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Valentine’s Day is marketed as a day of romance. It is an occasion for intimacy, for new and established love, alike. As of late, a new twist has increased the number of participants. Formerly a practice reserved for couples, Valentine’s Day love-spreading has grown more inclusive. This reimagining of the Hallmark holiday has brought more awareness and less discouragement to those without a partner. Galentine’s Day, a tradition similar to Friendsgiving, offers an aromantic alternative for those who are single, folks who just want to celebrate a day of self-love, or those who’d rather spend a day of love amongst friends and family. 

So, naturally, now that the scheduled love fest is over, one question begs in the aftermath.

How much did you spend?

On average: $185.81. A decade ago, the average was $134.

It should be no surprise that being in love benefits the economy, more than it benefits the love birds economically. Historically, Valentine’s Day is one big gift to the GDP and this year’s data shows America has a thing for the economy.

The National Retail Federation, along with Prosper Insights & Analytics, projected that consumers spent $25.8 billion on Valentine’s Day this year. That’s on par with last year’s spending of $25.9 billion.

The all-time record came in 2020 when Americans spent $27.4 billion, which worked out to $196 per person. 

So, it’s a given that businesses are greatly affected during Valentine’s Day. This winter holiday ranks up there with Christmas and Mother’s Day as big spending days. Restaurants, bars, greeting card stores, florists and grocery stores win big on Valentine’s Day. 

According to Hallmark, approximately 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged, the second-most of any holiday. 

About 250 million roses were cut for Valentine’s Day, according to the Society of American Florists. And the national average for a dozen roses is $88.61.

About 58 million pounds of chocolate is purchased each year on Valentine’s Day, which as of last year, per the National Confectioners Association, represented about $4 billion in sales. But the chocolate industry is suddenly volatile. The price of cocoa — the main ingredient of chocolate — surged leading up to Valentine’s Day. A week ago, the price of reached a record $5,888 per ton. Last year leading into Valentine’s Day, the price averaged $2,578 per ton. It’s become increasingly more expensive to make chocolate. Cocoa is also considered a main driver of deforestation, per the National Wildlife Federation. 

Per Open Table, the popular reservations app, diners spent more money on Valentine’s Day in 2023 than any other holiday.

Luke Vavuris is a staff writer for The Express. Follow him on X, formally Twitter, @Luke5068.

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