A Note About Conversation Hearts for Valentine’s Day

Please note: this article has been updated! Please see the yellow box below.

We have been inundated with requests for peanut/tree nut free conversation hearts, those little candy hearts with messages printed on them like “Be Mine” and “Love You” traditionally sold for Valentine’s Day. We have also had many inquiries why we do not include them in the Valentine’s Day section of the current Safe Snack Guide.

Here’s the story: There are three major brands of conversation hearts: Sweetheart Candy Hearts by the New England Confectionery Company (NECCO), SweeTARTS Hearts by the Wonka Division of Nestle, and Brachs Conversation Hearts by the Ferrara Candy Company. We will not list Ferrara products as we have found their consumer service department to be less than responsive.

Consumer service at NECCO was helpful and well informed. Their hearts are made on a peanut/tree nut-free line but manufactured in a facility where peanuts and tree nuts are processed. As such, we cannot recommend them.

Wonka consumer service was less than helpful. They would only assert that  Wonka hearts would bear a “Manufactured in a facility” statement if made in a facility that also processed peanuts and/or tree nuts, but  would not commit that all hearts would be safe. We cannot recommend them either.

Keep in mind that there are indeed heart-shaped offerings listed in the Safe Snack Guide, but these do not have messages printed on them.

If you know of conversation hearts that you have confirmed are manufactured in a facility free of peanuts and tree nuts, please contact us and we’ll reach out to their manufacturer. Until then, we’re sorry to have to recommend you say “Be Mine” in person.

Update!

Smarties Love Hearts are marketed free of peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, wheat, and soy by their manufacturer, providing a readily available option to families coping with these food allergies. These have been added to the Safe Snack Guide.

Special thanks to our readers Sarah Albert and Elizabeth Arras for taking the time to suggest this product!

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I spoke with a rep this morning from Wonka regarding their sweetart hearts. She said it may contain: egg, milk, peanut and treenut. However, the package only lists egg. I informed her this is completely misleading and dangerous because it leaves out several top allergens. I gave her the barcode of the product and wanted the marketing division aware. I also asked for a phone call back….we will see.

  2. I first got the standard response. They only said that the hearts were not made on the same line as candies containing nut ingredients. When I pressed further to ask whether the conversation hearts were manufactured in a facility which processes nuts, they finally suggested that we do NOT eat their product. Here is what they wrote to me (my name omitted):

    Dear Ms. _______,

    This year our Conversation Hearts were produced in multiple locations and
    transferred to another one of our locations for packaging. The labeling is
    representative of the allergens present or not present in said manufacturing
    locations. After the production stage, the candy may be warehoused and shipped
    with other products. For this reason, we would suggest not consuming this
    product if you are dealing with a severe peanut allergy.

    Sincerely,

    Mindy Ray
    Consumer Relations

  3. Hi! I used this blog to help my sons teacher find hearts to incorporate in her 2nd grade lesson. I had a TERRIBLE time finding a store that carried smarties hearts. I contacted the company on mon eve to inquire about shipping options. I got a response first thing tues morning. Placed the order tues morn and received the order wed eve!! Significantly cheaper to go through the store ( smarties.com) and cust service is excellent!! thanks for the reference and all the help this blog gives!!!

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