Candy Industry Blog

Valentine's Day candy's not just for lovers

February 8, 2012

As part of my candy magazine writer contract, [sub-section B, part 4], I am required to write at least one column about Valentine’s Day per year.

By Crystal Lindell

Associate Editor

As part of my candy magazine writer contract, [sub-section B, part 4], I am required to write at least one column about Valentine’s Day per year.

Sorry. It’s the law.

So, first of all, Valentine’s Day is in six days? Wasn’t Christmas last week? I’m so confused.

Moving along, let’s talk about love.

I love love. (And if you don’t, let me give you a hug - you need one). So I’m not outright opposed to the holiday parse. I mean, what girl knocks a celebration centered on hearts, chocolate and chocolate hearts? It might as well be called V♀lentine’s Day.

Rather, the problem comes when the holiday turns into “Singles Awareness Day.” The time for single people everywhere to cry themselves out of bed in the morning, get in their cars and drive to cubicle farms full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes of candy for other people.

As someone who’s spent about 95% of my Valentine’s Days single, I can tell you that the whole thing is about as fun as a eating hot soup while sitting on a cactus.

In an attempt to get through said holiday though, I’ve tried to approach it with various tactics. At first, I thought I’d just ignore it all together. Throwing around phrases such as “Hallmark Holiday” and “It’s not even a real holiday” only gets you so far though when you report on an industry dedicated to selling as much stuff as possible on Feb. 14.

Then, I tried to pretend that it doesn’t matter that there’s no ring on my left hand. After all, it means I’m free to live my life anyway I want and it’s much better than being in a bad marriage. Alas, that too only helps so much.

So instead, this year I’ve decided to take a different approach and instead go all in. Rather than just showing love to my Valentine, I’m going to do my best to show everyone on my cell phone speed dial list how much I ‘heart’ them. That includes: family, friends, my pastor, Pizza Hut, and my boss (maybe), etc.

Valentine’s Day seems to be as good as day as any to express to my immediate circle of friends that I actually like them and appreciate having them in my life. Plus, it’s better than Christmas because there’s not nearly as much gift stress. Moreover, any token of appreciation is received with genuine surprise and smiles.

Of course, as more and more people start to view the holiday as an all-encompassing love fest, it can only mean good things for confectionery companies looking to score sales.

And, I’ve already noticed more and more candy makers jumping on this trend. Case in point, I recently bought a 28-pack of Airheads Valentine’s for the youth group I lead at my church.

In 2011, Americans spent $1.2 billion on Valentine’s Day candy, according to data from Symphony IRI. That number has no where to go but up as people buy treats for all their loved ones.

And most importantly, if this trend catches on maybe it’ll have the added bonus of giving even single people a reason to smile on Feb. 14.

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