Gearing Up for Year’s Most ‘Anxious’ Holiday

Basket of wrapped gifts

Gearing Up for Year’s Most ‘Anxious’ Holiday

Supermarkets are well positioned to make the most of Valentine’s Day.

Some say you can’t put a price tag on love, but each year the National Retail Federation (NRF) does an annual study to do just that, and last year love cost the U.S. $19.7B with year-over-year growth. This makes love the second biggest U.S. spending holiday trailing only Christmas.

As the price tag for love climbs ever higher, so does the anxiety level over planning the perfect Valentine’s Day. There are a number of factors that are driving this anxiety, including: partner expectations, social media and peer pressure.  Just a quick scan through Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and you are able to easily see and react to all these expressions of love on Valentine’s Day.  So it’s not surprising to learn that Millennials, the digital natives, are carrying the highest share of this anxiety compared to other age groups.

We recently conducted a survey among 4,300 consumers between the ages of 18 – 70, and inquired about their Valentine’s Day plans, expectations and anxiety. Of the 60 percent of Americans who report being in a romantic relationship, we  found that Millennials possess the highest levels of stress about planning the perfect Valentine’s Day than the other age segments we surveyed – twice as high as Generation Xers and four times that of Baby Boomers. Length of relationship also plays a key role as those who are in a relationship of two years or newer have higher stress levels than those in longer relationships.

To make the stakes on love even higher WalletHub found that nearly 53 percent of women would end a relationship if they didn’t receive anything for Valentine’s Day. This may be the underlying reason men were expected to spend nearly twice as much as women, with average expenses totaling $196.39 compared with women’s $99.87.

What are all these billions of dollars being spent on? According to the NRF, consumers planned an average spend of $146.84 per person on candy, greeting cards, flowers and experiences such as spa visits and dinner.  Over half of respondents said they would be purchasing candy for their Valentine this year.

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