Last year, the US adult population is estimated to have spent nearly $20 billion on Valentine’s Day – nearly $160 per person. And over 50% of adults bought candy, bringing the category total to roughly $2 billion last year.

Valentine’s Day is the year’s first major holiday after New Year’s Day. It is also the first of the big three candy holidays (along with Easter and Halloween). This makes it quite a lucrative event for retailers – who have been steadily ramping up promotions to try and gain the upper hand in sales and share.

Fortunately, we’ve been closely monitoring 18 online grocery retailers in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day to bring you the most recent price and promotional trends in two of the most popular Valentine’s Day categories: Chocolates and Wine.




Promotions on chocolates picked up during the first week of February — we found that total promotions jumped by 31% between the two weeks before Valentine’s Day. Out of the retailers analyzed, most of them increased the promotion of their ‘own label’ brands at the end of January and continued to increase these promotions throughout the first week of February.

In fact, promotions on own label items jumped by nearly 60% between these two weeks, compared to increases of 16% and 21% in promotions of leading brands like Lindor, Hershey’s and M&M’s over the same period.

In other words, retailers have been extremely aggressive over the past two weeks and we are seeing concerted efforts across the board to maximize revenue and increase own brand visibility. This aggression in going after market share in chocolate is being felt by consumers’ wallets.


Here are some of the deepest price cuts provided by retailers in the week before Valentine’s Day:



Unlike Chocolates, the Wines category hasn’t seen a similar increase in promotions between the two weeks before Valentine’s Day – although this is probably because the category was already heavily promoted coming into this period. Total promotions across the various Wine categories averaged between 50-60% on all items, with only marginal increase in promotions between the last week of January and first week of February.

Champagne was the only wine that saw an increase in promotions, with a 16% jump between these two weeks. The following highlights the deepest price cuts in Wine by retailer:


We have already seen quite a lot of promotional movement in the chocolates category by retailers – but far less in the wines category (despite the best efforts of Roseville, MI). Nonetheless, as Valentine’s Day draws closer we will be monitoring trends of major brands and retailers across the ecommerce landscape. Stay tuned for a follow-up report that will highlight the sales and promotional trends in greater detail!

by Danny Silverman
Chief Marketing Officer, Edge by Ascential

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