It's almost here - Valentine's Day that is! Although sentimental at a personal level, it represents a signifcant impact on a number of sectors not the least of which is for those in food industry with sales expected to be in the $2.7 Million range for chocolate and candy items!
Valentine's Day is steeped in 2,500 years of history - mired in rituals celebrating the feast of Lupercalia, influenced by Christian thought, martyred men, and saints, Kings and poets, prisoners and lovers - it truly is a day that honours feelings of endearment for those we hold close to our hearts!
History Television cites that the first commercially produced Valentine card entered the market in the 1840's. It is probably not surprising that this particular business became so successful as it began when written letters were a chief conduit of communication at that time. Needless to say, following the tradition of letters of love, the use of cards grew steadfastly so much so that that Valentine's Day cards now represent the second most lucrative holiday for the greeting card industry. In 2011 almost $823 Million dollars was spent on finding that perfect verse for our loved ones. (University of Western Libraries).
Given the general nature of our focus on the food and beverage sector, it almost goes without saying that the second most popular gift for our loved one is chocolate and candy. (Never a problem at my end!) I have been tantalized through my email and Facebook accounts with wonderful photographs of late of the most appetizing valentine day chocolates, cookies, shortbread and candy treats! (My absolute, absolute favourite though are the little red hot cinnamon hearts!)
When it comes to chocolate and candy, Canada is looking at somewhere in the neighbourhood of $2.7 Million in sales this year according to Nielsen Research and in the US "more than 58 Million pounds of chocolate candy will be sold" during this particular week. From a confectionary sales perspective, Valentine's Day falls just after Hallowe'en, Easter and Christmas as the fourth biggest holiday of the year. The National Confection's Association estimates that almost "4% of total yearly candy revenue" is generated at this time. Can you believe that "more than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold for Valentine's Day" according to the NCA!
There are not a great many more hours before Valentine's Day officially begins and if Nielsen's Research is correct, most of our chocolate and candy purchases will take place today - February 13th!
So, with some anticipation I can say that my card has been chosen and my words carefully selected, my gift wrapped in extraordinarly appropriately marked paper with "x's" and "o's" and I am ready to celebrate Valentine's Day hoping that sharing some red hot cinnamon hearts with my family may soon be at hand!
If you are interested in learning more about the history of Valentine's Day, please check out the following website by History Television: http://www.history.ca/content/ContentDetail.aspx?ContentId=119
Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!
Bren de Leeuw, Sr. Community Development & Food and Beverage Program Manager
EMC Canada - email@example.com