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Let’s Talk About Conversation Hearts

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They’ve been around since the Civil War and every Valentine’s Day the company that makes them introduces new messages on them.  They’re the Sweethearts Candy Conversation Hearts made by NECCO – an abbreviation for New England Candy Company.  As new messages are introduced each year some are eliminated, sometimes temporarily and brought back later.  Some messages just fade into history.

There are about 100 different messages printed on those tiny candies.  Some have been used since the candies were first introduced like “Kiss Me”, “Sweet Talk’ and “Be Mine”.  Some of the newer messages include “Tweet Me”, “Text Me” and “You Rock”.   “Fax Me” is one that’s gone for good.

NECCO says they spend a lot of times deciding on the right messages to include.  They can’t be offensive or too wordy.  They do come in two sizes – the standard ½ inch and the larger ¾ inch but space is an issue.  For the smaller candies they try to stick to a message with no more than two words each with four letters.  For the larger ones they go with two words with six letters each.  Sometimes they use abbreviations like the letter “U’ for “YOU” or the number “2” for “TO”.

A couple of years ago NECCO introduced some new flavors including strawberry, green apple, lemon, grape, orange, and blue raspberry.

They’re made of 90% sugar, plus corn syrup, gelatin, gums and artificial colors and flavors.

8 billion Conversation Hearts are sold in a six-week period before Valentine’s Day.  The company manufacturers 100,000 pounds every day to meet the demand.

The company makes custom-made Conversation Hearts, but you have to buy a complete run.
That’s 1.7-million of them.  You’ve got plenty of time to eat ‘em though.  They’re guaranteed to last five years.


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