Sweetart Hearts and other Wonka Valentine’s Goodies!

CC_Sweetarts Hearts TITLE PLATE

Yesterday’s Valentine’s post was all about Sweethearts, but I have confess to unconsciously dropping the “h” and “e” and typing SweeTARTS instead, several times when drafting it.  Guess I was just excited about today’s post which is dedicated to Sweetarts Hearts and a few other Willy Wonka Valentine’s treats!

Sweetarts were first introduced to the marketplace in 1963 (yes, it will be Sweetarts’ 50th Anniversary this year!).  I’m not sure when they first did a special Sweetarts package for Valentine’s Day, but the earliest I’ve ever come across is this small one from right around 1970:

Sunline - Sweetarts - Peace Valentine's - cello candy wrapper - circa 1970

Sunline – Sweetarts – Peace Valentine’s – cello candy wrapper – circa 1970

I really dig the graphic of the peace heart on that pack.  I should note that while the packaging had Valentine graphics, that was still a pack for standard Sweetarts candy.

The earliest Sweetarts specialty Valentine’s candies I have evidence of is from 1977, for Sweetarts Hearts.  As you might expect, these were heart-shaped Sweetarts sold during the lead-up to the Valentine’s Day holiday.  I’m excited to share this 1977 package as you won’t find it anywhere else – it’s a CollectingCandy.com exclusive! Check it out:

Sunline-Sunmark - Sweetarts Hearts - 1_5 Valentine's cello candy package - 1977

Sunline-Sunmark – Sweetarts Hearts – 1.5oz Valentine’s cello candy package – 1977

Take note of the inverted heart shape for the “A” in Hearts.  As I’ll be showing, that graphic touch would continue to be used for the next 30 years on Sweetarts Hearts packages.

Two years later in 1979 Sunline would introduce a boxed version of miniature Sweetarts Hearts.  Though this is from an era long before Sweetarts were an official part of the Wonka brand, I can’t help but think of the mascot on this box as some kind of alternate-universe Cockney version of Wonka:

Sunline - Sunmark - Sweetarts Hearts - trade announcement - 1979

Sunline – Sunmark – Sweetarts Hearts – trade announcement – 1979

I am fortunate to have one of those 1979 boxes in my collection (and it’s another exclusive you won’t find anywhere else!):

Sunline - Sunmark - Sweetarts Hearts - SweetTarts - Valentine's candy box - 1979

Sunline – Sunmark – Sweetarts Hearts – SweetTarts – Valentine’s candy box – 1979

It’s safe to say that Sweetarts Hearts became an annual holiday release for Sunline, though the next piece I can share with you comes from a few years later.  This one comes courtesy of my good pal Brandon Coker and is for a chewy variety of Sweetarts Hearts:

Sunline-Sunmark - Chewy Sweetarts Hearts - 1987 - Courtesy Brandon Coker

Sunline-Sunmark – Chewy Sweetarts Hearts – 1987 – Courtesy Brandon Coker

From here, I have to jump a full twenty years forward for the next iteration of Sweetarts Hearts I could find.  And that’s not because there weren’t Sweetarts Hearts being made during that twenty year gap.   It’s just that no packages for those years have surfaced just yet.  So if you find one – let me know!

This next example of Sweetarts Hearts comes from my friend and candy-blogger extraordinaire, Cybele.  Back in 2007, she documented the boxed version of mini Sweetarts Hearts and I’m so glad she did as it allows me to show you the box today:

Wonka Sweetart Hearts candy box photo - 2007- Courtesy Candyblog.net

Wonka Sweetart Hearts candy box photo – 2007 – Image courtesy Candyblog.net

Please take note of the graphic touch of the inverted heart as the “A” in Hearts for the Sweetart Hearts logo.  It’s great to see that carried on through multiple decades.

