171 Years Later, Why Necco Wafers are Becoming America's Most Sought-After Candy
Necco Wafers are the last candy anybody expected to experience a late-in-life renaissance. Despite a taste many consumers liken to "drywall," the 171-year-old candy is now more popular than ever. The reason? The iconic colored wafers might not be long for this earth.
According to the Wall Street Journal, last month, the Massachusetts-based New England Confectionery Co.—the oldest continually operated candy maker in the U.S.—announced that if it didn't find a new owner, it would be forced to close operations in May.
Since the news of the impending closure broke, candy stores around the world have seen sales skyrocket. Spokeswoman Clair Robins told WSJ that CandyStore.com has seen Necco products sales increase by 50%. "The sales numbers don't lie—people are rushing to stockpile them like they're the next cryptocurrency," Robins added.
Times have certainly changed since New England Confectionery Co. first started churning out its decidedly chalky treats, but their products never have. Necco Wafers are still made with the same mix of sugar, corn syrup, gelatins, gums, colorings and flavorings the company has been using since 1847—more than a decade before the Civil War began. Currently, the company produces about four billion each year.
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And Necco Wafers aren't the only nostalgia-covered sweets New England Confectionery Co. makes. They're also behind Mary Janes, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Clark Bars and Sweethearts, the popular heart-shaped Valentine's Day candies.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, stock up on these vintage favorites while you can!