Sweethearts are the original candy hearts with a message and have been a Valentine's Day fixture for generations. These cute and light-hearted treats are a fun way to let friends, family and loved ones to know your care. Let the hearts do the talking for you!
Sweethearts come in seven flavors and colors and stand out from the pack with iconic sayings like: "Be Mine,” "Love Bug," and "Cutie Pie." Eight billion of these famous hearts are made annually to keep up with demand. This makes Sweethearts the most popular non-chocolate Valentine's Day candy!
In addition, these Valentine hearts are a fun way to decorate baked goods or almost any Valentine craft!
History of Sweethearts Candies
Sweethearts have been a beloved childhood staple for many generations. Each year about eight billion hearts are produced to keep up with the passionate demand for this classic Valentine candy.
Given its ever-growing popularity, it's hard to believe that the concept behind today's Sweethearts was created about the time Abraham Lincoln was President! The conversation hearts of the 1860s, Mottoes, seemed to have come into prominence during the time when "cockles", a small crisp candy made of sugar and flour formed in the shape of a cockle or scallop shell, were a favorite on the market. The early cockles contained mottoes that were printed on thin colored paper and rolled up inside.
In the 1860s, Daniel Chase, the brother of NECCO's founding father, Oliver Chase, began printing sayings on candy. He experimented first with hand tools and then devised a machine in which a felt roller pad moistened with red vegetable coloring pressed against the die. The die printed the words on the lozenge and the double purpose machine cut the lozenges.
Grown-ups were entertained and passed the hearts around at parties. Sometimes used for weddings, lozenges with humorously long-winded prophecies included "Married in satin, Love will not be lasting," "Married in Pink, He will take to drink" and "Married in white, You have chosen right."
The present day Sweethearts date back to 1902. Back then, the manufacturer also produced candy in other various shapes such as postcards, baseballs, horseshoes and watches.
While today's sayings are on average much shorter, some of the original sayings are still in rotation including "Be Mine," "Be Good," "Be True," and "Kiss Me."
In the early 1990s, Sweethearts began an initiative to update the sayings each year, retiring some while adding others. The first new phrase, "Fax Me," gained a lot of attention from Sweetheart fans. Following this notable effort, each year Sweethearts receives hundreds of suggestions from romantics, candy lovers and school kids. From old tech, "Call Me" to new tech, "Text Me," Sweethearts phrases have reflected eras throughout history.
While most people love to eat them, Sweethearts have also been used in other ingenious ways over the years: to propose marriage, to teach children reading, to decorate cakes and to use as borders for picture frames. The uses for Sweethearts are seemingly endless!