This next piece isn’t quite a Sweetarts Hearts, but it is an interesting Valentine’s Sweetarts piece and I wanted to include it here:

Nestle - Wonka - Sweetarts - Valentine's Lollipops - 11oz candy package - circa 2010

Nestle – Wonka – Sweetarts – Valentine’s Lollipops – 11oz candy package – circa 2010

Next up is a box I know I have in my collection, but couldn’t locate for today’s post.  It’s the modern packaging for Sweetart Hearts.  This one comes from my always-gracious pal Sera and her Candy Enthusiast blog.  Sadly, it seems the latest packaging redesign has finally done away with the inverted heart “A”.  Still, it’s a great-looking box:

Sweetart Hearts - candy box photo - 2011 - Sera

Sweetart Hearts – box – 2011 – Courtesy The Candy Enthusiast

[Editor's Note:  About two hours after posting today's entry, I was running errands and found evidence that the inverted heart graphic is still in-use for Wonka Sweetart Hearts - at least on some versions of the product.  See pic.]

andy rolls heart containers - 2013

Sweetart Hearts candy rolls – heart containers – 2013

That brings us all the way up to the modern era of Sweetart Hearts.  For the moment that’s the entirety of what I’ve uncovered regarding this Valentine’s Sweetarts specialty, but I hope to uncover more in the future.  That 1988-2006 period is a big one to not have any Sweetarts Hearts examples from – so I gotta get to finding them.  When I do, I’ll be sharing them here.

So while that wraps up my coverage of Sweetart Hearts, that’s not all I’ve got for today.  Though there is an expanse of other Wonka-related Valentine’s goodies I could share, I wanted to select just a few that would be fun to see.

Jumping back to the 1990′s again I’ve got a trade clipping describing the Willy Wonka Valentine’s lineup for 1993 (for those who were here last year, I did include this in my 2012 Valentine’s post):

Willy Wonka Valentine candy - trade clipping - September 1993

Willy Wonka Valentine candy – trade clipping – September 1993

Lots of amazing pieces of packaging in that trade announcement – I’d love to find any one of them.

Finally, I have a pair of other Wonka-related heart-shaped candy offerings.  First up, Runts Mini-Hearts:

Nestle - Wonka - Runts Mini-Hearts - 7oz Valentine's candy package - circa 2001

Nestle – Wonka – Runts Mini-Hearts – 7oz Valentine’s candy package – circa 2001

Great to see all those old Runts mascots playing around with the hearts on the package.

My last piece to share today is another CollectingCandy.com exclusive, and it’s for Spree – though this is from a time before Spree was brought into the Wonka family.  Very similar in the way that Sweetarts became a Wonka sub-brand decades after its introduction, so did Spree:

Nestle - Sunline-Sunmark - Spree Hearts - 6oz Valentine's candy package - circa 2001

Nestle – Sunline-Sunmark – Spree Hearts – 6oz Valentine’s candy package – circa 2001

I like that one quite a lot.

That’s everything for this Valentine’s Day post – and it also wraps up our little four-day countdown to the holiday.  However you celebrate Valentine’s Day, I hope you spend it happily and sweetly.   That’s how I plan to be spending mine.

See you next time!

About Jason Liebig

A New York City based writer, editor and sometimes actor. After spending much of the 1990′s in the comic book business helping tell the stories of Marvel Comics’ X-Men as series editor, he has since split his time between developing his own entertainment properties while still consulting and working on others. Having been described as “the Indiana Jones of lost and forgotten candy”, Jason is one of the country’s premier candy collectors and historians with his discoveries appearing in countless blogs, magazines, newspaper articles, and books. Always happy to share his knowledge and unique perspectives on this colorful part of our popular culture, Jason has consulted with New York’s Museum of Food and Drink and has also been a featured guest on Food Network’s Heavyweights, France’s M6 Capital, and New York’s TheActionRoom.com. My Google Profile+
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2 Responses to Sweetart Hearts and other Wonka Valentine’s Goodies!

  1. Brandon says:

    Super sweet post! The ’79 SweeTarts box is incredible.

  2. Todd says:

    Wow! Yeah, I’m digging the ’79 box too!

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