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SWEETHEARTS® UNVEILS MODERN WAYS TO SAY "I LOVE YOU"

The Official Candy of Love™ Features All New Fruity Flavors, Bold Colors and Sayings Chosen by America

REVERE, Mass. (January 19, 2010) /PRNewswire/ — Sweethearts®, the official candy of love™, is unveiling exciting new expressions of love for Valentine's Day. For the first time in the candy's 145-year history, Sweethearts will feature new fruity flavors and bright colors, printed with modern sayings chosen by America. Through an online contest, Americans were empowered to decide exactly what expressions of love they wanted to see printed on the colorful candy hearts. The new consumer-generated sayings for 2010 reflect the technology-driven ways people show their love, with "Tweet™ Me" and "Text Me" at the top of the list.

"Sweethearts have long been America's favorite Valentine's Day candy for sharing a sweet sentiment with loved ones," said Jackie Hague, vice president of marketing at the New England Confectionery Company. "The new tastier flavors, vibrant colors and modern expressions will ensure that Sweethearts continue to delight people of all ages and help them say something sweet to those they care about."

"It's great that America chose 'Tweet™ Me' to be a new Sweethearts saying," said Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, Inc. "Twitter is a new way to communicate in 140 characters or less and Sweethearts have been helping people communicate using short phrases for decades."

America Chooses New Sweethearts Sayings for 2010

Last summer, to modernize the classic sayings, Sweethearts discarded all previous expressions and held an online consumer contest that asked Americans what they wanted to see on their Sweethearts. Favorite sayings that made their debut in years past, such as "Fax Me" and "Email Me," will now be replaced with phrases for new technologies including "Tweet™ Me" and "Text Me."

The complete list of the top 10 new phrases combines both contemporary expressions ("Tweet™ Me," "Text Me," "You Rock," "Soul Mate," "Love Bug" and "Me + You") and the return of classic expressions ("Puppy Love," "Sweet Love," "Sweat Pea" and "Love Me").

New Flavors and Colors

Flavor aficionados will have much more to love this Valentine's Day. The all new Sweethearts will feature a variety of mouth-watering new flavors including Green Apple, Blue Raspberry, Strawberry, Lemon, Grape and Orange. Sweethearts candies have also evolved from pastels to vibrant eye-catching colors with a softer texture that is more fun to eat.

Tweet Sweet Sentiments with a New Sweethearts iPhone App for Twitter

Inspired by the technology-driven ways Americans express their feelings for each other, Sweethearts created the first iPhone App that works directly with a user's Twitter account. The App allows users to personalize up to five Sweethearts with up to 25-character messages on each. This digital box of Sweethearts can then be sent to friends and loved ones via Twitter, making it even easier to say something short and sweet in the digital age.

Beginning January 19, 2010, iPhone and iPod touch users will be able to download the App at the Apple App Store. Those without an iPhone or iPod touch can access the App for Twitter by visiting www.MySweethearts.com.

New Ways to Love Sweethearts

All new Sweethearts will be available at major retailers in one-ounce boxes, five-ounce theatre boxes and assorted bag sizes. Sweethearts products include: Original, Chocolate, Hispanic, Sugar Free and newly debuted Sweethearts Dazzled Tarts, a collection designed specifically for girls featuring tart flavors, custom phrases and emoticons with a "dazzle" finish that sparkles.

The new Sweethearts Valentine's Day line follows a year of innovation for the brand. In 2009, Sweethearts partnered with Summit Entertainment and the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer to launch Forbidden Fruit Sweethearts (Twilight) and Fire and Ice Sweethearts (New Moon). An Eclipse-themed Twilight Sweethearts offering will be introduced in Summer 2010. Also in 2009, the brand created a new way to show appreciation and support of the military with the summer launch of Red, White & You Sweethearts, featuring sentiments like "Proud of U," "Home Safe" and "Miss You." American military troops in the U.S. and overseas were treated to the new Red, White & You Sweethearts in care packages through a partnership with the United Service Organizations, Inc. (USO).

Sweet History

Sweethearts have been a Valentine's Day tradition since President Abraham Lincoln was in office. In fact, the concept of conversation motto hearts dates back to the 1800s when printed sayings on colored paper were placed in "Cockles," small crisp candies formed in the shape of a scalloped shell. In 1866, Daniel Chase, brother of Oliver Chase, who founded New England Confectionery Company in 1847, invented the process which allows the sayings to be printed directly on the candy. Some of the original phrases include "Be Mine," "Be Good," "Be True," "Kiss Me" and "Sweet Talk." The New England Confectionery Company manufactures about 6 billion Sweethearts annually, enough to circle the globe twice.

The New England Confectionery Company was founded in 1847 and is the longest-running multi-line candy company in the United States. Popular brands include: All Natural NECCO® Wafers, Clark® bar, Sweethearts® Candies, Mary Jane®, and Haviland® Thin Mints. More than 500 seasonal and year-round products are produced at the company's headquarters in Revere, Mass.

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