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sweethearts

In case you missed it, Sunday is Valentine’s Day. And, of course, it wouldn’t be the same without Sweethearts — you know, those little heart-shaped candies with phrases like “LETS KISS” and “MY BABY.” Sweethearts are about as American as apple pie, at least in terms of tradition. But when it comes to flavor, the comparison ends for some.

“I would describe the taste to be, uh, like a delicious chalk,” customer Keith Luke at the Old Port Candy Co. in Portland, Maine, says.

Another customer, Jonah Spiegel agrees. “They’re kind of weird-tasting,” he says.

“Like medicine,” Spiegel’s mother, Sarah, adds. “They kind of taste like Pepto-Bismol a little bit.”

But for the first time in 145 years, the company that makes Sweethearts has revamped the original recipe. The new candies have brighter colors, bolder flavors and more current expressions.

It’s a bold move for the Necco company, because Sweethearts are the No. 1-selling nonchocolate Valentine’s Day candy. The factory stamps and prints about 6 billion Sweethearts a year.

“The original Sweethearts were a bit chalky,” Vice President Dave Smith says. “Some people really like eating chalky, but the idea is that the new flavors and textures are much more candy-like, and you can enjoy them more because they taste a little better.”

Out are banana and wintergreen. In are green apple and blue raspberry. And along with the new flavors, Necco is printing updated sayings on the Sweethearts, all chosen from a consumer contest. The top picks? “TWEET ME” and “TEXT ME.”

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Article courtesy npr.org

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