Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and that means that stores have stocked their shelves with overstuffed teddy bears, boxes of chocolate that you will buy half off the day after Valentine's, and many little cartons of the iconic polarizing candy, NECCO Sweethearts. Though many consider these stiff and chalky confections the candy corn of Valentine's Day, they are a drugstore staple every February.
Refinery 29 went to the NECCO factory where they have been making Sweethearts candy for over a century. Whether you love 'em or hate 'em, you're gonna wanna know how they get made.
NECCO Sweethearts, sometimes called "conversation hearts," have been giving people cavities since their invention in 1866. According to the NECCO website, the company churns out over 100,000 pounds of the saccharine sweet each day, amounting to a billion little hearts a year. Depending on your feelings on the candy, they are a perfect gift for someone you love—or someone you hate—this Valentine's Day.