The latest edition of the New England Confectionery Company’s (NECCO) Sweethearts® Brand Conversation Hearts is to contain fashion-oriented sayings, the company revealed yesterday [Wednesday].
The sweets are embossed with a series of amorous tag lines designed to woo sweathearts, messages which change every year. For 2002, NECCO revealed that the emphasis is on fashion, with phrases such as “LOOK GOOD”, “IN STYLE”, “VOGUE” or “TRES CHIC”.
Tongue-tied consumers, say the company, “can also suggest that a lover “DRESS UP” for that special Valentine’s Day date or emphasize that they think their sweetie is a “DIVA”.”
Lory Zimbalatti, NECCO’s Marketing Manager, explained the decision to focus on fashion: “Telling someone you think they look great can be a wonderful first step toward romance”
Four more sayings have been added to the sweets for 2002, including “THAT SMILE”, “TWO HEARTS”, “URA QT” and “WHAT’S UP”, which was chosen from among letters received at NECCo from school children. Zimbalatti commented: “We receive hundreds of letters each year from school children, and we love getting input from this young audience. Hearing their ideas for sayings helps us assure that Sweethearts always offer something to please the next generation.”
The concept of Conversation Motto Hearts dates from the late 1860s, when printed sayings on coloured paper were placed in “Cockles”, small crisp candies formed in the shape of a scalloped shell. The Chase brothers, who founded NECCO in 1847, invented the process by which sayings could be printed directly onto candy and the modern format of Conversation Hearts dates back to the early 1900’s. Among the original sayings that are still included on the sweets are “Be Mine”, “Be Good”, “Be True”, “Kiss Me”, and “Sweet Talk”.
NECCO currently operates four plants, in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Louisiana. Between late February and mid January, production at three of these plants is dedicated to producing enough Sweethearts to meet the huge demand generated by Valentine’s Day.