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Sweet toothed winners make their mark on iconic Love Hearts

Ten new and unique messages have been chosen from thousands of novel suggestions to appear on the iconic Love Hearts sweets, following a nationwide competition.

The whole country went Love Hearts crazy when the confectionary stalwarts Swizzels Matlow launched a competition to celebrate the company's 80th anniversary. The Great British public was invited to put their imaginations to good use and suggest original phrases for the renowned sweets-with-a-message.

Entries flooded in from across the nation, with romantic, cheeky, heart-felt and fun messages all being put forward. The judging panel then had the difficult task of seeking out ten of the best messages to become immortalised in confectionary history.

The message of 'Heart Baby' was sent in by Katrina Swan in honour of her brave one-year-old son, Elijah, who battled against the odds after being born with a hole in his heart.

Katrina, of Lincolnshire, said: "Elijah is a heart baby. He was born on Valentine's day with transposition of the Grand Arteries, with a large hole, leaking valves and quickly went into heart failure.

"He underwent open heart surgery in March 2007 to save his life. I'm glad to say he's still here with me for his first birthday and first Valentine's day.

"I'm the proudest mother alive and I want the world to appreciate all the brave little heart babies in the world."

Other heart-felt messages included 'Think Pink', which was put forward by breast cancer patient Beverley Kerry to raise awareness of the illness, and 'Happy Harry' which was suggested by Rebecca Mason for her three-year-old son Harry who is always smiling despite suffering from a milk allergy and croup.

The personalised sweets will now go into production and are set to hit shelves by September 2008.

The ten winning messages chosen to appear on Love Hearts are:

1) Joyful Jo - from Josephine Hickman in Birmingham
2) Mermaid Eloise - from Sarah Elson in Suffolk
3) Happy Harry - from Rebecca Mason in Stoke-on-Trent
4) Heart Baby - from Katrina Swan in Lincolnshire
5) Kin of U Home - from Sally Pawson in Salford, Greater Manchester
6) Me Julie Best Mum - from Sarah Cummins in London
7) Juicy Jessie - from Jessie Blackley in Gloucestershire
8) I Luv Alan - from Hayley Williams in Cardiff
9) Granny P - from Mary Peterson in North Ayrshire
10) Think Pink - from Beverley Kerry in Derbyshire

Since its launch in 1956, Love Hearts have become firmly established not only as one of Swizzels Matlow's most popular products, but also as one of Britain's most enduring and recognisable icons. They have appeared on products as diverse as curtains to cosmetics and featured everywhere from the former Millennium Dome to a Kate Nash music video.

The 80th anniversary gave fans a rare opportunity to have their own moniker added to the Love Hearts' roll call of messages. These have evolved considerably in line with linguistic trends over the decades. Original captions from the 1950s, such as 'Sexy Sue', 'Dream Girl', 'Be Gay' and 'Cutie Pie', evolved into 21st century vernacular such as 'Text Me', 'Doh' and 'Luv You 24/7'.

Andrew Matlow, communications director at the company, explained: "We always knew that Love Hearts held a special place in the nation's hearts but the response to the competition has been overwhelming.
"After much deliberation by the judges we now have ten fresh new messages for one of the true great British brands in this, Swizzels Matlow's 80th anniversary year."

Based in New Mills, Derbyshire, Swizzels Matlow's product range reads like a Who's Who of confectionery and includes brands such as Love Hearts, Drumsticks, New Refreshers, Rainbow Drops and Parma Violets.

The company, which is one of the few family owned businesses still around in its industry, has been making sweet history since 1928.

Source: Response Source

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