHDAY TIME!” now.

    Admittedly, I had to examine the package closely in the store to make sure I was getting what I thought I was. I was surprised not to see NECCO’s logo on the front of the package, but found their name on the back.

    When I got home I cuddled up on the sofa with my bag of Sweethearts and pulled it open, only to be smacked in the face by a waft of tangy chemical. Cautiously I stuck my hand in the bag and popped a few of the too-bright hearts in my mouth, then nearly spat them back out again. I was shocked to find the flavor had changed, and especially shocked that it was SO TERRIBLE. Where had my beloved Sweethearts gone?!

    I forged ahead with a few handfuls and eventually gave up. I placed them in a plastic container for later (if ever!). When I got home from a trip a few days ago I pulled out the container and nearly fainted from the obnoxious smell. I put one in my mouth, spit it out in shock (again), and finally binned the rest of the (nearly full) bag.

    I can hardly believe NECCO would change a tried and true formula like that. I miss the candy that quintessentially REPRESENTS Valentine’s day (and my Birthday!). What an utter shame!!! :(

    Comment by Sarah on 2/22/11 at 8:47 pm #
  186. Let’s all say our prayers that Necco has heard our pleas over the past two years.  Nothing would be greater than to have our original conversation hearts back in 2012 smile

    Comment by Kathy on 2/23/11 at 12:28 am #
  187. These new versions are disgusting—the previous flavors were all delicious (though the yellow was my least favorite).  I always looked forward to Sweethearts around Valentines Day but now… I just don’t like them *cry*.  Luckily for me my sister managed to get some of the old flavor from one of her classmates and then she shared them—which was nice.  This blog was written in 2010 and now it’s 2011 and, so I’ve heard, even Dollar Tree has the new kind *cry*. 

    As a message to anyone from Necco that reads this, PLEASE bring back the old flavors! I’m not the only one who thinks this—my friends and my family agree with me!!!

    Comment by Tsuki~~ on 2/25/11 at 12:27 pm #
  188. We will not purchase again the new worse Sweethearts. Might try the real “original” by NECCO next year. Did not see them this year.

    Prefer original NECCO Wafer and want no changes in either products flavors, colors, or ingredients. Did not have your complete mailing address; just New England Confecttionery Co. Revere, MA 02151. At least they are still made in U.S.A.

    Both my husband and I feel this way and we are in our 60’s. Would not give them to children of any age !

    Longingly,
    Kay Dugger

    Comment by Kay Dugger on 3/09/11 at 12:42 pm #
  189. OK, it’s been forever since this conversation, but I just saw a show about the “new” flavors, and just wanted to reiterate that I still can’t stand them!

    Comment by BetsyE on 3/14/11 at 6:07 pm #
  190. I used to look forward to Valentines day, we would buy several boxes to have around. Not any more, the new flavors are awful. Please change them back!

    Comment by Joe on 7/02/11 at 11:01 am #
  191. FYI - I wrote to NECCO and complained about the new flavours and was given this response:

    “I was told by the production manager that next Valentines Season they are bringing back the old original/traditional flavors on the valentine conversation sweethearts.  Thank you.

    Fran

    Consumer Relations”

    Comment by Nate on 8/24/11 at 1:40 pm #
  192. I wrote to NECCO after I heard they were going back to the old wafer formula.  Word is they will also come out with the old Candy heart formula this Feb 2011 as well. see below reply:

    From: Contact Us [mailto:In_fo@Necco.com]
    Sent: Monday, October 31, 2011 10:12 AM
    To: xxxxxxx Subject: RE: Complaints

    Thank you for your interest in our NECCO wafer products.  For your information, for a few years we were producing the all natural NECCO wafer (7 assorted flavors and the mixed chocolate roll), but the Old Assorted and Chocolate Wafers with the original formula and colors returned this summer.  Assorted 8 flavors include: Orange, Lemon, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Lime, Clove, Licorice, and Wintergreen (the assorted rolls are randomly sorted).  Our Chocolate rolls will have the single chocolate flavor.  The shelf life for both of these products is 24 months from production date, so you may see both type of each product in stores at this time.  The decision to change back to the original formula was made by upper management due to sales and consumer feedback. I was told by the production manager that next Valentines Season they are bringing back the old original/traditional flavors on the valentine conversation sweethearts.  Some of our candy products are available at Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Cracker Barrel, Family Dollar Stores, Cumberland Farms and some local grocery and candy stores.  You could check the website http://www.neccostore.com which offers some of our candy products for online sale.  Thank you.

    Fran
    Consumer Relations

    Comment by Susan on 10/31/11 at 5:26 pm #
  193. That is good news, if it’s true! I sure hope they are bringing the hearts back.

    Comment by Kathy Vance on 10/31/11 at 6:11 pm #
  194. Susan, I forgot to say thanks for letting us know.
    Thanks!

    Comment by Kathy Vance on 10/31/11 at 6:12 pm #
  195. Cybele, I thought you might want to know that [mysweethearts dot com] is now a page trying to trick visitors into giving out their email addresses and/or agreeing to “promotional” offers by dangling the carrot of a “free” iPad or thousand-dollar gift card they’ve “won” by answering a one-question survey. Making your reference text only, disabling the link, would probably suffice (and reduce their SEO) ...but perhaps you might also want to update the post again to tell visitors about the further effrontery of Necco’s apparently selling or leasing the site advertised on their products to a shady scamvertiser.

    Also, the link to the Adweek interview didn’t work for me—though that may just be my browser and/or add-on settings—but was able to find the article easily by searching for “Necco sweethearts” from the Adweek homepage. If it isn’t just me, and they changed the URL on you, you might want to update that link, too.

    For what it’s worth, the Conversation Hearts were never my favorites, but I’ve always been fond of Necco Wafers, with their thinner, more-easily-bitten form and greater range of flavors. Yes, I even like the black licorice ones. Haven’t had any in quite a while—I don’t eat candy all that often anymore, aside from seasonal splurges—but reading about this fiasco has me craving them now! Off to a candy-nostalgia site to find some…

    Comment by a Jack on 11/11/11 at 8:54 pm #
  196. This candy was the only thing I would look forward to right after Christmas but since you have changed the flavor I can’t stand them anymore. Why can’t you offer the old fashioned ones and the new flavors. Let the public choose?? It’s like Coke making the “new” coke…..just didnt’ workout! Why change something that isn’t broken to start with!!!!

    Comment by Robin Harrelson on 1/11/12 at 1:32 pm #
  197. Has anyone found the old flavors yet this year? I have only seen the lousy, no good, rotten, distasteful, yucky, crappy new ones in stores so far!

    Comment by Terry Pangburn on 1/11/12 at 3:08 pm #
  198. No, I have been looking everywhere and nothing. I even checked their website and there’s no option to buy them. I think whoever was told they were coming back this year, was given false information. I am heart broken :-( I want my favorite valentines candy back.

    Comment by Jessica on 1/11/12 at 4:55 pm #
  199. http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductSearchResultsView?N=207&Nty=1&storeId=10052&langId;=-1&catalogId=10002&Ntx=mode+MatchAllPartial&fromProductSearch=true&Ntt=conversation+hearts

    Comment by peter rochester, ny on 1/12/12 at 7:01 am #
  200. Still heartbroken :(

    Comment by Julie on 1/12/12 at 11:21 pm #
  201. More comments! This is page 2 of 3 pages  < 1 2 3 > 

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