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Snacks & Candy

Consumers to Spend Nearly $19.6 Billion on Valentine’s Day

And 5% more than last year say candy will be their gift of choice

WASHINGTON -- Love is in the air this winter: Americans are expected to spend nearly $19.6 billion on Valentine’s Day—a $1.4 billion jump from last year—according to a recent survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Of the total spending, an estimated $1.8 billion will go toward candy purchase, and 5% more consumers than last year say it will be their gift of choice.

The survey, which polled more than 7,000 U.S. consumers, also foresees an average spend of $143.56 for the holiday, an increase from last year’s $136.57. Fifty-five percent of the population plans to celebrate this year. Consumers ages 25-34 will likely spend an average of $202.76, the most of any age group.

These numbers are the second-highest in the survey’s 15-year history, topped only by 2016’s $19.7 billion total and $146.84 average spend.

Moreover, consumers plan to spend an average of $88.98 on their significant others ($12.1 billion), $25.29 on other family members ($3.5 billion), $7.26 on children’s classmates/teachers ($991 million), $7.19 on friends ($982 million), $5.50 on pets ($751 million) and $4.79 on co-workers ($654 million), the survey said.

Along with spending on candy, they’ll also spend approximately $4.7 billion on jewelry (bought by 19% of consumers), $3.7 billion on an evening out (35%), $2 billion on flowers (36%), $1.9 billion on clothing (17%), $1.5 billion on gift certificates (15%) and $894 million on greeting cards (46%). Also, 24% of consumers plan to gift tickets to concerts or sporting events.

Like last year, department stores are consumers’ main shopping spot (35%) for Valentine's gifts, followed by discount stores (32%), online (29%), specialty stores (19%), florists (17%) and local businesses (14%).

And for the 45% of consumers who won’t be celebrating? More than a quarter (27%) of them will still do something, whether that’s treating themselves in some way or getting together with family and friends, the report said.

“Valentine’s Day has become a holiday consumers take advantage of not only to spoil their loved ones, but themselves,” said Phil Rist, executive vice president of strategy for Prosper Insights & Analytics. “Shoppers should look out for deals on everything from candy to date-night dinner packages in the coming days, leaving plenty of options for those looking to make the occasion truly special.”

Worthington, Ohio-based Prosper Insights & Analytics provides global market information on American and Chinese consumers regarding views on the economy, personal finance, retail, lifestyle, media and domestic and world issues.

Washington-based NRF, the world’s largest retail trade association, represents discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, small merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries.

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