21 Things You Didn’t Know About NECCO Wafers

Everyone’s least favorite Halloween candy has been making us miserable since 1847.

1. In 1847, Oliver Chase invented a machine to cut candy wafers, and the abomination called the “hub wafer” was born

People in 1847 thought this candy was DELICIOUS. They couldn’t get enough of the chalky nastiness.

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2. NECCO stands for New England Confectionary Company. It’s the oldest candy company in the U.S.

Although the wafer was invented in 1847, the company wasn’t called NECCO until 1901 when the wafer maker merged with 2 other candy companies.

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3. The original 8 flavors are lemon, lime, orange, clove, cinnamon, wintergreen, licorice, and chocolate.

More like barf, gag, blech, vom, yuck, barf, and gross.

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4. In 2009, they changed the recipe to all-natural flavors and colors

They also made the texture softer and less chalky.

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5. Since they couldn’t find a good natural lime color, they eliminated Lime

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6. Everyone HATED the change, and sales plummeted. They switched back in 2011.

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7. They were made in Chicago for a while in the 1800s, but the factory burned in the great Chicago Fire.

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8. Union soldiers carried “hub wafers” during the Civil War.

Horses and bayonettes and NECCO wafers.

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9. Admiral Richard Byrd took 2 tons of NECCO wafers on his polar expedition in the ’30s

Since NECCO wafers have an insane shelf life, I guess this is a decent idea. Although the crew probably wished they all would die at sea rather than eat a bunch of NECCO wafers.

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10. During WWII, the factory manufactures war materials and NECCO wafers are part of soldiers’ rations

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11. The Cambridge, MA factory used to have this awesome painted water tower

The factory was located right near the MIT campus in Cambridge from 1937-2001. The building was bought by a pharmaceutical company who paint over the colored water tower with their stupid logo. Booo!

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12. Right now they’re hiring wafer counters

Their site’s Careers section lists an “Inventory analyst” opening. MS Office required.

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13. NECCO wafters are gluten-free AND Kosher. Mazel tov!

(The symbol for Kosher-certified foods)

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14. They have a chocolate version, which means they’ve figured out how to make chocolate gross.


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15. If you mix NECCO wafers and Pepsi, it’ll light on fire

I assume because of the glycerine in NECCO wafers or something, but I’m no Bill Nye, ok?

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16. NECCO got into the music business, weirdly

They sponsored this soundtrack of a ’60s Disney musical.

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17. NECCO also makes those nasty candy hearts…

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18. And Mary Janes…

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19. And Canada Mints…

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20. And Squirrell Nut Zippers. Basically all the gross old people candies.

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21. It is totally acceptable to T.P. the house of anyone who gives out NECCO wafers on Halloween

You heard it here, kids. Totally acceptable. Cops won’t stop you.

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