By Steven Davidson, Human Resources & Finance Manager
February – the month of love! Pink and red galore, sweet confections, cards expressing love for that special someone, and flowers everywhere. Though there are others, Valentine’s Day is the holiday most associated with February.
According to the National Retail Federation, we spent nearly $21.8 billion dollars on the holiday during 2021! During the pandemic about 73% of consumers felt it was important to still celebrate. The biggest drop ever (statistic wise) is in dining out. Almost 24% of consumers still planned on eating out but 41% planned a special dinner at home. Here are a few fun facts about the holiday of romance. (Maybe you can discuss them over dinner!)
Chocolates and Conversation Hearts are the most popular candies associated with the holiday. Richard Cadbury was the first to mass-produce packaged chocolates in 1861. Today over 36 million heart shaped chocolate boxes are purchased every year. That equals nearly 58 million pounds of chocolate! Candy Hearts actually got their start as a medical lozenge first produced by Oliver Chase, a pharmacist in Boston. From this he developed a candy recipe for the lozenges and formed the New England Confectionery Company, known today as Necco. The sweet messages on those candies? They weren’t introduced until 1866. Today over 8 billion conversation hearts are made for the holiday, nearly 100,000 per day, stamped with approximately 45 different messages! The National Retail Federation estimates that consumers spend $2.8 billion dollars on candy and confections alone.
Nearly 6 million people may get engaged each Valentine’s Day!
The gift that people spend the most on during the holiday? Jewelry. The National Retail Federation estimates that consumers spent an estimated $5.8 billion dollars in jewelry in 2020.
The first Valentine card was, well, let’s say, not the traditional card we know today. History.com notes that the first was sent by French medieval Duke Charles in 1415. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London and sent the note to his wife. The romantic message exchanged between the two? “I am already sick of love, My very gentle Valentine.” Hallmark introduced the first mass-produced Valentine’s Day cards in 1913. Nearly 145 million cards are exchanged on the holiday (not including cards exchanged by students at their classroom parties!) Teachers receive the most cards, followed by children, mothers and wives. Valentine cards are the second most popular greeting card after Christmas cards!
We can’t forget flowers! This tradition dates to the 17th century, when King Charles of Sweden took a trip to Persia and learned that flowers had different meanings. Red roses, of course, symbolizing “deep love”. This tradition was then introduced in Europe and spread worldwide.
Single? Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated as “Singles Awareness Day”, but International Quirkyalone Day has been celebrated since 2003, focusing on self-love and platonic relationships. So go ahead, splurge on those flowers and chocolate for yourself!
Fun facts aside though, GreenTree has you taken care of this Valentine’s Day! There are fresh flowers, candy confections, and sweet treats from our bakery. We also have an amazing selection of meat and fish to make that special meal a flavorful and memorable one. Find out more here.
Special Thank you to History.com, the National Retail Federation, and Good Housekeeping for the fun facts and stats on this romantic time of the year! I sincerely hope you “loved” them.