Necco, aka the New England Confectionery Company, was the oldest candy company in the United States at the time of its closure in 2018.
Based here in Revere, Massachusetts, the company played a historic role in the world of American candy. Necco manufactured national favorites like Clark Bars, Candy Buttons, Sky Bars and Sweethearts. But their bestseller was without a doubt the Necco wafers, dating back to 1847.
Interestingly, Necco marketed its wafers in a number of ways. Darlene Lacey, an author and curator of the Candy Wrapper Museum, told Under the Radar that the company wasn't really sure how to position the candy.
"In the early times, they focused on them being the perfect treat for hostesses at afternoon teas. They had them described as a 'fairy feast' in a garden of delights. Very delicate, very romantic," she described. "... And then as time went on, they started to skew them a little bit more towards kids, and then later into the nostalgia market."
The company was sold a handful of years ago to the Ohio-based Spangler Candy Company. But how did this shift impact the candy manufacturing world? Under the Radar talked with Lacey about everything from favorite sweet treats to the future of the candy production industry.