Valentine's Day chocolate spending is said to be double this year among consumers

87 percent of Americans plan to give chocolates for Valentine’s Day

Caramel-filled chocolates are the most popular choices; Fox Biz Flash: 2/3.

Americans are having a hankering for chocolate this Valentine’s Day, according to a new consumer survey.

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Digital coupon platform RetailMeNot found that more shoppers want chocolate as a gift this year compared to the last, and they’re also willing to pay nearly double for it.

More than two-in-five respondents – 44% – told RetailMeNot they would prefer to receive chocolate for Valentine’s Day in 2021. That number is higher than the 32% who said chocolate would be their preferred gift the year before.

Of those who are making Valentine’s Day chocolate a priority this year, the amount they’re planning to spend is $46 on average, which is $20 more than what they had planned for in 2020.

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A consumer survey from RetailMeNot found that 44% of its respondents said they would prefer to receive chocolate as Valentine’s Day gift in 2021. (iStock)

These findings come shortly after economic research from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis appears to show the producer price index on chocolate and cocoa products is on the upswing.

The index shows the measure of inflation producers have faced on these sweet goods has risen substantially since March 2020, rising from 207.9 to 235.3 in December 2020 – an increase of more than 13% in just 9 months. The most up-to-date price for chocolate and cocoa has also more than doubled from the index’s start of measurement in June 1983, which was measured at an index level of 100.

It is not immediately clear whether increased costs will be passed on to consumers across the board in time for Valentine’s Day.

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The Hershey Company acknowledged that it will raise prices on select chocolate items and holiday treats in the near future.

Hershey CEO Michele Buck told Bloomberg the American chocolate manufacturing giant is planning to hike prices on bags of Hershey’s Kisses, miniature candy bars and seasonal lines starting in the fall-winter holiday season of 2021.

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Buck noted that the price increase is likely to be noticed since, “Historically, retailers do pass it along.”

The last price hike the chocolate giant reportedly imposed was in 2014.

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Despite potential rising costs, chocolate sales spiked at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March and lasted until August, according to the National Confectioners Association.

The National Confectioners Association has suggested that Valentine’s Day chocolate is even higher with 87% of Americans saying they enjoy the festive treat. (iStock)

The trade group expects to see a similar result for Valentine’s Day based on a holiday report it published that states 87% of Americans claim they enjoy chocolate that reflects the Valentine’s Day season.

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“Throughout the pandemic, one thing that has remained consistent is that Americans appreciate chocolate and candy for the sense of comfort they bring during challenging times,” said NCA President and CEO John Downs, in a statement. “The confectionery category remains resilient as people find new and creative ways to incorporate chocolate and candy into their celebrations of holidays and special moments like Valentine’s Day.”

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