The total amount spent by Americans on chocolate during Valentine’s Day in 2019 was $3.5bn, according to the National Confectioners Association, and a spokesperson said it is anticipating a 1.7% gain when 2020 numbers come out in a few weeks.
New research provided exclusively for CN by Edison Trends reveals that Hershey’s was the big winner out of the chocolate brands this year with YoY online sales up 56%.
Mars’ Snickers also performed well, posting a rise of 31% online sales YoY.
Edison Trends also revealed that online chocolate spending climbed steadily from the beginning of January onward, increasing sharply for pickup orders during the weeks of February 3 and February 10. It said customers spent 216% more on chocolate items for pickup during Valentine's week than they had during the week of January 6.
Delivery order spending did not see a sharp pickup until the week of February 10, when customers spent 30% more on chocolate items for delivery during that week than they had the week of January 6.
Key findings in the research seen by ConfectioneryNews shows customers spent 56% more online on Hershey's chocolates during January 15 through Valentine's weekend than they did during the same period last year. The figure for Snickers was 31%, while other brands (Godiva, Ghirardelli, Ferrero Rocher and Russel Stover) increased 17% as a whole.
Hetal Pandya, co-founder and VP Marketing at Edison Trends, said: "Our Edison Trends research shows that online spend on chocolate peaked the day before Valentine's Day, which highlights the increasing importance of grocery pick up and delivery operators like Instacart that help last-minute shoppers make purchases. Same day pick up and delivery options that enable consumers to act last minute could be an influencing factor in the year-over-year e-commerce growth for all the chocolate brands."
She said that interestingly, the peak for pickup spending (February 12) hit sooner than that for delivery spending (February 13); it was also 32% bigger.
"Furthermore, online spending on chocolate started trending up slightly several weeks before Valentine’s Day perhaps in time for children and friends that celebrate the holiday earlier than romantic partners. Chocolate manufacturers and CPG brands planning their Valentine’s Day campaigns for next year will need to plan for their online strategy to ensure they don’t miss out on these types of shoppers."
Edison Trends’ analysis was based on over 6,500 transactions from over 150 online merchants such as Instacart, Walmart and Target. The brands analyzed were Hershey's, Snickers, Godiva, Ghirardelli, Ferrero Rocher and Russel Stover.