This Was The Most Popular Valentine's Day Candy In 2021

Valentine's Day is incomplete without thoughtful gifts like flowers and a box of chocolates as you spend quality time with your loved ones. The tradition of giving chocolates in heart-shaped boxes can be traced all the way back to 1861. Entrepreneur Richard Cadbury was the son of John Cadbury, founder of the Cadbury candy company. Richard made the decision to sell chocolates in boxes shaped like hearts especially for Valentine's Day, per Good Housekeeping. The idea was, of course, a huge success and remains popular to this day as customers continue to purchase chocolates in seasonal packaging to celebrate the special day every year.

One of the concepts that left an impression on candy lovers? Conversation Hearts, candies manufactured by Necco that had "sweet printed messages" on them and were so successful that the company produced around 8 billion boxes of the treats every year, with messages such as "True Love" and "You Rock." Other companies launched special candies for Valentine's Day, such as Reese's Peanut Butter Hearts, and also promoted classic options such as Hershey's Kisses (via The Daily Meal). 

That said, there was one brand that stood out among its competitors last year and remained a favorite among candy enthusiasts.

It was an impressive comeback

According to The Washington Post, Sweathearts Conversation Hearts candy suffered a huge blow after Necco experienced bankruptcy in 2018 and sold off its brands at an auction. Sweethearts' new owner, Spangler, couldn't produce the candy in time for Valentine's Day 2019 and struggled to impress customers the next year as well (via The Candy Store). Unfortunately, several candies ended up having blurry words on them instead of sweet messages or were simply blank (which was later attributed to a printing hiccup).

Things finally looked up for the brand in 2021 as it successfully re-introduced the public to Sweethearts Conversations Hearts candy with new messages that struck a chord with its customers. People started buying the candy in large numbers instead of opting for the other popular option: heart-shaped boxes of chocolate. Per Salon, the candy's return to store shelves was great news for customers who'd been longing to buy a box of Conversation Hearts with adorable messages such as "At Last," "I'm Yours," and "Sugar Sugar."

A spokesperson from Spangler, Diana Moore Eschhofen, said, "...We came up with the idea to create sayings inspired by our favorite heart-themed songs over the decades, because what better way to bring a smile to someone's face than being reminded of a melody" (via Salon). The company plans to celebrate Valentine's Day with a bang in 2022 and has announced on its website that it will be adding "Words of Encouragement" with motivational messages such as "Way 2 Go," and "Crush it."