Isn’t That Sweet? Valentine’s Day Spending is Soaring

FWho loves you, baby?

Valentine’s Day spending will reach $18.9 billion this year, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF).

Gifts run the gamut, but candy takes the cake with consumers.

Here’s an excerpt from an NRF press release, which has the breakdown:

While most (53.2%) plan to buy candy for the sweet holiday, spending a total of $1.7 billion, one in five (21.1%) plans to buy jewelry for a total of $4.8 billion, the highest amount seen since NRF began tracking spending on Valentine’s gifts in 2010.

Additionally 37.8% will buy flowers, spending a total of $2.1 billion, and more than one-third (35.1%) will spend on plans for a special night out, including movies and restaurants, totaling $3.6 billion. Celebrants will also spend nearly $2 billion on clothing and $1.5 billion on the gift that keeps on giving: gift cards.

It turns out that Valentine’s Day isn’t just for lovebirds. Although 91% of those surveyed plan to indulge their significant others/spouses with gifts, 58.7% will dish out an average of $26.26 on other family members and $6.30 on children’s classmates/teachers.

Delectable chocolates, sweet gestures and a hearty economic impact – you’ve got to love it.

Forget Costumes; Halloween is About the Candy

Sure, it was fun when I dressed up like Alf when I was a kid (no, I didn’t demand anyone’s cat when trick or treating), but the best part of Halloween night was sorting out the loot.

Lollipop … ehhh. Bubble gum … trash. Chocolate … score!

My sweet tooth always has had a bias toward the creamy, smooth delicacy that is chocolate. While I won’t be knocking on neighbors’ doors this year in search of my true vice, I will indulge in some of Indiana’s finest treats for Halloween. Here are a couple Chamber members who put all of those fun-sized candy bars to shame:

South Bend Chocolate Company offers pumpkin fudge and caramel corn drizzled in chocolate and pumpkin flavor for the fall. You can find me at the downtown Indianapolis location at least once a month indulging in my personal favorite treat – South Bend’s milk chocolate double dipped peanuts. Read more about this maker of all things sweet in a recent BizVoice story.

DeBrand Fine Chocolates, based in Fort Wayne, makes chocolate that’s as beautiful as it tastes. I’m pining for one of its giant chocolate covered caramel apples.

What’s even better about these fall chocolate treats is I can fully justify indulging for Thanksgiving celebrations too. Score!