Chocolate Sales Boom as More Couples Stay at Home for Valentine’s Day

By Thomas Price Monday, February 15, 2021

With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping more couples from being able to go out to dinner or travel for Valentine’s Day, companies and businesses in the chocolate industry have been reaping the rewards. After an already strong year, chocolate companies have seen another rise in sales this past weekend as many couples have chosen to supplement the holiday with confections.

Valentine's Day chocolates.

Valentine’s Day Shopping Habits

While chocolate sales have certainly grown this Valentine’s Day, spending as a whole has gone down this year with couples and friends not being able to go out to restaurants or travel during the weekend. In fact, consumers on average have spent $165 for the holiday this year, a drop of $32 from numbers in 2020 as a much larger majority of people are spending the holiday at home.

The dip in overall spending, however, has resulted in the opposite for chocolate product purchases. Businesses and companies that focus specifically on the confection found themselves in a comfortable position as the majority of Valentine’s Day spending went toward these locations. In fact, 86% of Americans planned on purchasing chocolate as a part of the holiday celebration this past weekend. On top of that, consumers are spending more on chocolate, averaging $46, a $20 increase from the year before.

In particular, chocolate company Ferrero is seeing its business increase across the board, from its higher-end products all the way to its ever-popular chocolate-hazelnut spread, Nutella.

When commenting on the popularity of chocolate in recent months, VP of category management and shopper insights for business, Phil DeConto said, “It will probably look a little different in 2021 than other years but certainly that acknowledgement of friends is still going to be very meaningful in this season. People are making fewer trips out, but when they’re out, they’re making those trips count, and the two ways we’ve seen that count was the overall basket size has increased, and the size of the unit people are buying has increased.”

Chocolate Sales over the Year and Future Expectations

Business for chocolate companies has been up all year, with the COVID-19 pandemic pushing demand higher as many people have taken to the treats for mental health relief during the trying times. In fact, during the past 52 weeks, chocolate sales as a whole have been up 4.7%, with premium chocolate sales nearly doubling that growth. In response to the bump in business, some companies plan on raising prices on chocolate in the near future.

Major candy company Hershey's has already made plans to raise prices on select chocolate items by the fall of 2021 in response to increased demand and the rising price of cocoa in order to meet it. This will mark the first major price hike from the company since 2014. Many companies in the chocolate business may follow suit as well, with the producer price index on chocolate and cocoa up 13% over the last nine months as more consumers continue to buy in larger quantities.

While it is still uncertain if these business trends for chocolate will continue after the pandemic has waned, the current demand has already created a premium on the sweet treat.

About the Author

Headshot of Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on entertainment and sports features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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