Who knew Necco Wafers, those crunchy, Cert-like discs, the presence of which bums kids out on Halloween, would be the hottest candy item of the day? Well, last month, Necco, the country’s oldest candy company and longtime manufacturers of the divisive wafers, threatened to close its doors for good. This made Necco fanatics start purchasing the candy the same way survivalists would buy canned goods for the apocalypse.
That’s right, given the wafers’ long shelf life, fans of the divisive treat started “panic buying” in bulk following the news of a company shutdown, according to a statement candy retailer CandyStore.com gave to the Wall Street Journal. Spokeswoman Clair Robins said that sales of the wafers went up 63 percent after the announcement. Per a Washington Post report quoting candy wholesaler CandyFavorites.com, some people had even frantically tried to buy up the website’s entire stock of Necco Wafers.
Nostalgia be damned, is there a more un-fun candy than a Necco Wafer? Originally available in a variety of flavors — including orange, lemon, lime, clove, chocolate, cinnamon, licorice, and wintergreen — the recipe for Necco Wafers hasn’t changed since 1847. The wafers were often eaten by Union soldiers in the thick of the Civil War; World War II soldiers were also given the thin candies because, on top of not spoiling, they don’t melt. (One might say that if a candy doesn’t ever spoil, it tastes stale to begin with.)
In any case, Necco fans are out there. In fact, Necco can still sell four billion of the wafers every year without a single advertisement. However, if the company can’t find a buyer by May, the wafers may finally become extinct after 171 years.