Exploring categorywatching - Valentine's

Our latest categorywatching report is out, covering all that we identified of note over the amorous period that is Valentine's. We've pulled together the most interesting take outs to share with you.


Whilst red roses and heart shaped chocolates are still very much part of Valentine's, this year the event was redefined as it was no longer restricted to romantic couples. Celebrating the love of family, friends, pets and even oneself came to the fore. As such, we see different messages and formats trend within food and drink from humorous “I tolerate you" cookies to a Galentine afternoon tea as well as, simply loving the seasonal ingredients that February has to offer. It's about sharing the love in a more light hearted way with wider appeal.

e.g. Natoora's bunches of pink radicchio are not only a lovely seasonal celebration but an alternative to red roses with wider appeal which also “Support our growing relationship with Antonello and give a gift that guarantees a future for these incredible leaves"

Staying in is the new going out

With over half of consumers choosing to stay in this Valentine's day, staying in is the new going out. At the end of a busy day cooking an elaborate meal can be tough, convenience therefore reigns this year. The meal deals offer more choice and value than ever, and slow cooked recipes trend on social media. While some consumers still want involvement in food preparation, just with less hassle (and packaging waste) which is where quick, easy to cook meals from scratch are becoming more popular, and something that we are likely to see more of.

e.g. Le Creuset Valentine's day recipe inspiration, slow cooked cinnamon swirl bread pudding

More than dinner

As eating habits change all year round, Valentine's day is no exception with breakfast and snacking becoming more important – anything goes from pink, raspberry flavoured croissants to a full on loved up brunch with friends. As well as new occasions, experiences are driving growth is sales. From naming an ex after a cockroach in a zoo to Hotel Chocolate's bean to bar after hours event – Valentine's day is so much more than dinner for two.

e.g. The Lip Bar @ Selfridges – Valentine's micro bar experience, a teeny micro bar experience which is part art installation, part Japanese beer bar.

Read the full Valentine's categorywatching report here.