Washington — By a vote of two to one, Americans would rather receive chocolate than flowers on February 14, according to a nationwide survey by the NCA.
Sixty-nine percent of the of the 1,300 adults surveyed said they’d rather have candy, with 83 percent of men preferring chocolate for the holiday compared to 59 percent of women. NCA Vice-President of Communications Susan Whiteside says: “Americans have a longstanding tradition of sharing candy with family, friends and colleagues during the holidays, and Valentine’s Day is no exception, with 83 percent of respondents citing the February holiday as a top candy-sharing occasion.”
Consumers are expected spend more than $1 billion on Valentine’s Day candy, an increase of almost two percent from 2013, as almost 62 percent of those surveyed say celebrating holidays brings happiness in tough economic times. Although about one-fifth (22 percent) say they’ll buy candy on sale, almost as many (16 percent) plan to purchase high-end or specialty seasonal items.
Almost three-quarters of the Valentine’s Day candy sold is chocolate, the Association reports. Of that, caramel is the most popular flavor in the box, followed by chocolate-covered nuts, cream-filled and chocolate-filled items, respectively.
On the consumption side, three-quarters of those surveyed assert healthful eating can include seasonal candy, and about one-third of respondents say they buy candy with a healthier profile, such as dark chocolate and items with fruit or nut inclusions. Twenty percent buy portion-sized seasonal candy, and 41 percent say they limit the amount of sweets their children consume each day.
Although 76 percent of women say their children don’t influence their seasonal candy purchases, just 46 percent of men can resist their pleas.