Even though they’ve been around forever, people of all ages will recognize this quintessential treat.
There’s nothing flashy about Necco Wafers: the paper roll, the familiar pastel colors, and the unassuming little candy discs. They've always come in the same eight flavors: lemon, lime, orange, clove, cinnamon, wintergreen, licorice, and chocolate. They've been pretty much the same for over a century, and we like it that way.
So what is it about this treat? Why does it have such staying power?
The answer to that question dates all the way back to 1847!
If you read our post about conversation hearts, you might remember that Oliver Chase started the New England Confectionery Company (NECCO) by turning apothecary lozenges into candy.
He invented the first-ever American candy machine, and with it he planted the seed for an entire (sweet) industry.
Back then, people loved NECCO's colorful candy discs because they were new and exciting––but also because, since they wouldn’t melt or spoil, they were a snack that could withstand anything. Explorers took them to Arctic and South Pole, and the army sent them to soldiers overseas.
Today, people love them for all kinds of reasons: the nostalgia, the fun flavors, the versatility (have you ever used them as shingles on a gingerbread house?)
And, sure, there are more exciting candies out there. But Neccos are comforting and timeless. They're the candy that your mom always had in her purse when you were a kid, and you probably tried to sneak some when she wasn't looking (guilty 😅).
That’s why it was so tragic when, in 2018, NECCO went out of business...and we lost some of our favorite nostalgic sweets.
Unfortunately, we were without them for a few years. But then they came back! in 2020, Spangler Candy Company bought the rights to the wafers and began selling them again. Phew!
And, luckily, there were no major changes made––so they're still the same candy that we remember from our childhood.
If all this talk about Neccos made you wish you had some...
And did you know that you can buy all-chocolate Necco wafers?
P.S...do you love Necco wafers? Do you have any sweet memories? Let us know in the comments!