Swizzels Love Hearts 60 Years Of Love 1954 – 2014
The Early Days Of Swizzels Love Hearts
Love Hearts are made by the confectionary manufacturer Swizzels Matlow Ltd. There were originally two companies, Matlow Brothers, founded in 1928 and Swizzels Ltd., founded in 1933. Swizzels Ltd. purchased Matlow Brothers in 1967. The name of the company officially changed to Swizzels Matlow Ltd. in 1975.
In 1940 the two companies were forced to relocate to a disused candle-wick factory in New Mills to escape the London Blitz. From then, Swizzels Matlow has remained in this spot, which is on the border between Cheshire and Derbyshire. Walkers and cyclists enjoy the sweet aromas as they pass by the factory on the Upper Peak Forest Canal way.
Love Hearts first rolled off the production line in September 1954. The story goes that the then company directors, Alfred Matlow and David Dee, met up to discuss new product lines. The morning after, ‘Love Hearts’ were the words on everyone’s lips.
The sweets are embossed with loving messages in a heart inside a circle – this shape is a registered trade mark. The production of a Love Heart with the embossed message and edible ink remains a secret and is unique to Swizzels Matlow. Love Heart rolls were initially put in a Swizzels Christmas Cracker over the festive period.
In the early days pack designs were initially painted by hand. As Love Hearts were so popular for Christmas, it was decided that they would be sold as an ongoing line. Messages included ‘HEY DADDIO, GOOD BOY & HELLO MUM’. They were initially sold for 2d and then for 3d ( which is a Three Penny piece).
Swizzels Matlow regularly gave away free packets of Love Hearts attached to the front page of the popular children’s comics Beano and Dandy. In later years, they also teamed up with the comic characters for a Television campaign.
The success of Love Hearts is phenomenal, contributing to Swizzels Matlow being the largest family-owned UK Confectionary company. Swizzels Matlow makes over 1.5 billion Love Hearts a year. Love Hearts are exported internationally. The have also been translated into different languages including French and German. Love Hearts launches a nationwide TV advertising campaign.
On June 14th 1991, Princess Diana visited the factory. It was the first official visit to the Borough of High Peak by a member of the Royal Family. Swizzels Matlow produced a limited edition version of Love Hearts product to commemorate her visit.
The first Swizzels Matlow online store, www.forgetflowers.com, launched. This was later
re-named as www.lovehearts.com. Here, customers could buy personalised Love Hearts. The personalised Love Hearts for wedding favours or corporate giveaways were very popular. In fact, to this day, personalised ‘Just Married’ Love Hearts and Sweet Buffets are very popular for wedding celebrations.
The messages evolved over the years to keep up with modern vernacular with messages such as ‘Fax Me’, ‘Page Me’ ‘Text Me’ and ‘Luv Me 24/7’ Some messages were dropped a few years later when pagers and fax became less popular.
A sculpture of a Love Heart was placed in the Millennium Dome as it was chosen as an icon of the 20th Century. Swizzels Matlow launch a celebration pack in honour of Prince William’s 21st Birthday.
Swizzels Matlow invited the UK to have their own message printed on a Love Heart. The winning messages included ‘Heart Baby’ and ‘Happy Harry’, both of which were in tribute of the bravery of two boys who overcame health defects.
Swizzels Matlow named as “The Factory of Love” since 122 employees have met and found love.
Commemorative Gift Boxes of Just Married Love Hearts were launched to celebrate The wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Limited Edition Mother’s Day Love Hearts are launched. Messages included:NO.1 MUM, THANK YOU, BEST MUM and BIG HUGS.
Love Hearts to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Anniversary.
Messages included: CONGRATS MA’AM, CORGI LOVE HRH and JUBILEE 2012
A crown of Love Hearts and other sweets was modelled by a Queen lookalike.
A mosaic of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge is made from 10,000 Love Hearts by artist Mark Kennedy
Limited edition Royal Baby Love Hearts are launched. The wrappers had to be designed for both ‘Royal Prince’ and ‘Royal Princess’ as the sex of the unborn baby was unknown.
Due to the inherent romantic nature of Love Hearts, Valentine’s remains the busiest season. In addition to the rise in sales of the regular and personalised
Love Hearts, there is also an increased sale of Love Hearts branded gifts, boxes and trinkets.
A giant “Fine Filly” Love Heart hat is worn at Royal Ascot and caught the attention of the press.
Love Hearts branding can also be found on an array of licenced products from tea cups, notebooks and pencils, to clothes and home-ware.
In 2012, the boy band One Direction, made popular by The X-Factor, teamed up with Swizzels Matlow to make One Direction Love Hearts. The One Direction Love Hearts contain 30 themed messages which were chosen by Love Heart fans. Each message is individual to each band member.
The other was for The Clothes Show Live 2013.
To Be Continued………