BRYAN, OHIO — Spangler Candy Co. has acquired the Sweethearts and Necco brands, both over 100 years old, the Bryan-based company said Sept. 21. Spangler in May originally made a winning bid for the bankrupt New England Confectionery Co., which owned the two brands, but that deal fell through.
Necco wafers date to 1847 when Oliver Chase, an English immigrant, invented a lozenge-cutting machine that produced the wafers. Sweethearts, created in 1901, are heart-shaped candies with messages such as “Be Mine,” “Miss You” and “Love Me.”
“There are a lot of manufacturing challenges and unanswered questions at this point, and we want to make sure these brands meet consumer expectations when they re-enter the market,” said Kirk Vashaw, chairman and chief executive officer of Spangler Candy Co. “We look forward to announcing the Sweethearts relaunch for the 2020 Valentine season and hope to reintroduce Necco Wafers to the marketplace in 2019. Sweethearts and Necco wafers are iconic brands with rich hundred-year-plus histories. These are perfect additions to our portfolio of traditional candies.”
Spangler Candy Co., a family-owned private company, began making candy in 1906. Products include Dum Dums, Spangler candy canes and circus peanuts.
“The combination of Dum Dums, candy canes, Sweethearts and Necco wafers will make Spangler a stronger company within the global confectionery market and will be a catalyst for growth,” Mr. Vashaw said.
Spangler Candy Co. also has purchased a 20-acre campus adjacent to its land and owned by New Era Ohio, L.L.C. Spangler plans to renovate the campus, providing more room for warehouse space and future expansion.
After Spangler’s deal for the New England Confectionery Co. fell through, Round Hill Investments, L.L.C., owned by C. Dean Metropoulos and his sons Evan and Daren, bought Necco on May 31. Round Hill Investments in late July then shut down the New England Confectionery Co. plant in Revere, Mass., and sold the company to an undisclosed buyer.
Spangler did not name the company that sold the Sweethearts and Necco brands to it. Union Confectionery Machinery, Harrison, N.Y., is scheduled to represent the undisclosed company in an auction Sept. 26-28 in Revere for certain brands and equipment of the New England Confectionery Co. that have not been sold already.