Although Valentine’s Day spending is expected to level off after a decade-long rise, American consumers are projected to spend the same amount on candy, according to a new survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
Consumers are expected to drop $18.2 billion on treats and gifts on loved ones, down from a record $19.7 billion last year, projections reveal. On average, consumers will spend $136.57, down 7 percent from last year’s $146.84 average.
“While fewer are planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, millions of shoppers will still make room in their budgets to spoil their loved ones,” says Prosper Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow.
Despite decreased spending, consumers are still expected to spend on average $85.21 on their spouse or significant other, $26.59 on other family members, $6.56 on children’s classmates and teachers and $4.44 on pets.
And when it comes to gifts, the classics still reign. Nearly 20 percent of shoppers will buy jewelry to the tune of $4.3 billion. Half of consumers will buy candy, which is expected to total $1.7 billion, the same as in 2016.
Nearly 40 percent of consumers will take their valentines for an evening out, representing $3.8 billion in total spending. Just over a third of consumers are expected to spend $2 billion on flowers.
Also popular this year are “gifts of experience,” such as tickets to a concert or sporting event, a gym membership or an outdoor adventure, the NRF says. However, while 40 percent of consumers want an experience gift, only 24 percent plan to give one.
“Valentine’s Day continues to be a popular gift-giving occasion even if consumers are being more frugal this year,” says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “This is one day of the year when millions find a way to show their loved ones they care regardless of their budget.”
The survey, which polled 7,591 consumers about their Valentine’s Day plans, was conducted Jan. 4-11 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.