Valentine’s Day Fun Facts

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Valentine's Day


Happy Valentine’s Day from FMTC! Not everyone may celebrate this day of love but if you’re in the retail business, you know it’s a great opportunity to make sales. While you’re buying or selling Valentine’s Day gifts this year, here are some fun facts you can share!

Historical Facts

The oldest recorded Valentine was in 1415. has all the details on the origins of Valentine’s Day (which doesn’t have a romantic beginning), but it also tells of the oldest record of a valentine. During the middle ages, Charles Duke of Orleans wrote to his wife a love poem while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London.

Candy hearts originated from medical lozenges. Conversation hearts are the most popular Valentine’s Day candy in the U.S. that actually were created back in 1866. It all started in 1847 when a Boston pharmacist, Oliver Chase, invented the machine that simplified the lozenge production process. This ended up being the first candy-making machine as well when he created Necco wafers. It wasn’t until 1866, though, that he found a way to write phrases on the candies with vegetable coloring.

The oh-so-popular chocolate box came about 150+ years ago. In the 1860s, Richard Cadbury introduced the very first Valentine’s Day box chocolates that he designed himself. This was a result of his newly refined chocolate-making technique that allowed him to create chocolate for eating, rather than just drinking.

Saint Valentine was a rebel. The “founder” of Valentine’s Day is thought to be Saint Valentine who defied Emperor Claudius II. The Roman emperor had banned marriage because he thought single men made better soldiers. Saint Valentine then illegally married couples until he was caught and executed, which is said to have been on February 14th.

Spending Trends

Americans spent $20.7 billion on Valentine’s Day last year in 2019. This is reported by the National Retail Federation and the number is expected to rise even more in 2020. The bulk of sales come from department stores and online retailers.

Sweet treats are preferred by both men and women. Flowers may be beautiful but you can’t eat them! That must be why both men and women prefer to receive chocolate over flowers, according to the National Confectioners Association. They also performed a survey that found 87% of consumers are planning on buying chocolate or candy this year for loved ones.

Approximately 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year, according to Hallmark. This number does not include kids’ packaged cards that they give out in class. This makes Valentine’s Day the second biggest holiday for exchanging greeting cards, only preceded by Christmas!

Americans plan to spend an estimated $751.3 million on gifts for their pets (“breaking mews” by finder). Dog and cat owners will be shopping for their precious pets to share the love this year. If you sell pet products, be sure to highlight some sales or coupons this year!

Gifting experiences is on the rise. The National Retail Federation has found that this year, 28% of consumers are planning on giving a gift of experience. So rather than a physical gift, like jewelry, flowers or candy, they would rather create memories by attending an event or going somewhere together.


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