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What are the most popular Valentine’s Gifts?

What are the most popular Valentine’s Gifts?

Sixty-two percent (62%) of Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day. 

In 2106, they spent almost twenty billion dollars ($20,000,000,000) doing so.  On average a man spent $146 and a women $100.  These popularity rankings are based on the number of gifts and not on the value of the gifts.

Candy is Number One

Valentine’s Day ranks fourth in seasonal candy sales (after Christmas, Halloween, and Easter).

Americans spend over two billion dollars ($2,000,000,000) on Valentine’s candy.

The Heart Shaped Candy Box

When exchanging Valentine’s Day cards started to become popular, candy was not in the picture. Sugar was hard to come by and expensive.  That changed in 1868 when Richard Cadbury, a British candy salesman, had an idea.  He started selling beautifully decorated boxes of chocolate for Valentine’s Day. Part of his marketing campaign included the suggestion that the empty box could be used to store love letters and other romantic memorabilia.  His idea caught on, and today more than 35 million heart-shaped candy boxes are purchased.

Conversation Hearts

That number pales in comparison to the 8 billion conversation hearts that are sold each year.

In 1847 Oliver Chase constructed America’s first candy machine called a lozenge cutter. With it, he made NECCO wafers. In 1866 his brother, Daniel Chase invented the machine that would press food dye letters into the candy lozenges giving birth to the conversation hearts, Sweethearts. The popular selling period only lasts six weeks, but the company has to make 100,000 pounds of the candy every day from mid-February to January to keep up with the demand. The sayings pressed into the hearts have been changed over time to reflect the changes in the country and culture.  New sayings are added and other are retired.

Flowers and Eating Out are Tied for Second Place

Language of Flowers

Charles II of Sweden brought the “language of flowers” from Persia to Europe in the early 1700s. Floral dictionaries were printed decoding the secret meanings of which emotions were associated with which flower. A bouquet of flowers could be strategically created to express more feelings than a whole conversation. For example, daffodils represent a new beginning. Daisies portrayed innocence. Lilacs were sent to signal the start of love, and periwinkles for tender memories.  A red rose was believed to be the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman Goddess of Love, and became the symbol of romantic love.  It seemed a fitting choice for Valentine’s Day.

Over two hundred and fifty million roses (250,000,000) are grown for Valentine’s Day.  Americans spend over two billion dollars ($2,000,000,000) on Valentine’s flowers. 

If you would like to learn more about the “language of flowers” you will find a dictionary here:

Jewelry is Number Three

Americans spent four and one half billion dollars ($4,500,000,000) on jewelry for Valentine’s Day in 2016. I would hazard a guess that most of that was spent on engagement rings. Over six million (6,000,000) couples became engaged on that day. Believe it or not, the average cost of an engagement ring was $2,410.  




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