Food & Drink

Candy-Crazed Consumers Hoarding Necco Wafers In Fear Of Factory Shutdown

The candy has reportedly been described as “tropical drywall,” “plaster surprise” and “attic citrus.”
04/11/2018 07:04pm ET | Updated April 11, 2018

Some fans of Necco Wafers are doing whatever it takes to ensure they can get their fix of the chalky candy, even if the factory that produces it shuts down.

Katie Samuels is so desperate for Neccos that she offered candy wholesaler Candystore.com her most valuable possession.

I offered to trade my 2003 Honda Accord for all of their stock,” she told the Boston Globe. “I knew it was kind of a silly thing to say, but I’m serious. I don’t have much right now, so I was like, ‘I’ve got this car, and I want all that candy, so maybe they would consider it.’”

She was turned down.

The New England Confectionary Company, which makes Necco Wafers and other sweets, said last month it will permanently close its factory in Revere, Massachusetts, unless it finds a buyer by May 6.

Candy store owner David Sapers is stocking up on candy in the meantime. He runs Sugar Heaven in Somerville, Massachusetts, and said the factory closure wouldn’t just mean the end of Neccos, but also other iconic candies like Squirrel Nut Zippers, Mary Jane candy and Slap Stix.

I just ordered 10 cases of [Necco products] yesterday, which were delivered on Thursday,” Sapers told NPR. “So I did that because first of all, they don’t go bad. They’re going to last for a while, and just in case something happens, we have it.”

The surge of popularity is surprising for a candy known for two things: Never going bad and never being any good. The Wall Street Journal said the candy has been described as “tropical drywall,” “plaster surprise” and “attic citrus.”

But if the factory in Revere closes, nearly 400 jobs will be lost.

That worries Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo, who hopes fans like Samuels will bring about a sweet comeback for the candy, which has been around since 1847.

“Who knows, Necco Wafers might make a comeback the way Twinkies did a few years ago,” Arrigo told the Journal.

Keith Beaty via Getty Images
Necco Wafers, sporting bright pastel colors and retro packaging, date back to 1847.
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