Central England Co-op reveals recent shopping trends for the most romantic day of the year

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New Central England Co-op research into Valentine’s shopping habits in recent years have been revealed as couples face up to a very different Valentine’s Day in 2021.

With Valentine’s Day taking place in lockdown this year, it is expected that more than ever couples will be looking to mark the event with a special meal cooked at home or a romantic breakfast in bed.

The data from Central England Co-op stores in the run-up to Valentine’s Day last year reveal some interesting trends in how shoppers marked the day, with strong growth in traditional gifts such as flowers, wine and chocolate, but also in meal ideas and breakfast ingredients.

The growing popularity of treating your loved one to a special Valentine’s breakfast can perhaps be seen by the remarkable growth in the sale of eggs in Central England Co-op stores in 2020.

Co-op local eggs almost doubled in sales in Valentine’s week (up 191%), with Leicestershire Free Range Large Eggs seeing three times the sales of the previous year.

There was also a large growth in the retailer’s fresh bakery breakfast items, including Co-op Cinnamon Swirl’s which quadrupled in sales with 5,254 sold in Valentine’s week, while the top seller on Valentine’s Day itself was Co-op Chocolate Filled Croissants (up 31%) suggesting shoppers were looking to make breakfast that bit special.

With Valentine’s Day falling this year on a Sunday it is expected a romantic breakfast may be a trend again and the day of the week the big day falls does appear to impact what couples look to buy.

Last year Valentine’s Day fell on a Friday and that may have persuaded shoppers to look for a quick ‘fakeaway’ option with their favourite tipple.

The retailer’s Indian food range saw a 25% jump in sales on Valentine’s Day with the biggest sellers including staples such as Co-op Garlic and Coriander Naan (up 67% year on year), Co-op Plain Poppadums (up 87% year on year), while sales of Co-op Irresistible Saag Masala near enough quadrupled (up 332%).

Being a Friday night may also explain the 45% rise in sales of beers, wines and spirits, with red wines particularly popular overall.

In terms of gifts, the biggest selling cut flowers in Valentine’s Week were daffodils with 8,890 bunches sold, double the prior year, while on Valentine’s Day itself it was the Co-op Bubblegum Bouquet which were the top selling flowers, up 63% year on year.

Meanwhile, loved-up shoppers wanting to add a sweet treat with their bunch of flowers couldn’t resist picking up a tried and tested box of Maltesers, with the top seller in the run-up to Valentine’s Day last year being the 100g box which sold over 8,000 units, more than double its nearest rival Lindt Lindor Cornet Box, which did though see the biggest growth year-on-year (up 39%).

Being in lockdown this year may also see people look to get in the kitchen and cook from scratch and even last year in pre-Covid times there were signs of a trend towards people putting the effort in to making a special Valentine’s meal for their partner.

Cooking aids saw a 7% rise year on year, with Co-op Chilli Con Carne Mix doubling in sales and there was a fivefold increase in sales of Co-op Shepherds Pie Mix (up 461%).

Lamb saw a particular rise in popularity, with fresh lamb up 57% in Valentine’s week and the biggest grower and second biggest seller was Co-op Lamb Shoulder in A Mint Gravy (up 318%).

This Valentine’s Day Central England Co-op stores have a tempting meal deal offer for those couples looking for a romantic night in.

The £15 meal for two includes a starter, main, side, dessert and a drink. Among the starters are Co-op Chorizo and Manchego Arancini Balls, mains include Co-op Irresistible Rump Steaks with Peppercorn Butter and Co-op Irresistible Smoked Salmon En Croute, sides include Co-op Irresistible Triple Cooked Chips and mouth-watering dessert options include Co-op Irresistible Belgium Chocolate and Orange Torte’s.

Drinks include Co-op Irresistible Prosecco and Co-op Irresistible Rioja Crianza, while there are also great Vegan options available from the retailer’s Gro range.

For more information on Valentine’s products available at Central England Co-op, visit https://www.centralengland.coop/deals/