Does the “N” in NECCO stand for “Nostalgia?” Not technically—but maybe it should. The New England Confectionery Company (“Necco” for short) has been around since the 1840s and is one of the oldest thriving candy companies in the United States. Headquartered in Massachusetts, the company brings in annual sales up to $100 million. How do they do it? A large part of their product line focuses on holiday candies that everyone loves like Sweethearts conversation heart candies, as well as Halloween and Easter candies.
Necco Wafers are the nostalgia lover’s candy. Available in eight assorted flavors, these pastel-colored wafers are fat free. The flavors are the same today as they were in the days of yesteryear—orange, lemon, lime, clove, chocolate, cinnamon, licorice, and wintergreen. Made from the key ingredients of sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin, Necco Wafers last and last. Unlike other candy bars, one roll of wafers can take just under an hour to eat. Troops enjoyed Necco Wafers during World War II for their tastiness and durability. This is one reason Baby Boomers tend to remember Necco Wafers so favorably. If you don’t care for the taste, these little gems can double as poker chips. Some families have even used the wafers as a practice round for a child’s first communion!
If you want to join with a worldwide community of Necco consumers, you won’t be alone. The company claims to produce four billion wafers each year—enough to wrap around the world twice when placed edge to edge. With all this fanfare, I had to try Necco Wafers again as an adult and see if they were as tasty and “pretty” as I thought they were when I was a kid. Though I’m not wild about some of the flavors, citrus and chocolate varieties were tops on my list. The smooth, flat surface of the wafer (about the size of a half dollar) makes it perfect to enjoy anyplace at any time. A roll of Necco Wafers would make a great nostalgic treat for the Baby Boomer in your life.