Love is in the air: The majority of Brits plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, with three-quarters saying plans unaffected by COVID fears

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This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: Love is in the air: The majority of Brits plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, with three-quarters saying plans unaffected by COVID fears.

Attest, a consumer research platform for some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing brands, has released new research on how the British public plans to spend its Valentine’s Day.

Following last year’s Valentine’s Day lockdown, most lovebirds are in the mood to celebrate this year, with 54% planning something special. By contrast, 31% will ignore the day. With the very recent lifting of all COVID restrictions in the UK, over three-quarters (77%) plan to celebrate the day like they “usually would” (versus 23%) despite lingering safety concerns regarding the Omicron variant.

Yet Brits appear to be on a tight budget when it comes to Valentine’s Day 2022, potentially due to the rising cost of living and ongoing economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Consumers are most likely to spend £25 or less on a gift this year (at 36%), followed by £25-50 (at 32%). However, one-fifth (21%) do plan to push the boat out and spend between £50-100 on their partner.  

When quizzed on how they might celebrate this year, well over half say they will give a card to their Valentine:

How are you planning on celebrating Valentine’s Day this year?

  • Giving a Valentine’s Day card - 57%
  • Sexual activity - 36%
  • Going out for dinner - 35%
  • Cooking a special meal at home - 33%
  • Giving flowers - 28% 
  • Giving other shop-bought gifts (electronics, jewellery, etc) - 28%
  • Getting a takeaway - 27%
  • Kind gestures (cleaning the house, breakfast in bed, etc) - 23%
  • Handmade/homemade gifts (a handwritten poem, a homemade cake, etc.) - 12%

For those (28%) who plan to celebrate by giving flowers to their special someone, the clichéd red rose is still the pick of the bunch. Just under half (46%) of these respondents will purchase this type of flower, followed closely by mixed bouquets (45%). The reliance by some consumers on the old reliable red rose as a gift could be a risky one, however. 

Last year, direct-to-consumer flower brand, Bloom & Wild, made the radical decision to not sell any red roses for Valentine’s Day, which resulted in double their usual press coverage and boosted sales by four times. Using Attest’s research platform, the brand found that 79% of people would prefer to receive a thoughtful gift rather than something traditional, like red roses. In fact, this research also uncovered that 58% of Brits think red roses are a cliché, while 38% feel roses are a last-minute gift choice that shows little thought. 

What consumers think of Valentine’s Day

When asked more broadly about their feelings towards the day itself, there’s a clear split in attitudes. However, the majority of Brits, at 59%, view Valentine’s Day as a “nice tradition”, while 36% think it is an invention of marketers. Finally, the research finds that newer alternatives to Valentine’s Day have gained little popularity amongst the general public. Just 6% say they plan to celebrate Galentine’s Day (13/02/22) and 5% will enjoy Singles Awareness Day (15/02/22) instead of Valentine’s Day. 

Jeremy King, CEO and Founder of Attest, said of the research: “Despite some Brits being sceptical about Valentine’s Day's real purpose, the Attest research finds that the majority will not only celebrate it this year but also view it in a very positive way. This public enthusiasm presents a real opportunity for retailers and brands to be a central part of how people will enjoy the day this year.” 

About this research

All figures within this press release are conducted via research on the Attest platform. The total sample size for this research was 1,000 nationally representative working-age consumers based in the United Kingdom.

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