Turn your manufacturing defects into profit: How Sweethearts rebranded its blurry conversation hearts  

Turn your manufacturing defects into profit: How Sweethearts rebranded its blurry conversation hearts  

Jan. 12, 2024
For a limited time, the company is offering Situationship Boxes, which feature blurry, misprinted candies that are as hard to read as a real situationship.

We tend to think of manufacturing defects as waste. Something went wrong during production, the resulting product doesn’t pass quality controls, and the subpar piece is ultimately recycled or destroyed. That doesn’t have to be the case, however. In the right hands, these manufacturing missteps can be transformed into additional profits and PR gold. Sweethearts, a division of Spangler Candy Company that is best known for its iconic conversation hearts, is taking this idea to the next level.  

For a limited time, the company is offering Situationship Boxes, which feature blurry, misprinted candies that are as hard to read as a real situationship. Instead of the traditional sayings like “Be Mine,” “Kiss Me,” and “Only You,” the situationship candies read “Ba Mond,” “Kaz Ma,” and “Ody Yw.” For those of you unfamiliar with modern dating trends, a situationship is a romantic relationship that lacks definition, formality, and commitment.  

In advertising for the new product, Sweethearts declares: “This Valentine’s Day, you don’t have to know what you are to know what to give each other. Filled entirely with sweet, meaningless nothings and literal mixed messages, our box of blurry candies is the perfect gift for Situationships everywhere.” 

While Sweethearts’ actions might seem like a publicity stunt, consumers are eating it up. The company’s first drop at the beginning of the week has already sold out, but eager buyers can sign up to be notified when the next drop happens. 

Sweethearts regularly varies the sayings on its conversation hearts and sometimes has different themes for their candies. In 2021, the theme was love songs, with candies containing phrases like “At Last,” “My Girl,” and “Sugar Sugar.” In 2009, the theme was a menu of love with such classics as “Table 4 Two,” “Yum Yum,” and “Recipe 4 Love.”  

In a recent quote, Evan Brock, vice president of marketing for Spangler Candy Company, said, "Singles are taking 'situationships' to the next level this year, and Sweethearts is here for them. The printing on Sweethearts isn't always perfect. This is our way of embracing those imperfections in a way that taps into pop culture."