The colorful candies include 16 news sayings this year, including "U got this" and "High five."
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Sweethearts candy
Credit: Courtesy of Sweethearts

To recap: 2020 was an unprecedented disaster. 2021 was just depressing. So for 2022, things have to get better, right?

Sweethearts, the candy conversation hearts that are ubiquitous every Valentine's Day, sure hope so. Sticking with their trend of updating some of their sayings on an annual basis (last year, it was song lyrics), this year, the brand is launching 16 new messages with one unifying theme: "words of encouragement." Sweethearts gets it.

Alongside classics like "Be mine," "Hug me," and "Cutie Pie," celebrants who pop open a box in 2021 will find a load of new sentiments including "Proud of U," "Youda best," "Fear less," "Super star," "Big fan," "Don't quit," "Be you," "Crush it," "Go 4 it," "Chin up," "Push thru," "Way to go," "Good job," "U got this," "Go time," and "High five."

"From the beginning, our candies have delighted while serving a purpose. They give people a playfully affectionate way to express to friends, family, and other important people in our lives how special they are," stated Diana Eschhofen, director of corporate communications for Spangler Candy Company, the maker of Sweethearts. "Words of encouragement are timeless and relevant for people of all generations, just like Sweethearts Candies, which have been shared amongst family and friends for 120 years."

Fitting that theme, the brand is encouraging people to head to SweatheartsCandies.com to nominate "a friend, family member, coach, teammate, mentor, or anybody who helped you get where you are today." The company will then send 500 randomly selected winners a free box of Sweethearts along with a special card on behalf of their admirer.

Meanwhile, the Sweethearts brand knows a thing or two about how to "Push thru." In 2018, when Necco — the company that had made Sweethearts for over a century — went out of business, it wasn't even clear if the classic conversation hearts would survive. Spangler snatched the brand up, but not in time to have them ready for 2019. Then, in 2020, equipment issues meant that many Sweethearts had to be shipped without messages printed on them.

But while everything else in the world went to hell over the past two years, Spangler has actually gotten Sweethearts back to running like a well-oiled machine: The candies are once again available in a variety of packages at stores nationwide.

It seems like they've earned the right to send encouraging messages to the rest of us! Let's hope it works out.