Steady as she goes. That’s one takeaway from a national survey commissioned by the Society of American Florists and conducted by the market research firm Ipsos immediately after Valentine’s Day. Compared to previous years, the survey found a fairly consistent number of consumers buying Valentine’s Day flowers in 2018 — and similar preferences in flower and venue selection, along with demographics of holiday flower buyers.
According to the survey, 28 percent of American adults bought fresh flowers or plants as gifts for Valentine’s Day this year, a figure that’s in line with 2017 (29 percent) but higher than 2015 (24 percent), 2014 (23 percent) and 2013 (25 percent). (SAF did not commission the survey in 2016.)
Supermarkets or grocery stores were the most common venues for Valentine’s Day flower purchasing (55 percent), up from 2017 grocery store purchase results (46 percent). Retail florists were the second most used venue to purchase flowers, where about one-third of Valentine’s Day buyers (35 percent) made their flower purchases, similar to the percent that had done so in 2017 (36 percent).
Subgroups most likely to buy flowers for Valentine’s Day this year included: males (41 percent), those with children in the household (41 percent), young adults age 18-34 (38 percent), and higher income ($50,000+) households (34 percent).
Other findings include:
Flower selection. Overall, 84 percent of those who bought flowers for this year’s Valentine’s Day purchased roses. That number is very similar to the 83 percent of flower purchasers who bought roses for Valentine’s Day in 2017 and a slight increase from the 79 percent who bought roses for Valentine’s Day in 2015.
Red roses continue to be the most popular flower gift, bought by 69 percent of those who bought flowers for Valentine’s Day in 2018. Red roses were also purchased by 69 percent of flower purchasers for Valentine’s Day in 2017, similar to results seen in 2015 (63 percent), 2014 (61 percent), and 2013 (63 percent). After red, the next most popular colors for Valentine’s Day roses were pink (40 percent) and white (35 percent).
Other rose colors respondents mentioned purchasing were yellow (23 percent), lavender (25 percent), peach (20 percent), and orange (18 percent). Nearly three in 10 Valentine’s Day flower purchasers said they bought a mix of colors of roses (28 percent).
Other types of floral gifts were also popular for Valentine’s Day; 41 percent said they bought a flower type other than roses (such as tulips, carnations, or lilies), and 36 percent said they bought a mixed variety of flowers.
Plants were bought by 24 percent of Valentine’s Day floral shoppers.
Transaction amount. The median amount spent on flowers or plants for Valentine’s Day this year was $40. This is similar to the median for 2017 of $40, after an increase up from the median of $30 in 2015.
The average (or mean) amount spent has increased each year for the past three survey years; $69.40 in 2018, $58.70 in 2017, and $51.80 in 2015.
Consumers spent more money on flowers at retail florists (median = $60) than at mass merchandisers (median = $50) or grocery stores (median = $30).
Shopper and venue breakdown. Men were more likely than women to say they purchased Valentine’s Day flowers from a retail florist (40 percent of men compared to 23 percent of women), while women were more likely than men to say they purchased Valentine’s Day flowers from the supermarket or grocery store (67 percent of women compared to 50 percent of men).
Mass merchandisers (12 percent), national internet floral services (14 percent), national toll-free floral services (10 percent), street vendors (6 percent), and convenience stores (3 percent) rounded out the venue mix.
Gift recipients. Two-thirds of Valentine’s Day flower purchasers (63 percent) were buying for their spouse. Buyers were also giving flowers to their mothers (21 percent) and significant others (20 percent).
More Valentine’s Day flower purchasers are buying flowers for their spouse this year than in 2017 (54 percent) or 2015 (54 percent). The number of Valentine’s Day flower purchasers buying for their mother (25 percent) and significant other (20 percent) are consistent with 2017.
Eleven percent of purchasers were buying flowers for themselves. Other common gift recipients included friends (11 percent) and children (10 percent).
Men were more likely to purchase Valentine’s Day flowers for a spouse (69 percent) or significant other (23 percent) than women (48 percent and 12 percent respectively). Women were more likely to purchase Valentine’s Day flowers for themselves (20 percent), a child (15 percent), a friend (12 percent), or other family member (10 percent) than men (6 percent, 7 percent, 7 percent, and 4 percent respectively).
In a pre-holiday survey, two-thirds of SAF members predicted strong Valentine’s Day sales this year.
Look for more information on the holiday from SAF members’ perspective in upcoming E-Briefs.