New England Confectionery Company, or NECCO, has been producing candy sweethearts for more than 100 years. NECCO spends most of the year gearing up for Valentine’s Day. Every year, the company sells about 2 billion candy hearts.
CEO Michael McGee took a break to talk to us about the so-called conversation hearts.
“There’s a lot of emotion – emotional heritage tied up in our product. These are traditions that are very much passed down,” he says. “I clearly remember telling my first childhood crush how much I love them with a sweetheart.”
McGee says the company stays relevant by keeping up with the jargon of the times. This year’s box of sweethearts will have messages that include “TEXT ME,” “#LOVE” and “BFF.”