Nicholas Molinari Nicholas Molinari
Associate Manager, Tax and Economic Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Rachel Ledbetter Rachel Ledbetter
Senior Manager, Communications and Strategy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


February 13, 2024


Fill me in: From family-run flower farms in Washington state to small business chocolate makers in Arkansas, American businesses bring to life this special day for families, couples, and galantines across the country.

Economic impact: Valentine’s Day is much more than cards and sweets — it is a time for Americans to show the special people in their lives how much they mean to them, and it is brought to consumers by American businesses.

As kids begin to write and seal their Valentine's cards and couples make dining reservations, businesses are in full swing to provide Americans with the perfect gift or experience to make the day special.

Valentine's Day Is an Economic Engine

The holiday is an economic engine for businesses of all types in communities across the country. 

  • The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates that 53% of consumers plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and $25.8 billion will be spent on the holiday this year, or about $185.81 per household. 

Top Valentine spending: Unsurprisingly, chocolates and other candies reign supreme on Valentine’s Day, with candy accounting for a whopping 57% of Valentine’s Day spending.

  • The National Confectioners Association tells the Chamber that 92% of Americans plan to purchase candy for Valentine’s Day this year, including 58 million pounds of chocolate — one of the holiday’s most popular candies. 
  • Overall, the Valentine’s Day season represents about $4 billion in confectionery sales each year. 

Whether bought from the local florist, flower delivery service, or neighborhood grocery store, flowers remain integral to the Valentine’s Day holiday.

  • The Society of American Florists reports 250 million roses alone are prepared by U.S. florists for Valentine’s Day, with Cupid’s holiday being the number one holiday for florists and for floral purchases.

Restaurants and Retail See Uptick on Valentine's Day

Dining out also represents a larger portion of consumer spending on Valentine’s Day.

  • The National Restaurant Association tells the Chamber they project 60 million adults will go out to a restaurant for a special Valentine’s Day meal this year. 
  • In addition, 35 million adults are expected to order takeout or delivery from a restaurant for a special Valentine’s Day meal at home, consisting of either the full meal or parts of the meal. 
  • Looking for last-minute deals? The National Restaurant Association reports nearly 40% of Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day after the fact to get a better deal, so look for restaurants offering deals and specials a few days after Feb. 14. 

Retail also sees an uptick around Valentine’s Day, including the jewelry and clothing industries, which plan to see record spending of $6.4 billion and $3 billion in sales this holiday, respectively.

Chocolate Chocolate in Washington, D.C. has provided customers with Valentine's Day sweets and gifts since 1984, growing into a beloved shop in the nation's capital.

  • From their first Valentine's Day in 1984 to today, the foot traffic the shop receives each year is a testament to the shop's dedication to crafting personalized treats and gifts for everyone who walks through their doors.
  • “We want to stay small because we want to be there,” said Ginger Park, who co-owns Chocolate Chocolate with her sister, Frances. “I own the business but I’m also packing boxes behind the counter because it’s what I love to do.”

Big Picture

All this spending adds up to economic opportunities for businesses of all sizes. Using survey data from NRF, the Chamber calculated the economic impact of Valentine’s Day in more than 300 metropolitan areas across the country. See the potential impact in your area. 

How is your city impacted?

Using data from the National Retail Federation, the Chamber has calculated how much consumers will spend in all 386 U.S. metro areas. Track spending in our searchable database.

Bottom line: On Valentine's Day, Cupid's arrows aren't just piercing hearts — they're also spiking economic activity. As families and lovebirds embrace the spirit of the day, industries from chocolate makers to retailers feel the love, reminding us that even Cupid knows the value of a good business deal.

About the authors

Nicholas Molinari

Nicholas Molinari

Nicholas Molinari is an associate manager for the Tax and Economic policy teams at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Read more

Rachel Ledbetter

Rachel Ledbetter

Rachel Ledbetter is a senior manager for communications and strategy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Read more