Naperville Business Lawyer on Valentine’s Day Without Iconic Candy

candy, Naperville business lawyerAs a business law attorney, I recognize that very few companies last forever. Even the most successful businesses with long and storied histories can reach a point where continuing operations might no longer be viable. Of course, when this happens to companies behind brands that are loved by the public, consumers are often left wondering how and why such a thing could occur.

As we approach Valentine’s Day this year, people are starting to realize that a once-favorite candy is not on store shelves. For many, Sweethearts conversation hearts have been a staple of Valentine’s Day confections, but the company that now owns the Sweethearts brand says that there was not enough time to produce the popular candies in time for this year’s holiday.

A Romantic History

Sweethearts were first produced in 1866 when a man named Daniel Chase designed a machine that printed messages on wafer candies. In 1901, the operation was purchased by the New England Confectionery Company—better known as “Necco.” Necco continued producing the message-bearing hearts through last July when the company suddenly announced that it was closing and selling off the various brands that it owned.

The Sweethearts brand was first bought by an investment group, then by Spangler Candy Company in September. Unfortunately for nostalgic consumers, there was simply not enough time for Spangler to produce the volume of Sweethearts candies needed for Valentine’s Day 2019. In a typical year, Necco spent about 11 months making some 8 billion candy hearts—nearly all of which are sold in the six weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day. Spangler has announced that it plans to have the candies back on shelves for next year.

Similar Products Are Available

For most people, Sweethearts are the original message-bearing candy hearts. Phrases like “kiss me,” “be mine,” and “love you” were among the first messages, but modern additions like “email me” and “text me” have been well-received by fans.

In the wake of the news that Sweethearts will not be available this year, other candy companies have been quick to point out that they make conversation hearts too. Ferrara Candy Company in Oak Brook, for example, produces message-bearing hearts under the Brach’s brand. There are also conversation hearts available under the Sour Patch Kids brand produced by Mondelez International, as well as many other regional and local candy makers. These brands are hoping to gain a substantial share of the candy hearts market while Spangler gets ready to start producing Sweethearts for Valentine’s Day 2020.

A DuPage County Business Lawyer Can Help

If you are considering selling off a division of your company or a brand that you have created, it is important to work with an experienced Naperville business law attorney. Call 630-756-1160 to schedule a confidential consultation with a member of our team today. We will help you explore your options and make the best decisions for the future of your business.


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