Last year, I mourned the loss of my favorite hot drink, Postum. Nestle stopped production based on "lack of sales." I guess the Mormon population of the world can't support the sales on a non-coffee coffee substitute. Now, 2010 brings the demise of another favorite: Necco Sweetheart valentine heart candies. Oh, you may say you see those Sweetheart boxes all over the place right now. Well, we bought one of the bags of mini-hearts a few weeks ago. I was so excited to bring home our favorite winter candy that you can only get from mid-January through Valentine's Day. But we were all shocked by the taste. It looked like the same candy, but it sure didn't taste like the same candy. So I have been hunting at every retail store in the Valentine's section to find my regular Necco Sweethearts. We couldn't find the real ones anywhere--with the Necco name on the front. I even checked the Necco website back in mid-January, which boasted that their candy recipe hadn't changed in 145 years. Huh? So, after all my hunting, I checked on-line one more time this weekend and found that Necco was just a little slow to update their website. Apparently, they not only changed the recipe, they changed the color and the texture! They are now softer and have fruity new flavors. The website says the new candies are "more fun to eat." Well, I immediately had to send off an email, telling them exactly what I thought of their new changes. It's like the New Coke fiasco, I told them. We want our Classic Sweethearts back. I even threatened never to buy their product again if they didn't change it back (and I won't because who wants candy that taste like cough medicine?!)
Well, this morning I got a response. The nice PR lady told me that change is always hard and that they were just responding to the requests they've had over the years for softer, more fruity tasting candy. (I think it's just to save money on ingredients.) They also made the boxes smaller for tiny little hands to open.(Saving money on packaging, I'll bet.) She did ask me to stick with them through this (ha!) and to visit their website for craft and recipe ideas. (Sigh.) The only good thing to come of the email was that she told me where to buy the leftovers that they are unloading at all the discount stores (Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Family Dollar, 99 Cent Only, Freds, Odd Lots, Wakefern, and Sav A Lot.) So I stopped in at the Dollar Tree when I was out this morning. I bought 10 of those packages of 4 boxes each--25 cents each just like when I was a kid. But that is only 4 boxes per person, and then they are gone forever. It's a sad, sad day.
P.S. The picture, by the way, is of the lamo-new box and not the old box. Sigh.