Necco Wafers have been around since 1847. So when news broke that the factory that makes the classic candy, the New England Confectionary Company (Necco), was set to shut down, fans of the candy wafers feared this meant the end of the end of their beloved treats. But now, consumers may be in luck because Necco has been sold to the Ohio-based Spangler Candy Company for $18.8 million.
Founded in 1906, Spangler is a family-created company that makes candies such as Dum-Dums and Circus Peanuts. The sale comes less than two months after Necco filed for bankruptcy.
In addition to Necco Wafers, Necco also manufactures other products, including Mary Janes, Clark Bars and Sweethearts, the iconic candy hearts that bear messages like “Be mine” and “Kiss Me.”
Although detractors say Necco Wafers’ distinctive chalky texture make them undesirable, the candy has a cult-like following of ardent fans, and many have taken to the internet with the plea to #savenecco, as in this Instagram post by user @teachafteradmin:
“Today alone we probably sold 30 cases,” Jon Prince, who runs the online retailer Candyfavorites.com, told NPR of the rush that ensued when people realized the company might fold. One person wanted to buy the site’s entire inventory. “And the person actually started to cry and they said they couldn’t imagine a world without their Necco wafers,” said Prince.
Although it’s unclear what the ultimate fate of the wafers will be, many are hoping the candy will be given a second chance. But while Necco may have the support of their dedicated and loyal base, Steve Almond, author of “Candyfreak,” a book about the candy industry in the United States, warns that may not be enough to save the floundering candies.
“The story of Necco is in some ways the story of American commerce and American culture,” Almond told USA Today. “As sentimental as we might be about Necco Wafers, unless tons of people buy them, they’re going to struggle. This is how capitalism works.”
Are you hoping Necco Wafers make a comeback?