(PATCH) It may be difficult for some to find the tragedy in this story, but the makers of the premiere heart-shaped “conversation” candies won’t be delivering the sugary Valentines Day messages in 2019, which means people will have to find some other way to say “be mine,” “miss you,” or “marry me.” May we suggest you pour out your affection in person, with feeling?

And, the makers of Sweethearts suggest, if you happened to score a bag of the candies this year, you should throw them out because they’re leftover love. (And, lovers, if you really care, can’t you do better?)

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Sales of the candies are down an estimated 80 percent, which depending on how you look at this development, is worthy of a sad-faced emoticon — an appropriate shorthand for your feelings given that Sweethearts are kind of a forerunner of electronic emoticons — or a sign that society isn’t quite as hopeless as you thought.

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If it’s the latter, don’t get too smug. This is basic supply-and-demand economics, and Sweethearts will be back in 2020. The New England Confectionery Company, or Necco, annually pressed out about 8 million Sweethearts, as well as similar brand known as Love Hearts sold in the U.K. before its bankruptcy last year. Spangler Candy Company acquired the rights to the candy last September, but with only five months before Valentine’s Day, it didn’t have the wherewithal to meet what has been a 19 million-pound annual demand for the sentimental candies.

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