What’s wrong with this picture: Unless found in limited supply online, Sweethearts Conversation Hearts are missing in action at retail during the Valentine’s 2019 season. It’s a dramatic loss, as the brand happens to be the top Valentine's choice across more than 20 U.S. states.
Sweethearts Conversation Hearts—miniature hearts with cute sayings on them—were the most popular option for Valentine’s in 2018, according to Los Angeles-based online marketer and candy-trend tracker CandyStore.com.
Sweethearts was poised to regain the mantle in 2019, but the brand is on a one-year Valentine’s hiatus, providing other popular options a chance to assume the crown.
Sweethearts, a longtime brand under New England Confectionery Co. (Necco), saw its fortunes change when Necco was sold in 2018. Its factory was shuttered last summer, and Necco was eventually acquired at auction by Round Hill Investments, which sold the Sweethearts brand to Spangler Candy Co. last fall.
In a statement, Kirk Vashaw, CEO of Spangler Candy, said, “We are looking forward to announcing the relaunch of Sweethearts for the 2020 Valentine’s Day season.”
CandyStore.com estimates that holiday sales will generate more than $1.8 billion this year. Using sales data from the past 11 seasons from its online bulk candy store and industry partners, CandyStore.com compiled sales data to determine the most popular Valentine’s candy.
Read on for a state-by-state breakout of the most popular options, along with one potential alternative that could keep the "conversation" going.