With 90% of Americans regularly treating themselves to a sweet, frozen dessert, it’s no wonder we go crazy for candy on Valentine’s Day. Chocolate is the old favorite, but there’s more variety than you might think when it comes to picking the perfect Valentine’s Day candy for your sweetheart.
For a long time, conversation hearts — those sweet candies with phrases like “be mine” and “xoxo” on them — won the battle of the sweets. But this year there’s a new top pick for Valentine’s Day candies. Here’s a breakdown of what’s sure to sell out when people are buying sweet treats for their sweethearts this year.
Which Candy Won Out?
For a long time, SweetHearts conversation hearts dominated the Valentine’s candy market. But they suffered a set back last year when they failed to appear on store shelves. That had a significant and lingering effect on conversation hearts.
In their place, treats like M&M’s are moving up. M&M’s claimed the number one spot in three states this year: Arizona, Kansas and New Jersey. That may be in part due to the drop off in conversation hearts. But M&M’s Cupid’s Mix and Cupid’s Message products also quickly became favorites since hitting the market.
Of course, the old staples are still well represented. Things like heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, Hershey kisses and chocolate roses placed in the top three for several states. Don’t count on these longtime favorites disappearing any time soon. Alongside M&M’s and conversation hearts, gift boxes, chocolate roses, and general chocolates appear as frequent contenders for each state’s favorite Valentine’s candy.
Here’s one you may not have considered: Cupid corn. Often associated with Halloween, candy corn is also making a push during Valentine’s Day. While candy corn, in general, is falling off as a favorite among consumers, there are some places, like Michigan, where the candy is still incredibly popular on Valentine’s Day and other holidays.
Other Valentine’s Day Facts
Candy isn’t the only thing consumers are concerned about when it comes to Valentine’s Day. Many are ready to throw down some serious money to make their loved one feel special for the holiday.
In fact, consumers are expected to spend $30.19 on family members this year, which is up from $29.87 last year. Friends will get about $14.69 (compared to $9.78 in 2019) and co-workers will see an average of $12.96 spent on their gifts (compared to $7.78 in 2019). Even pets are getting some love, with people expecting to spend an average of $12.21 on pets, up from $6.94 last year.
Overall, consumers are predicted to spend about $101 this year, which is up from $93.24 in 2019. That’s still down more than 60% compared to a decade ago.
And where will all that money go? A lot, $5.8 billion, is expected to be spent on jewelry, with another $.43 billion spent on a nice evening out with a significant other. Candy is predicted to account for $2.4 billion, with flowers close behind at $2.3 billion. Smaller amounts will be spent on things like gift cards, greeting cards and experiences.
If you’re still thinking about what to get your special someone for Valentine’s Day, consider picking up the most-loved candy in their state (have fun with the interactive map directly above). After all, there’s a good chance they’ll also be a fan.