Roses are red, violets are blue/Did you spend too much money this year? Yeah.. Us too.
Long, long ago a blissfully romantic tradition originated from a lesser known dark and bloody history. It apparently involved the Romans sacrificing a goat, matchmaking debauchery, and the execution of two men both named Valentine.
Whatever the story may be, the 3rd century martyrdom has long since been honored by the Catholic church, and February 14th has forever been in our hearts (unless SAD – Singles Awareness Day – occupies yours. It’s cool, we don’t judge).
Through the evolution of passing cute notes in primary school, to spending excess money on extravagant dinners (forget trying to see a movie), the modern tradition dictates that one can indeed buy love.
So how much do people spend on Valentine’s day? According to the research done by ECA International, an international data provider, Singapore ranks second on being one of the most expensive Asian cities for romance. The expenses include dinners, movies, drinks, transportation fees, etc. The total cost for the events are, on average, approximately USD$190. Meanwhile, Hong Kong ranks as the most expensive Asian city for romance, with a date costing around $195.
Worldwide, Geneva, Switzerland, Oslo, Norway and London, England all top the list, where a date amounts anywhere from $295, $262 and $205 respectively. The least expensive city is Tashkent, Uzbekistan, which averages $69 – nearly one fifth of what you would pay in Geneva. We’re coming for you, Tashkent!
Valentine’s Day Is the Third Biggest Holiday - It Is a Big Deal.
According to the Singapore National Research Foundation, the total expense of U.S. consumers on Valentine’s day expects to reach $19.6 billion. Breaking this number down further, 24% ($4.7 billion) is spent on jewelry, 18% ($3.7 billion) on dates, 9% ($1.8 billion) on candy, 10% ($2 billion) on flowers, 9% ($1.9 billion) on clothes, 8% ($1.5 billion) on gift cards, and 5% ($894 million) on cards.
Here are some consumption statistics to look at as well – in terms of revenue, Valentine’s Day is the third biggest holiday for the $22 billion U.S. chocolate industry. This one day is estimated to account for 24% of all sales in the market. Again, one day accounts for ¼ of all chocolate sales!!
In addition, Valentine’s Day is the number one holiday for flowers sold, and second to Christmas in the total amount spent. According to the Society of American Florists, a sum of 250 million roses were prepared for sale in 2018, where 190 million greeting cards were exchanged. The week of Valentine’s Day ranks 4th for wine sales, behind Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Thanksgiving, where men spend up to twice as much as women.
Of course, one consumer’s expenditure is another business’ revenue, and this holiday of love is no different. Last year, U.S. manufacturers shipped over $32 billion worth of Valentine’s Day goods. This includes $16 billion in chocolate candy, $10.1 billion in other candy, and $6.7 billion in jewelry and silverware. The amount shipped is greater than the domestic spending due to the overseas demand for U.S. made products. Meaning, around one third of the Valentine’s goods made in America are being shipped to places like Canada, the UK, Asia, and Australia.
No matter where you get your Valentine’s gifts, one thing is for sure – Valentine’s Day isn’t as sweet for consumer spending as it is for big business. Depending on how you intend to spend this holiday, maybe try cooking dinner for yourselves, or celebrate a week after.
No matter your personal sentiment about the day, or your affliction to the color red, don’t stress yourself out over the price tag. We’ll love you no matter how you decide to celebrate!