The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


NECCO sweetens Valentine’s Day

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Sweethearts can be customized. (Courtesy of


Sweet Valentine’s Day: adored by some and loathed by others. But the one thing most people can agree to love are the candy and chocolates.

Since its first appearance in 1866, Sweetheart candies have become one of the top selling candies during Valentine’s Day. Sweethearts usually sell out within six weeks of their debut on Jan. 1 each year.

The original company who created the small conversation hearts, the New England Confectionery Company (NECCO), makes the candy from late February through January of the following year.

After almost 12 months of production and 8 billion candy pieces, the hearts don’t last long on the shelves and sell more than 100,000 pounds per day.

Initially produced on the world’s first patented candy production machine, Sweethearts have come a long way. New sayings like “Tweet Me” replace outdated sayings like “Fax Me” or “Page Me.”

A short list of some retired yet unique sayings from different decades is: “Love Bug,” “Let’s Get Busy,” “Get My Drift,” “URA Tiger,” and “Dig Me.”

Originally the sayings were much longer with phrases like, “Married in white, you have chosen right” and “Married in satin, love will not be lasting.”

Once the hearts became more popular, NECCO decided to keep the sayings trendy and short.

Within the last decade, Sweethearts has started sporting phrases that refer to popular movies or shows.

The saying “Bite Me” was introduced around the same time the Twilight saga grew in tremendous popularity.

Daniel Chase invented the candy hearts after his brother Oliver Chase, founder of NECCO, made the candy lozenges famous.

Chase sold small scallop-shaped candies with little sayings printed on paper tucked inside the wrapping of the candy, similar to fortune cookies. These scallop-shaped candies were called Cockles and were made on the first ever candy production machine patented by Oliver himself.

Daniel devised a way to print the sayings directly on the candy and soon the scallop shapes were replaced with hearts and “Cockles” became Sweethearts.

In an interview with Time Magazine, NECCO spokesmen explained the candy making process and how the candies are not baked but air dried in a drying tunnel for 30 minutes after the dough is rolled, printed on and cut into heart shapes.

NECCO then uses a machine called the rocket launcher, which “jumbles them together so that any one box doesn’t have hearts of all one color or expression.”

NECCO now offers En Espanol, Dazzled Tart, Sugar Free, Chocolate Sweetheart boxes and customized hearts for personal messages.

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