Brach's Sour Cherry Jels
Flickr Friday Photo: Easter Candy

Candy Hearts: Necco vs. Brach's vs. Wonka Sweetarts

Candy Hearts
Originally uploaded by
I still have several Valentine's Day reviews I need to write and type up. I might skip a few of them but this is one I definitely want to post. I bought the two most popular brands of conversation hearts (6 billion of these little hearts are made each year), threw in the Wonka Sweetarts for fun, and decided to compare them in a 3 way taste test.

I'll start with the Brach's brand because they were my favorite conversation hearts going into this review. I love the pasty texture of this candy once you push through and crunch these with your teeth. My favorite thing to do as a child was to put a bunch of these in my mouth and make one giant mush-ball of sugar out of these once I'd broken them up from their pressed heart shapes. While doing this review I found that the Brach's brand didn't have much flavor though. They have a hint of wintergreen, grape, orange, cherry, lime and I think bananna, flavor but it's much much lighter and not as pronounced as the Necco brand conversation hearts. I think this is why Brach's focuses on texture, the point is to munch, crunch and enjoy the fantastic texture of this candy.

Candy Hearts - Brach's

Next up is the all time classic Necco Sweethearts. (classic flavors, not the new flavors introduced this year) These taste exactly like Necco Wafers for the most part. There have already been a lot of posts about the new flavors (here, and here, but I'm more concerned with how these taste versus what else is on the market. In my opinion, Necco walks away with this comparison as the winner. The taste of Necco Sweethearts cannot be beat and the fact that they are all natural just makes the win that much better. Both SugarMamma and I agreed that if we could only buy one package, we'd pick Necco. We absolutely loved the flavoring of these heart candies. I also liked the brittle nature of the hearts and how easy they were to break apart with my teeth. I really wish I could combine the Necco flavor with the Brach's texture to make the greatest conversation heart known to mankind! muahahahaha (that was my evil candy genius laugh)

Candy Hearts - Necco

So, where does that leave the Wonka Sweetarts. Well, it leaves them in last place. We really love the Wonka Chicks and Ducks Sweetarts sold during Easter so we thought these hearts would taste very similar to them. We were really surprised at the horrible texture of these hearts. On first bite the hearts would break apart into a powder like Fun Dip and we found ourselves choking on sugar powder on more than one occasion. We were appalled that our favorite candy company, the makers of the amazing Chicks and Ducks Sweetarts, could create such a terrible product. The flavor was exactly like what you'd expect from a Sweetart but my goodness, please copy the recipe for pressing sugar into shapes from the people that make the Easter version. We only ate about 5 of these and gave up on them.

Candy Hearts - Wonka Sweetarts

Here is a picture of the difference in size of each candy. Starting with Necco on the left, then Wonka Sweetarts, and Brach's on the right.

Candy Hearts

Brach's Conversation Hearts: Taste: 3/5 Liked It
Calorie Counter: 1.125oz box = 1 serving = 120 calories, 0g fat
Price: $2.00 at Wal-Mart for 5 boxes

Necco Sweethearts: Taste: 4/5 Really Liked It
Calorie Counter: 1oz box = 1 serving = 110 calories, 0g fat
Price: $1.00 at The Dollar Store for 5 boxes

Wonka SweeTarts: Taste: 2/5 Did Not Like It
Calorie Counter: 11 pieces = 1 serving (26 servings per 14oz bag = 60 calories, 0g fat
Price: $2.00 at Target

Necco has a great factory tour with pictures on this page, it is the Sweethearts 2nd paragraph.


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So you had the original flavor version of the Sweethearts, right? (It's hard to tell because there's no white or blue there.) The package looks like the old ones.

I used to love the SweeTarts hearts - they were big dense ones that made that poker chip plink sound. Now the Bunnies, Chicks & Ducks don't even have the same flavors any longer, there's no point in buying them. (I like them in this order: yellow, purple, lime green and I don't eat the blue punch or cherry.) Even on sale after the holidays there's no point in buying a box to only eat 1/3 of them.

I don't think I've tried Brach's in years... this year I couldn't even find them.


Yes, original flavor of Sweethearts, sorry I did not mention that.

I was going to mention that and then forgot, I'll add an update today. I haven't tried the Bunnies, Chicks and Ducks yet this year, your comment makes me very sad if they do not taste the same though. That was one of our favorites of the season!

Brach's are very easy to find in our area for some reason, I can purchase almost anything they make, during every holiday. It's a shame you cannot find them. Thank you for the comment!

Candy Professor

Isn't it funny with all the new lasers and printers and who knows what all, they still can't get the little red letters onto the hearts! I see Wonka tried a different route, but IMHO those really don't look anything like what I'd expect my conversation hearts to look like! We had some no-brand offerings here, something packaged in a Barbie car and made in Canada. Wonder who else is making these?

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