OHIO VALLEY — Valentine’s Day for many is a day to celebrate love and friendship. For florists and retailers, it ushers in spring events including proms, weddings, and Mother’s Day, all associated with flowers and gift giving.
Since 2020, new challenges have arisen, often making it difficult to procure items that were previously abundant. The impact of COVID-19 on supply chains is being felt in the florist industry with shortages and price increases in vases, flowers, and equipment. Many see this as an opportunity to become more creative with the resources at hand, to educate customers on proper care of cut flowers and plants, and to suggest alternatives to traditional arrangements.
For example, instead of ordering a bouquet of all roses for Valentine’s Day, florists may suggest mixed bouquets. The advantage to the customer is that while still including roses, the arrangements include flowers that are longer lasting; once the roses are gone, the other flowers will continue to bring joy to the recipient.
With over 150 varieties of roses available to florists, red roses aren’t the only choice, and many customers are now choosing mixed roses or less traditional colors, including orange and lavender.
Cards are still very popular, and not only the traditional purchased variety. Crafters have gone back to the original tradition of hand making Valentine cards, and many have made them also available for purchase.
It is doubtful that chocolate candy’s association with the day will disappear any time soon. Americans who celebrate Valentine’s Day purchase about 58 million pounds of chocolate. Yearly chocolate sales grew by 12 percent in 2020. A report by the candy Industry revealed the global cocoa and chocolate market size was valued at $44.35 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $61.34 billion by 2027.
Another trend is including pets on Valentine’s Day. In 2020, 27 percent of shoppers bought gifts for their pets.
Valentine traditions have changed over the years. The holiday began with card and note giving, a day to say “I love you” to romantic partners as well as friends and family, and has expanded into an explosion of red, pink, and white cards, decorations, and flowers.
While some will argue that Valentine’s Day, like many other holidays, is becoming too commercialized, industry trends do not predict spending on the holiday will decrease anytime soon. Many seem to be making up for the Valentine’s that were missed during 2020 and 2021 season, using this time to say “I love you” and “thank you.”
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Lorna Hart is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.