“Candy plays an important role in helping people celebrate special occasions like Valentine’s Day and is enjoyed as a treat year-round,” John Downs, president & CEO of the National Confectioners Association, said in a press release.
“Consumers understand the unique role that chocolate and candy can play in a happy, balanced lifestyle. Most people in the U.S. enjoy candy 2-3 times per week, averaging about 40 calories per day and about one teaspoon of added sugar per day from confectionery items,” he added.
A look at Google Trends reveals that chocolate searches in February are second only to searches over the Christmas holidays, which according to Euromonitor, is when chocolate boxes have the highest sales activity.
Survey details: Most want sweets, even the singles
Results from the survey revealed that 94% said they wanted to receive chocolate or candy for Valentine’s day “more than any other traditional gift associated with the holiday,” the association said (which includes flowers and cards).
Additionally, 43% of people said they planned to buy themselves a box of chocolate to celebrate. Women (47%) were more likely to treat themselves than men (42%), and millennials under the age of 30 (55%) will buy for themselves more than any other age group.
Shape matters to a lot of the respondents – 40% said that they would like to receive chocolates wrapped in a heart-shaped box. Seasonal-specific packaging such as this make up the food gifting industry, which Packaged Facts estimated to hit $18bn in 2016.
In this category, chocolate and candy lead the pack with 28% of gift food items, according to Packaged Facts. This is followed by baked gift foods (19%), coffee/tea/hot chocolate (17%), and nut or salty snack gift foods (15%).