The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Wine and spirits still a popular choice for Valentine’s Day

Retailers are optimistic for Valentine’s Day 2024, with signs consumer confidence is returning and romantics are keen to create memorable experiences and show love and affection, according to experts at Euromonitor International.

The global economy remains in a period of slow growth and high inflation, with ongoing energy pressures, rising cost of capital, a tight labour market, geopolitical risks and a reset of globalisation.

Euromonitor’s analysts say this perfect storm of challenges and uncertainties continue to impact demand and discretionary spending for luxury and online consumers including those buying gifts, experiences, alcohol and chocolate for special occasions but there are good reasons why retailers remain hopeful.

Wine and spirits still popular for special occasions… but not with younger people

Matthew Barry, Food and Beverage Insight Manager at Euromonitor International, said the big question was whether consumers were going to make Valentine’s Day something still worth splurging on given their tight budgets.

“Wine still has a romance about it. Red wine, with its positioning as ideal to accompany fancy meals and, sparkling wine, linked to celebrations, are especially important since they are not only given as gifts but also consumed on the day itself.

“But wine’s appeal is weakening with the younger generation, many of whom do not drink or prefer ready to drink (RTDs) and spirits. They are also in fewer long-term relationships serious enough to require doing something big on Valentine’s Day. Consumers are still buying something special for the day but for friends, family members and pets.”

Online sales expected to be up this Valentine’s Day

Bob Hoyler, Industry Manager for Retail & Ecommerce at Euromonitor International, said that although it had eased a bit from the lofty heights of 2022, inflation remained high in many of the world’s most important retail markets in February 2023.

“With high prices contributing to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, many consumers ratioed their spending during the Valentine’s Day holiday in 2023. Towards the end of 2023, however, as inflation has continued to ease, consumer confidence has started to pick back up, especially in North America and Europe.

“With consumers feeling a bit more positive about the economy, the Valentine’s Day holiday in 2024 is expected to be a more encouraging one for retailers than the previous year.”

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