Valentine’s Day is not only about expressing love and affection but has also turned into a significant commercial event, with people planning to spend money on unique experiences and thoughtful gifts. For businesses, understanding these consumer insights can be crucial to strategise sales and marketing plans.

Brief background about Valentine’s Day spending

Traditionally, spending during Valentine’s Day has primarily been on flowers, chocolates, dining experiences, and jewellery. However, in recent years, the trend has evolved. Consumers are increasingly willing to spend on romantic getaways, wellness activities, and even online shopping for a wide range of items.

Importance of Understanding Consumer Insights for Brands and Businesses

By studying consumer behaviour patterns, brands can not only plan their inventories to cater to the increased demand but also tailor their marketing and promotional strategies to reach their target audience. Moreover, insights into consumer spending habits can also help businesses predict future trends and plan accordingly.

Valentine’s Day Spending in South Africa

South Africans have been no exception to the Valentine’s spending trend. A recent report from First National Bank (FNB) reveals that South Africans have been partaking in the Valentine’s Day spending spree. The sectors that witnessed an escalation in spending include:

  • Restaurants: 45% higher spending compared to the same period the previous year
  • Spas: Saw an increase of 36%
  • Cinemas: Experienced a considerable spike, with a 228% increase

Consumer Behaviour and Trends – Poll

Let’s now delve into the details of consumer behaviour and trends on Valentine’s Day in South Africa, based on consumer data from our recent YourView poll.

Thoughtful gifting (flowers, chocolates, etc) – 25.4%

Thoughtful gifting, including flowers and chocolates, continues to dominate Valentine’s Day celebrations, with 25.4% of consumers preferring this option.

Romantic weekend getaway – 17.0%

A considerable 17% of respondents preferred to spend their Valentine’s Day on romantic weekend getaways, indicating its popularity.

Dining at a fancy restaurant – 14.7%

Fine dining is another conventional way of celebrating, with 14.7% choosing this route.

Shopping spree for partner’s desired items (clothes, makeup, latest gadgets) – 10.3%

10.3% of respondents like to pamper their partners with desired items like clothes, makeup, or the latest gadgets.

Don’t celebrate the holiday – 8.4%

Interestingly, 8.4% of consumers do not celebrate Valentine’s day.

DIY gifts or homemade surprises – 6.9%

DIY gifts or homemade surprises seem to be a preference for 6.9% of Valentine’s Day spenders.

No special spending, just a heartfelt card or letter – 5.6%

5.6% keep celebrations simple with no special spending apart from a heartfelt card or letter.

Skipping celebrations to save money – 4.8%

4.8% of respondents opt to skip celebrations entirely to save money.

Wellness activities (spa day, etc) – 3.5%

Wellness activities, such as a spa day, account for 3.5% of Valentine’s Day expenditures.

High-end jewellery or luxury items – 2.6%

The distribution ends with 2.6% splurging on high-end jewellery or luxury items, and 0.9% investing in ‘other’ activities.


Understanding consumer insights about Valentine’s Day spending in South Africa reveals more than just the elapsed season’s spending pattern—it uncovers layers of consumer behaviour that dictate future trends. By considering these insights, businesses can better strategise their offerings in line with consumer preferences and market demand.