NECCO Wafers are the oldest continuously manufactured candy in the United States. NECCO is the company name, short for the New England Confectionery Company. The original inventions, patented by Oliver R. Chase of Boston, Massachusetts, were a lozenge cutter (1847), and a pulverizer for sugar (1850). With his brother, Silas Edwin Chase, he founded Chase and Company. When Daniel Chase invented the "Lozenge Printing Machine" in 1866, their "Conversation Candies", printed with "I LOVE YOU" and "BE MINE", were instantly popular. Other candies produced by NECCO include the Sky Bar and the Clark Bar. In 1901 New England Confectionery Company was formed by a union of Chase and Co. with two other confectionery firms.
In 1913, explorer Donald B. MacMillan took NECCO Wafers on his Arctic explorations, using them for nutrition and as rewards for Eskimo children. In the 1930’s, Admiral Byrd took 2½ tons of NECCO Wafers to the South Pole, practically a pound a week for each of his men during their two-year stay in the Antarctic. The American Government requisitioned a major portion of the production of NECCO Wafers during World War II. The candy does not melt and is practically indestructible during transit, making it perfect for shipping overseas to the troops.
NECCO rolls contain eight flavors and colors: lemon (yellow), orange (orange), lime (green), clove (purple), cinnamon (white), wintergreen (pink), licorice (black), and chocolate (brown). Entire rolls of chocolate wafers are also available in certain locations. The company recently introduced a variant called "Smoothies", composed of creamy fruit flavors.
Wintergreen NECCO wafers, like wintergreen LifeSavers, will create visible sparks when snapped in half or crushed in dim light due to triboluminescence. NECCO Wafers contain gelatin, an animal by-product.
Can Hershey make any of these claims? How about Reese's? And Willy Wonka is ridiculous!