More than eight billion (some 13 million pounds) of the little hearts are sold in the six weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day. Sweethearts make up 40 percent of the Valentine candy market, just behind chocolate, according to Aimee Scott, Necco’s marketing director.
One of America’s oldest candy companies, Necco was founded in 1847 in Boston by Englishman Oliver Chase, who got the business off to a good start by inventing devices that cut candy lozenges and pulverized sugar. Necco first sold confections similar to Sweethearts, but in the shape of scallop shells.
Sweethearts are still evolving every year. Smithsonian magazine has all kinds of interesting facts about Sweethearts. Link
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