Jan. 23 (UPI) -- The popular Valentines Day Sweethearts candies will be less popular this year, due to its maker going out of business.
The New England Confectionery Co. shut down last year and the brand was eventually sold to another candy company in Ohio.
The conversation heart-shaped candies -- which had sayings like Be Mine, Marry Me, and Cutie Pie stamped on them -- have generated more than $1.8 billion in sales and were most popular during Valentine's Day.
The candy's new owner, Spangler Candy in Bryan, Ohio, said when it purchased the brand in September it wouldn't have enough time to meet production needs in time for Valentine's Day. Spangler also got the rights to Necco Wafers in the deal.
"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," Spangler chairman and CEO Kirk Vashaw said.
"We look forward to announcing the Sweethearts relaunch for the 2020 Valentine season, and hope to reintroduce Necco Wafers to the marketplace in 2019."
Spangler said Sweethearts candies have been around since 1901 and was an original Valentine staple. Some of the sayings have endured through cultural changes, and some have been updated from "Call Me" to "Tweet Me" and "Text Me."
A few of the hearts will be around next month, though. Some people bought up large supplies last year to get them through to February 2020 -- with some boxes showing up for sale online.