Most people are hoping to get candy for Valentine’s Day this year, and it’s also the No. 1 thing they plan to buy for those they love.

That’s according to a new study from Suzy, a market research company that offers on-demand insights into consumers. 

While COVID-19 has technically been in the United States for more than a year now, the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday will be the first that’s truly impacted by the pandemic. 

Traditionally known for celebrating romantic partnerships, there’s a huge part of Valentine’s Day that revolves around friendship and family. And it remains to be seen how COVID will impact things like classroom card exchanges and candy gifts.

However, Suzy’s latest research offers lots of reasons for optimism in the confectionery industry. 

The data, which was collected this month, shows that 23 percent said they would spend more on the holiday this year, while 40 percent plan to spend the same amount of money on Valentine's Day shopping or activities this year. Just over a third (36 percent) said they plan to spend less.

Specifically, 36 percent said they plan to spend between $10-$30 this year. And just 6 percent said they don’t plan to spend any money on Valentine’s Day this year. In addition, 13 percent said $1-10, 18 percent said $30-$50, 15 percent said $50-$100, and 12 percent said they plan to spend more than $100 on the holiday.  

When individuals were asked what gift they would like from their significant other, the top answer was candy, with 66 percent of respondents choosing it. That was followed by 60 percent choosing flowers, 54 percent choosing jewelry and 45 percent choosing perfume/cosmetics. 

In the other direction, 69 percent said they plan to buy Valentine's Day candy for their significant other. They also plan to buy it for others in their life who they love. Specifically, 49 percent said they buy candy for their child, 41 percent said for themselves, 40 percent said for their friends, 31 percent said for their relatives, 23 percent said for their child's classmates, and 20 percent said for their child's teacher. Just 15 percent said they were not planning to buy any Valentine's Day candy this year.  

As for school celebrations, the survey found that 40 percent of parents said their children will hand out Valentine's Day candy this year, but with restrictions. However, 31 percent of parents said their children are not in physical school, and 18 percent said they aren't sure of their school's Valentine's Day plans.  

Respondents were also asked what their favorite type of Valentine's Day candy is, and they said heart-shaped box of chocolates (29 percent), Hershey Kisses (22 percent), chocolate-covered cherries (22 percent), pink and red M&M's (11 percent), and Conversation Hearts (11 percent).

The Valentine’s Day study, which was done Jan. 14, 2021, included 538 participants between the ages 13-73, with 50 percent female and 50 percent male.