One of the natural manifestations of living a long life is seeing some of our favorite indulgences gradually disappear. Sometimes it’s because they become obsolete and are replaced by something better. Other times it’s just because they are no longer appreciated by enough people to matter, but there are also occasions when bad business practices can cause a downfall. I’m not sure what’s happening in this case, but they’re talking about discontinuing one of my favorites — Necco wafers!
I know that Necco wafers are a little like Christmas fruitcake in the sense that there are people who sneer at them. (I happen to like fruitcake, but that’s a discussion for another day.) But aside from those few nattering nabobs of negativism, Necco wafers have a lot of fans, and yet — according to news stories — the company that manufactures them is in danger of shutting down. That’s a shame because the flavorful little discs have been an iconic candy for many years.
It’s what is being called the Great Necco Wafer Panic, because the company that makes them — which has been around since 1847 — has been going through some tough times, and rumors of shortages have fueled a temporary boom. People are stockpiling and even hoarding them, just like a lot of other things in the past. (Remember the Twinkies panic?)
And in case you thought this was just about the wafers, Necco — the New England Confectionery Company — also makes the little Sweethearts candy that are so popular around Valentines Day. Think about that, all you romantics out there. And the company has a lot of other products that might sound a little familiar too. Remember Clark bars?
Apparently the danger is for real. The CEO recently announced that if they can’t find a buyer for the company within 60 days they’ll probably have to shut down. And if they do, would someone else then come along and buy the name and produce a facsimile of the iconic candy? (Again, like Twinkies.) And would they be as good or would the new guys do away with the special flavors, like clove and cinnamon? And don’t get me started on the incomparable Tropical Necco wafers, which include among their flavors coconut, passion fruit, banana, and mango.
Necco lovers everywhere are trying to build a movement, and I’m completely on board with that. How about you? #SaveNecco