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Origins Of Necco Wafers

Origins of Necco Wafers: A Sweet Journey Through Time

For decades, generations of candy-eating children around the world have chomped through colourful discs of sugary Necco Wafers. But where did these cult candy classics come from? To discover the origin of Necco Wafers is to follow the evolution of just one perennially popular type of sweet over the course of many years.Necco Wafers Are Returning To Stores After 2-Year Absence

The Birth of a Classic: 1847

Necco Wafers are made from a recipe first used in 1847, when the entrepreneur Oliver Chase in Boston, Massachusetts, invented a machine for cutting a candy lozenge on the diagonal into roughly triangular shapes (candy familiar to you as the ‘Lemonhead’ or ‘Peanut Chew’). Before Chase’s machine, the candy industry was still in its infancy, and only a few aspects of it – especially the sale and packaging of sugar candies – did it rely on mass production.

His innovation spawned the Chase Lozenge Company, which later shortened its name to the New England Confectionery Company, or Necco for short, and whose signature product, Necco Wafers, became nationally available thanks to its bright hues, varied flavours and considerable shelf life, finding a home in every sweet-shop across the US.

A Sweet Symbol of Nostalgia: 20th Century

By the end of the century, Necco Wafers had become a kind of pop-cultural emblem of the great lost days of youth and childhood – penny candy stores, soda fountains and the like – capturing an entire era by preserving the flavours of their flavours (which include lemon, lime, orange, clove, cinnamon and wintergreen).

When war came, Necco Wafers further cemented their place in American daily life by being included in soldiers’ allotments of ‘official subsistence stores’. A small packet of Wafer electrolytes was considered an excellent quick energy source for GIs stationed at whatever could generously be defined as the front, being both unexpensive and unperishable.

Challenges and Revival: 21st Century

In the early 2000s, Necco was having difficulty meeting its expenses, and Necco Wafers looked doomed. In 2007, the brand was sold to an investment firm called American Capital Strategies. Necco had a new lease on life.

Necco Wafers were dealt a further blow in 2018 when the New England Confectionery Company ceased operations after more than a century in business. The sudden shuttering of its manufacturing factory prompted horror that the candies would disappear for good.

Thankfully, Necco Wafers’s story doesn’t end there. In 2018, the Spangler Candy Company, whose most famous products include the Dum Dums lollipops and the Circus Peanuts candy, purchased the Necco Wafers trademark. Spangler Candy Company’s mission to preserve Necco’s legacy and keep the confection authentic ensures that this candy will live on for generations to come.

Legacy and Enduring Appeal

To this day, Necco Wafers remain a much-loved candy among confectionary fans of all ages, their lasting popularity, aesthetically pleasing packaging and ubiquitous legacy proving that there is still something entirely endearing about a modest, inexpensive candy that conjures up happy childhood memories.

Necco Wafers, whether eaten like a time capsule or discovered for the first time by a fresh crop of confectionery connoisseurs, remain a testament to continuity, novelty and the humanness of sweet things. As long as there are sweet-tooths who enjoy the plain pleasures of a disk of candy, there will be an afterlife for Necco Wafers. It will weave back and forth from one generation to another, cutting little swathes across time, with each fruity bite.

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