Valentine’s Day Special: U.S. Consumers Shop For Sweets, Strawberries and Wine

Valentine’s Day Special: U.S. Consumers Shop For Sweets, Strawberries and Wine

For many consumers across the country, Feb. 14 is a special day to share with loved ones and friends. And for retailers, Valentine’s Day is a huge opportunity to sweeten the day for shoppers and for their own cash drawers.

Fresh Sweets & Treats

The week that includes Valentine’s Day is ripe with promise for several categories, including fresh strawberries, baked goods, chocolate and wine, items often used to entice the feeling of love and harmony that may in floating in the air. Fresh strawberries sold in the perimeter of the store, for example, generated more than $52 million in sales last Valentine’s Day.

Fresh strawberries sold in the perimeter of the store generated more than $52M in sales last Valentine’s Day.

The bakery department is another hot spot for Valentine’s Day friends and lovers, to no surprise, thanks to its sweet offerings. Items like dipped and covered treats, cookies and cupcakes are the most popular selling bakery items during the week in which Valentine’s Day falls.

It’s All About Chocolate

Last year, Valentine’s Day candy generated $695 million—and chocolates helped. But chocolate isn’t only sweet during Valentine’s day. According to Nielsen Product Insider, chocolates sold throughout last year reached nearly $11 billion.

Whether Valentine’s Day or any simply sweet occasion, chocolate dollars have started to increase among varieties that have better-for-you healthy ingredients. For example, sales of specialty chocolates containing cacao, an ingredient that some believe can improve heart health, have increased in dollars from 2016 by 26.3%. Additionally, chocolates with all natural, clean label and sustainable claims are also on the rise. In fact, 51% of specialty chocolate sales in 2017 came from products that are categorized as clean labeled. For chocolate candy manufacturers, knowing which attributes are diving sales growth can help plan to better satisfy consumers’ sweet tooths.

Don’t Forget the Wine

Valentine’s Day is a top-selling moment for wine across the U.S., as many consumers pick up a bottle to share with their loved one or friends during this special day. In fact, Valentine’s Day is one of the top holidays for wine sales, ranking sixth in 2017, with $620 million dollars. While red wine remains a Valentine’s Day favorite, Americans increased their spending on white wine in 2017 by about $3 million compared with their 2016 spending. They also ramped up their spending on rosé wine, which boasted total sales of $11.6 million last year, up from $7.2 million in 2016. Sparkling rosé sales also increased nearly 7% last year, with Valentine’s Day sales totaling $5.5 million.


Insights from this article were derived from:

  • Nielsen FreshFacts, Total U.S., one week ended Feb. 18, 2017
  • Nielsen, All Outlets Combined + Convenience, Total U.S., 52 weeks ended Dec. 30, 2017
  • Nielsen Product Insider, Powered by Label Insights, Total U.S. 52 weeks ended Jan, 6, 2018