Brands have been gearing up their heart-filled marketing and filling shelves with red and pink. Millennials tend to make light of the holiday, which many of them think is overrated. But that doesn’t mean they ignore it: 44% of 13 - 33 year olds, 50% of 18 - 33 year olds, and 60% of 30 - 33 year olds say they are giving someone a gift this Valentine’s Day. Significant other/spouse, Mom, and friends are at the top of the list of those they’re giving gifts to. (Sorry, Dad.)
We asked those 13 - 33 year olds who are planning to give a gift what they’re planning to give* to get a sense of whether they’re sticking with traditions or starting their own ways of playing Cupid. Here are their top 15 answers:
The candy industry can rest easy. In many ways, Millennials are sticking with the big traditions, and chocolate/candy, flowers, and jewelry were the top three responses. (Some of those jewelry givers said "ring," though we can't be sure if they meant the ring.) Chocolate/candy is clearly the most popular gift to give, with roughly one in three young Valentine gift-givers planning to purchase something sweet for a loved one. The top three responses are a good reminder: though this generation can often have disruptive preferences, they still have things in common with other consumers.
Buying cards for Valentine’s Day isn’t too surprising, but clothing actually tied with cards as the fourth-highest response. Apparently, Millennials want to help their significant others to look their best.
We do see some gift choices that could be products of young consumers' shifting values. A romantic dinner out is a typical Valentine’s Day night, but home-cooked meals and other experiences (like concert tickets) also made the list. Technology actually made the top 10, with a few respondents planning (generously) to give gifts like iPhones. And of course, some of the generation is financially struggling, which could be why homemade gifts are in their plans—and some just went straight to the point and let us know that sex would be the big gift they’d be giving this year.
*These were open-end response questions to allow us to capture the full range of gifts that Millennials plan to give.