Heartwarming delights

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time of year to treat someone with fabulous fine chocolate among other treats! Whether you’re celebrating another year with your favourite valentine, your first with a new one, or getting together with a group of your best friends, chocolate makes the occasion that much sweeter.

Valentine’s Day is also evolving, which is good news for food and drink manufacturers. A lucrative event, it sees the average Valentine’s Day gift giver spends nearly £200 on Valentine’s Day gifts and goodies — and more than 250 million roses produced for Valentine’s Day — with red roses making up nearly two-thirds of that number.

Olam Food Ingredients has noted the change. Its experts have unveiled the top chocolate, confectionery, and bakery trends defining Valentine’s Day 2024.

Younger generations across Europe are leading in the race for romance this Valentine’s Day, with 43% of Gen Z saying they plan to buy gifts for family, friends and loved ones, compared to 36% of Gen X and just 25% of Baby Boomers.

Olam Food Ingredients (ofi) says Gen Z and millennials are redefining traditions. Many consumers are choosing to celebrate this day with friends and family members, as well as significant others. In 2023, 40% of Gen Z and 20% of millennials said they were planning to buy their friends a Valentine’s gift. And what better way to do so than with cocoa?

“As consumers change the way they celebrate Valentine’s Day – and who they celebrate with – there is an opportunity for manufacturers to develop new products. From introducing more exotic flavours in confectionery to creating more experiential formats and expanding into new categories, we’re seeing companies inventing new ways for consumers to celebrate the season of love with those who matter most to them,” Madeline Bills, cocoa innovation manager at ofi said of ofi’s experts exploring the top chocolate, confectionery and bakery trends shaping Valentine’s Day 2024.

It’s heartening to see an emerging generation of consumers making different choices. They will, no doubt, opt for more meaningful and sustainable gifting choices this Valentine’s Day. They are playing an important role in this retail revolution and manufacturers, by speaking their language and connecting with their communication style, can connect on a deeper level.

Gen Z might have taken Valentine’s Day by storm, but what we can learn from them can help brands innovate and strengthen customer loyalty year round.

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