NECCO introduced a Twitter promotion that allows consumers to personalize Sweetheart candies. Consumers send their personalized tweet from a dedicated website and then they receive a digital image of the candy printed with the message, which can be ordered in one-pound bags for $29.99. The company is also offering 14 boxes of four one-half ounce solid gold Sweethearts for $19,995.
Aimee Scott, marketing director for The New England Confectionery Co., which began making Sweethearts in 1902, said the company produces as many as 14 million pounds of the heart-shaped candies a year. "We use the same process that we always have," she said, explaining the messages are made with red ink, using "an old-fashioned print plate with letters."
Jackie Hague, who joined the New England Confectionery Co. as marketing vice president in 2008, expanded the appeal of its message-printed Sweethearts candy to a younger audience beyond Valentine's Day. She created custom products based on the "Twilight" movies and Memorial Day, and asked consumers to suggest phrases to be printed on the candies.
New England Confectionery Co. is looking beyond Valentine's Day to capitalize on its Sweethearts. For example, it will introduce a "Red, White and Blue" theme around Memorial Day. "And during the seasons, we want to expand at the right time. And these brands are perfect for that," a company executive said.
The New England Confectionery Co. on Wednesday said it will include weather-themed phrases on Sweethearts Conversation Hearts, its traditional Valentine's Day candy. The sayings will "highlight the excitement and unpredictability of the day-to-day change of weather and people's love lives," NECCO marketing manager Lory Zimbalatti said.