Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. Don’t have a lot cash to buy your sweetie something extravagant? One of the best ways to say, “I love you,” is giving candy that can say it for you! The conversation candy hearts that fill the stores with sayings like, “Be Mine,” “Kiss Me,” and Be True,” have been around for 145 years!

History of Conversation Hearts

Sold during the Civil War and originally named “motto hearts,” the original candies, called cockles, were made of sugar and flour. The cockles contained sayings that were printed on thin paper and rolled inside a folded, shell shape candy—like a fortune cookie.

In the 1860s, Daniel Chase, brother of The New England Confectionary Company (NECCO) founder, created the bright idea of printing words directly on the candy! He also invented a machine that not only pressed red vegetable coloring on the candy dough and but cut the heart shapes, too. The candy quickly became a hit, especially the wedding versions that had sayings like, “Married in white, you have chosen right,” and “Married in satin, love will not be lasting.” The conversation hearts that we love today date back to 1902, when NECCO also printed sayings on candies shaped like baseballs, horseshoes, watches and postcards.

The candy is still a hit with adults and children alike, but as time updates, so does the lexicon. Instead of “Hug Me,” and “Be Mine,” Valentines are giving their loved ones candies with sayings that read, “Text Me,” “Email Me,” and “Tweet Me.”

Fun Facts About Conversation Hearts

  • NECCO makes more than 8 billion conversation hearts every year to keep up with the demand.
  • Every day between January 1 and Valentine’s Day, around 100,000 lbs. of conversation hearts are sold.
  • Conversation hearts are the best-selling Valentine’s Day candy.
  • In 2010, the company rid all of the sayings for conversation hearts and created a new line with sayings selected by the public.
  • The recent popular phrases are “Tweet Me,” “Text Me,” “You Rock,” “Love Bug,” “Soul Mate,” and “Me + You.”
  • If you want your hearts custom made, you must purchase a full production run (1.7 million hearts!)

Tell your sweetie how you truly feel this year by giving them Conversation Candy Hearts!