Conversation Hearts Get Fresh Start, Still Likely to Sit on Shelf and Get Stale

I’m a word-nerd with a wicked sweet tooth, so recent changes to the classic recipe of Sweethearts, those chalky but charming confections of elocution, has got me in something of a tizzy. (Usually the tizzy comes from eating six boxes in a sitting, but I don’t do that til they go 75%-off at the drug store the week after Valentine’s Day.)

The food blog of the Chicago Tribune tells us that the attack comes on two fronts, text and taste:

First, the messages. Classic sayings were thrown out. The new top 10 list (chosen in an online contest) includes the tech-flavored as well as the return of some historic love notes:

Tweet Me, Text Me, You Rock, Soul Mate, Love Bug, Me + You, Puppy Love, Sweet Love, Sweet Pea, Love Me

Corny or cute, you decide. But what has us in a sugar-snit are the flavor changes. NECCO has been rewriting the love messages for years, but the new flavors come as a shock. Here they are, along with our decidely biased reviews:

Green apple: Too tart
Blue raspberry: What does that even mean? And, yuck.
Strawberry: Like very bad strawberry pie with that artificial goop on top.
Lemon: Tastes like Lemonheads, which we love.
Grape: Grape soda, but not our favorite.
Orange: Like Bayer Aspirin for children.

As you can imagine, the idea of a Sweetheart that says “Tweet Me” has me gagging almost as much as the Green Apple is going to. I mean, does that even make sense? Are people flirting via Twitter now? God help us.

The evolution of the conversation heart to reflect current memes (or whatever we called memes before we had that word) dates back to the early 1990s, according to Necco, when

New England Confectionery Company’s Vice President Walter Marshall decided to update the sayings each year and retire some. His first –Fax Me–created a lot of attention from Sweetheart fans. As a result, each year we receive hundreds of suggestions from romantics, candy lovers and school kids for new sayings. From old tech, “Call Me” to new tech, “E-mail Me,” Sweethearts® keep the pulse on the heartbeat of the nation.

Well this year they decided to turn copywriting over to the public, letting America tell them “how they express their love.” And again I say: God help us.

Necco also tells us that the new Sweethearts have been reformulated to be “softer and more fun to eat.” This, if nothing else, will probably come as good news to receivers of the stubborn little nuggets. But as someone who actually likes their near-tastelessness and cement consistency, and who has always gone out to get them for herself (sad on so many levels, let’s please move on), I fear this might be the worst Valentine’s Day yet.

@homealone wanting #candy

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2 responses to “Conversation Hearts Get Fresh Start, Still Likely to Sit on Shelf and Get Stale

  1. No, you cannot flirt over twitter. Your clever flirty messages would be sent to all of your friends as would any responses.

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