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Necco Mania: Fans Begin Hoarding the Chalky Wafers, Worried the Candymaker Could Close

The company that makes Necco Wafers has announced that it may be forced to close its doors if a buyer cannot be found for the financially troubled candy maker by early May. As a result, fans of the iconic chalky candy have begun hoarding the treats, resulting in shortages in some areas.

The New England Confectionary Co. has been making the beloved (or despised, depending on your candy tastes) Necco Wafers since 1847. The company, which is the largest employer in Revere, Mass., also makes Sweethearts conversation hearts, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Candy Buttons, Mary Janes, Slap Stix, and Clark bars.

David Sapers, from Sugar Heaven in Somerville, Mass., told NPR last week, "I just ordered 10 cases of [Necco's products] yesterday, which were delivered on Thursday. 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." He's also stocking up on Sweethearts conversation hearts in case the company isn't around next Valentine's Day.

According to Candystore.com, "Necco sales have spiked more than 150%... a clear signal of panic-buying."

The blog noted that since the announcement they've received:

  253 emails starting on March 12 inquiring about Necco branded candies.

  167 panicked phone calls asking about Necco branded candies, many trying to secure large bulk quantities.

  77 Social media messages expressing fear and sadness for their coming loss.

  29 Customers offering to pay double or more for bulk quantities of Necco candy.

  3 People offering to work in return for Necco candy buying priority.

  1 Used car trade-in offer.

On eBay, a 24-pack of chocolate Necco Wafers is going for a whopping $300.

Last month Necco CEO Michael McGee notified the state and the city of Revere that most of the company's 500 employees could be laid off if a buyer cannot be found by May 6.

The company “has been in ongoing negotiations with potential buyers to allow for its continued operations,” McGee said in the March 6 notice, warning that employees could be terminated as soon as 60 days from the date of the notice.

“We deeply regret and understand the uncertainty this action may cause our valued employees,” McGee said.