Keep your Valentine's Day offering relevant with these 4 tips

5 May 2022

Valentine's Day

The most popular gifts on Valentine's Day are flowers, sweets and chocolate. For pastry, bakery and chocolate brands, the 14th of February is the first major moment of the year to boost turnover. But besides offering seasonal creations, such as well-loved and classic heart-shaped baked goods and chocolate cakes, there are a few more things to keep in mind if you’re hoping to promote sales. These tips help you adapt to shifting consumer behaviour on Valentine's Day.

Just like last year, Valentine’s Day 2022 is likely going to be a great moment for food producers, chocolate brands in particular. Until 2020, consumers increasingly tended towards experience gifts for the holiday, such as dinners, dates and overnight stays. But because of the pandemic, food treats made a major comeback. 

Last year, 29% of American consumers said for Valentine’s Day they want chocolate, candy or other food treats, while only 15% of them wished to receive experiential gifts, according to a survey by With Covid-19 measures still intact in a lot of countries, this trend towards physical gifts will likely continue. What is the ultimate food gift among American adults? A large majority of 44%, named chocolate. This trend is likely to come through in other parts of the world, especially considering that 53% of consumers around the world now agree that chocolate is healthy (an increase from 46% in 2018) according to our Taste Tomorrow research. 

To meet the rapidly-evolving consumer demands this Valentine’s Day, we have prepared four tips that will help you make the most of this romantic holiday:

1. Offer online ordering and delivery options

This shift to online ordering and delivery, which started from necessity, has quickly changed into a continuing expectation. 2 out of 5 consumers had already ordered their pastry, cakes or fine patisserie online at least once last year, with a similar number expressing interest in doing so in future. A lot of people will do their Valentine's Day shopping online because it’s quick, easy and they have the option to compare prices. So make sure your cakes, bakes and chocolates are available online as well. 

Our worldwide survey showed that 57% of consumers think that all shops and restaurants should be able to deliver products at home. Organising delivery of three-tier cakes is challenging, but there are a lot of possibilities for letterbox sweets that you can mail to customers. Think of beautifully decorated cookies, brownies, petit fours, chocolate bonbon or cake pops. Those treats are relatively long-lasting and can handle their box being handled in the mail. Click & collect is an option as well, which leaves you with fewer restrictions on size, shelf life and vulnerability.

Whatever goods you develop, make sure to promote them on your social media and website. 47% of global consumers say they like to get inspired online on the product offering of local shops. In the Asia Pacific region and South America, those numbers are even higher, with more than 6 in 10 consumers hoping to find inspiration on seasonal offers on their Facebook and Instagram timelines.

2. Consider diverse gift receivers

While we tend to think of romantic couples as the center of Valentine's Day, in reality that is only part of the celebration. In 2021 for instance only 52% of the total US spending for Valentine's Day went to spouses and partners, showed research by the National Retail Federation. A lot of gifts go to family members, friends, classmates, co-workers and even pets.

Galentine’s Day, celebrated the day before Valentine's Day, is getting bigger every year, where Valentine's Day has been renamed to celebrate female friendship – the gals. Capitalize on this trend by making inclusive gifts that are suitable for loved ones in general, not just romantic interests. That can be cupcakes to pass out among friends, but also a larger cake that can be shared at a special Galentine's party.

It is also good to keep in mind that men and women are orienting Valentine's Day gifts in different ways. Google trend data shows that the search traffic for ‘Valentine’s gifts for him’ was much higher than for ‘Valentine’s gifts for her’ in January and February last year. So it may pay off to promote gifts for men or even develop specific chocolates or pastries for male recipients.


3. Experiment with looks

Valentine's Day sweets, chocolates and pastries are pretty traditional in their flavours and looks. Each year, we see a lot of strawberries, champagne, passion fruit and (salted) caramel flavours pop up for the February holiday. The dominant colours are red and pink and of course, heart shapes are everywhere. What’s interesting is that in 2021 75% of consumers preferred traditional tastes according to our worldwide consumer research, so it is more beneficial to introduce a new look rather than a new taste for this year's Valentine’s product selection. 

It is worthwhile to investigate interesting shapes, designs and decorations. Six in ten consumers believe that food that looks good to the eyes is tasty too. And especially for younger generations, they want their food to be Instagrammable. That is especially true for Valentine's Day when many consumers show off their food gifts and express gratitude to each other through social media. Puratos’ Sensory Analysis also suggests that shiny bakery products are considered more appealing; traditional decorations and colours can be used to make jaw-dropping sweets.


4. Show some love (for the planet) yourself

Valentine’s Day is all about being kind and showing your love. For the growing group of conscious consumers, that has to be done with love and respect for the planet as well. Sustainability and environmental care matter, especially to young consumers under 35. Many consumers will be checking their heart-shaped chocolates for signs of ethical production.

With 60% of consumers now buying plant-based products, having a vegan Valentine’s option available is the easiest start to make. But to truly win over the conscious consumer, you have to make changes further down the production chain as well. The four major topics where consumers like to see companies make an effort with environmental production are sustainable packaging (70% of consumers), organic products (64%), use of local ingredients (60%) or focus on local production (63%). 


In recent years, we have seen that Valentine’s Day is no longer just for significant others, with the concept increasingly expanding to friendship groups and family. What an excellent opportunity to make your business stand out as the go-to place for the perfect gifts! 

Looking for more tips, tools and recipe inspiration for the upcoming Valentine’s Day, discover the 5 tips and tricks from Puratos.

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