Alcohol Gifting on the Rise While Jewelry & Electronics Show Continued Declines

CHICAGO, IL February 7, 2022 – Numerator, a data and tech company serving the market research space, has published findings from a consumer sentiment study to understand how consumers plan to celebrate and spend for Valentine’s Day 2022. Overall, consumers indicate a willingness to return to pre-pandemic behaviors across celebration plans, gifting categories, and shopping methods. Alcohol showed the steepest increase in intended gifting while electronics and jewelry continued to decline as consumers plan to shop for Valentine’s Day gifts.

Valentine’s Day is a shopping holiday at heart, with 52% of Valentine’s Day celebrators planning to buy gifts, either for themselves or for others, an increase of 4 points from Valentine’s Day 2021. However, gift buying still remains well below pre-pandemic norms, down 16 points from February 2020.

Dining out is showing a strong rebound. More than one-third (36%) of consumers intend to go out for food or drinks on Valentine’s Day this year, up from 17% in 2021, and climbing back toward the 45% of consumers who planned to dine out in February 2020.

Pandemic behaviors like cooking at home and ordering delivery are sticking. Both cooking at home and ordering takeout food were the only two celebration plans to gain popularity during the pandemic, growing 10+ points from 2020 to 2021. In 2022, both showed only slight decreases, indicating that these behaviors may be lasting.

Valentine’s Day Celebration Plans
Percentage of Respondents Selecting

2020 2021 2022
Buy gifts (for myself or others) 68% 48% 52%
Go out for food/drinks 45% 17% 36%
Decorate/Send Valentine’s Day cards 38% 26% 33%
Cook at home 25% 35% 29%
At-home entertainment 30% 29% 28%
Decorate my home for Valentine’s Day 29% 23% 28%
Order takeout/food delivery 14% 26% 23%
Host friends or family at home 10% 6% 10%
In-person entertainment 12% 5% 8%
Travel 9% 4% 8%

Source: Numerator Survey

Valentine’s Day Spending:

Nearly three-quarters of consumers say inflation will affect their Valentine’s spending. Half of respondents expect rising prices to have a slight impact on their Valentine’s Day shopping, and 24% expect a significant impact. To combat rising prices, 43% of consumers plan to look for promotions and coupons, 32% plan to shop at different retailers, and 24% say they will buy in smaller quantities this year.

Candy will appear in 3 in 5 Valentine’s baskets – with other food items not far behind. To celebrate Valentine’s Day in 2022, 62% of consumers plan to buy candy, followed by cards (59%), food (52%), flowers (28%), alcoholic beverages (23%), clothes (15%), spa products (11%), and jewelry (10%).

  • Gen Z and younger Millennial consumers are shifting Valentine’s gifting categories. This group is 49% more likely than older generations to buy experiential gifts (e.g. concert tickets, travel), 29% more likely to buy alcohol, 23% more likely to buy clothes, and 15% more likely to buy spa products. On the other side, younger generations are 17% less likely than older generations to purchase greeting cards for Valentine’s Day.
  • Traditional Valentine’s gifts are showing multi-year declines among consumers. Electronics, accessories, and jewelry showed the biggest drops in gifting for the second year in a row, while alcohol and food gifts increased in popularity.
  • Flowers maintain a steady decline as a Valentine’s go-to gift. In February 2020, just under half of consumers (46%) planned to buy Valentine’s Day flowers, falling to 31% of consumers in 2021 and 28% in 2022, possibly a result of consumers spending more time at home.

Half of consumers will shop online for Valentine’s Day – but many plan to return to in-store shopping. 48% of consumers plan to do their Valentine’s Day shopping online, down from 53% of consumers in 2021. The percentage of consumers planning to shop in many in-store channels showed increases vs 2021 levels, led by Dollar (+10 points), Club (+7 points), and Grocery (+4 points).

  • Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X are significantly more likely than Boomers+ to shop online for Valentine’s Day. More than half of younger consumers plan to shop online retailers, compared to 36% of consumers ages 55-64 and 29% of consumers ages 65+.

Younger generations are valuable Valentine’s Day consumers. Millennials are significantly more likely than other generations to spend $200+ for Valentine’s Day, while Gen X is more likely to spend in the $51-$200 range. Gen Z consumers are the most likely group to say they will increase their candy purchases for this year’s Valentine’s Day, with 32% planning to buy more candy than Valentine’s Day 2021 and 13% planning to buy significantly more.

The 2022 Numerator Valentine’s Day survey was fielded between 1/12/2022 and 1/18/2022 to 1,175 consumers who plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day 2022. Numerator panelists self-identify for demographic and psychographic attributes. 

About Numerator

Numerator is a data and tech company bringing speed and scale to market research. Headquartered in Chicago, IL, Numerator has more than 2,500 employees worldwide. The company blends proprietary data with advanced technology to create unique insights for the market research industry that has been slow to change. The majority of Fortune 100 companies are Numerator clients.


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