We have some good news and bad news. The good news is that the maker of Circus Peanuts has stepped in to save Necco Wafers from certain death. And if you don't have a sweet spot for hard, chalky candy, this is also the bad news.
As Grub Street reports, the bankrupted New England Confectionery Company (and their Necco Wafers and Sweetheart Candies) have been bought by the producer of Dum Dums and Circus Peanuts. The new owner, Spangler Candy Company, says both the Wafers and Sweethearts will be back on store shelves by 2020.
Yes, people love to poke fun at Necco Wafers—just consider this Cracked headline: "America's Worst Candy Is Saved By Its Second-Worst Candy" (which sounds as though they forgot about Necco-owned Mary Jane candies)—but there is clearly a market for these confections. Last March, when news broke that the New England company faced massive layoffs and was in desperate need of a buyer, it spawned what some have dubbed "The Great Necco Wafer Panic." Fears of a wafer-less future spread, and sales of the candy spiked 63 percent in a single month.
There's also the nostalgic appeal. Founded in 1847, Necco Wafers are the oldest continuously manufactured candy in the U.S. "It is a love/hate type of candy and people are super passionate about it," Clair Robins of Candystore.com told Mental Floss in April. "They are perceived as an old-school classic, and even patriotic—soldiers ate them in the World Wars. But others think it's dry and gross and should die a painful death."
The New England Confectionery Company, which shut down in July after filing for bankruptcy, was also responsible for some of your grandpa's other favorite sweets: Sky Bars, Haviland Thin Mints, Clark Bars, Mighty Malts Malted Milk Balls, and Peach Blossoms. The Clark Bar brand was sold separately to Boyer Candy Company, which said the chocolate bars will start being produced again in about six months.
[h/t Grub Street]