Sweets lovers in the Northeast are evidently going into panic mode now that the country’s oldest candy company, Necco, might be going out of business — and they're rushing to stock up on Necco Wafers, in particular, despite the product's relative unpopularity.
New England Confectionery Co., based in New England, announced last month that it might shut its plant in Revere, Mass., after 170 years in business. The company makes sweets such as Necco Wafers, Mary Janes, Clark Bars and Sweethearts, a candy that gained popularity thanks to Valentine’s Day.
However, out of all the candies that may be lost, fans are most upset over Necco Wafers, according to The Wall Street Journal. The candy — which the Journal described as “chalky” — is also known for its long shelf life, making it even more ideal for hoarding.
Joe Prince, the president of CandyFavorites.com., told the publication he's received hundreds of inquiries over the weekend about the candies and where people can buy them.
“They’re shocked and scared,” Prince the Journal. “They’re not happy about it.”
CandyStore.com also reported that it has received calls from people who wanted to buy the whole supply of Necco Wafers the day Necco’s CEO Michael McGee announced he would shut the company’s doors if Necco couldn't find a buyer.
Overall, CandyStore.com reported Necco Wafer sales increased 63 percent, a sign consumers are panicking.
Necco Wafers are now being sold for more than $30 a box on eBay and, as CandyStore.com reported, somebody even offered their car in exchange for some of the candies.
McGee first informed Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo with news of the company's troubles, announcing in a March 6 memo that, unless the company could find a buyer, layoffs could begin by early May, the Boston Globe reported. As of 2011, the company employed about 500 workers.
The Necco Wafer has been produced since 1847, and enjoyed as far back as the Civil War. The Journal reported the candy has a “complicated relationship” with people who either love or despise the treat, with some telling the Journal that, when they gave out the wafers on Halloween, they were later visited by angry trick-or-treaters armed with eggs and toilet paper.