Cupid’s Confections: Prepping for Valentine’s Day  10/1/2015

Valentine’s Day, it’s a great way for retailers and suppliers to fill the lull between Christmas shopping and Easter purchases. The holiday is predicted to generate over $19 billion in sales in 2016 and with such money at stake, retailers and suppliers must find ways to drive Valentine’s Day traffic. The following are three different techniques that the retail and supplier community can take advantage of to boost Valentine’s Day traffic.

Innovative Packaging:
It is challenging for suppliers to introduce new products during the Valentine’s Day season because so many purchases are made the day of or the day before. With that said, candy manufacturers and their marketers have to find innovative ways to reinvent the traditional Valentine’s Day product and this is often done through packaging. Although the product remains the same, fresh packaging entices shoppers. 

Licensed products with images of the latest Disney characters strewn across the front label is a common way for suppliers to rejuvenate the same old Valentine’s Day offer with a fresh new look. Also, package shape can really differentiate a product from the rows of heart-shaped boxes that line the shelf. For instance, a cupid arrow or X’s and O’s can be effective in making a product stand out.

Non-traditional Products:
Most people typically think of delicious bite-sized chocolates that come in a festive box dominating the Valentine’s Day space. But a study conducted by Market Track, the industry leader in advertising and promotional tracking, e-commerce pricing and brand protection, says otherwise. The study found that when on sale, candy is not the go to purchase for consumers. Instead, shoppers are more likely to purchase, cakes, pies, cupcakes, wine and greeting cards over candy. Yet, candy is still the most promoted category during the Valentine’s Day season. See below for the top 10 categories consumers said that they would purchase if they saw these products on sale during the Valentine’s Day season:
  • 53% Cakes/pies and cupcakes 
  • 46% Wine
  • 36% Greeting Cards/Stationary/Gift Wrap
  • 32% Dessert/ Baking Toppings (chocolate chips, chopped nuts, sprinkles, etc.)
  • 32% Cosmetics
  • 31% Flowers/ Plants
  • 30% Fresh Fruit
  • 29% Cookies
  • 27% Candy/ Gum
  • 27% Baking Ingredients (flour, shortening, baking powder, etc.)
(Source: Market Track)

Cross Merchandising:
Suppliers, who traditionally don’t play in the Valentine’s Day space are looking for ways to get in on the game. For instance, in 2015 Lay’s introduced a chocolate covered potato chip which they asked retailers to feature in the snack aisle and alongside the Valentine’s Day confectionary items, according to an article on This cross merchandising plays a key role in creating a boost in sales for Lay’s as those customers shopping specifically for Valentine’s Day are typically not going to the snack aisle, but rather hit the seasonal section first. Cross-merchandising non-traditional Valentine’s products along with the traditional ones can help drive incremental purchases.

Because of the shorter Easter holiday in 2016, some retailers and suppliers may also adjust some of their assortments and packaging to optimize sales and reduce leftover products, focusing on “spring” items that can double as both Valentine’s and Easter confectionery products. This was a key topic of discussion at our Seasonal Candy: Valentine’s Day and Easter event earlier this year. 

Join the suppliers and buyers leading the way in seasonal candy category during the ECRM Valentine's Day Candy Boutique taking place at the Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center in Oak Brook, Illinois form April 17-19, 2016.

For more information about this event please contact Sarah Sweitzer at or 440-542-3033.

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About Market Track:
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Market Track is the leading provider of subscription-based advertising, brand and pricing intelligence solutions in North America. Through monitoring trade and promotional advertising, pricing and e-commerce activity, brand protection and competitive advertising activity, Market Track provides the most comprehensive coverage of key media channels available. Offered via web-based software-as-a-service platforms, Market Track’s solutions enable advertisers, agencies, retailers, and manufacturers of consumer goods to efficiently monitor and analyze causal data, creative execution, and ad spending to maximize the value of their marketing campaigns. Clients use Market Track’s capabilities to determine how competing retailers, products and brands are being advertised, priced and promoted both in-store and online. The company’s granular creative assets and data cover nearly every retail trade class, product category and media channel. For more information, please visit,

Rachel Mayfield

Director of Marketing

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