“People suddenly hoarding!”
“Consumers trying to get their hands on whatever they can!”
“Frantic phone calls!”
“People shocked and scared!”
Is this some kind of bank run? Are panicked people suddenly hoarding cash or gold or some other precious item?
What people are scrambling for is…
Necco candy to be exact, including:
Sweethearts – those little heart-shaped candies so ubiquitous around Valentine’s Day, with words on them like Puppy Love, Love Bug and more recently, Tweet Me.
Squirrel Nut Zippers – a name I would not even try to begin explaining.
And most in demand…
NECCO Wafers – called “America’s Iconic Candy” by its creator, and called “tropical drywall” and “plaster surprise” in a recent Wall Street Journal story.
Why the panic?
Because the creator of these and other candies, Necco – or the New England Confectionary Company – announced last month that it would have to shut down if it couldn’t find a buyer by May.
That would be a sad end for a company that’s been around for 170 years in a country where most things hold our attention for maybe 17 seconds. Maybe.
One retailer explained the massive demand as “People are really trying to stockpile a connection to their youth and their past. You’re trying to hold onto a little piece of a time in life when things were cheaper and life was easier and sweeter.”
And I thought that was a sweet sentiment. Until I read the following:
“Candy wholesaler Candyfavorites.com sold more NECCO Wafers on Wednesday than it would normally sell in six months.”
“We’ve had people offer to purchase our entire inventory.”
“Today alone we probably sold 30 cases.”
“The candy is listing on eBay for up to 10 times its normal retail price.”
“I’m stashing them like BitCoin.”
OK, now I get it. People aren’t scooping up massive amounts of NECCOs because they like chewing on chalk.
It’s just good old American greed.
So here’s my hope:
The Necco company finds a buyer, and all you hoarders are stuck forever with massive amounts of NECCOs and Squirrel Nut Zippers other candy that nobody will buy from you.
And I hope you like chewing on chalk.