This week’s creative challenge is to design a type of candy that can also deliver a short message.
Oldest Candy Companies in America & Popular Valentine's Candies – Cozy Rainbow Podcast
Who Invented Conversation Hearts?
Conversation hearts are small heart-shaped candies that have a message on the front. Conversation hearts were invented by one of America’s oldest candy companies, Necco.
NECCO stands for the New England Confectionary Company. Necco also created candy buttons, a colorful button-shaped candy stuck to a sheet of paper.
Conversation hearts were originally a type of lozenge candy. Lozenges were often used for medicinal purposes, like a cough drop.
A business owner named Oliver Chase invented the machines to manufacture the candies in 1847.
Originally, the candies were made to be tiny shells with a message inside, similar to a fortune cookie. Today, the most popular conversation heart message is “Marry Me.” The small messages written on conversation hearts have changed over the years, with messages like:
Conversation hearts are also made in Spanish. “Te amo” means “I love you.” Conversation hearts make up 40% of Valentine’s day candy sales. Second place to chocolate.
In 2022, Sweethearts started printing “Words of Encouragement” on their candy hearts, such as:
Proud of U
Go 4 It
Milton Hershey, another candy businessman, opened The Hershey Chocolate Company in 1894.
The H.B. Reese Candy Company opened in 1928 selling peanut butter cups. Before H.B. Reese opened up his own company, he worked for the Hershey Chocolate Company. Later on in 1963 after H.B. Reese died, the Hershey Chocolate Company bought Reese’s Candy Company.