In the name of love - Looking at how Britons plan to spend Valentine’s Day 2024
February 5th, 2024, Lesley Simeon

In the name of love - Looking at how Britons plan to spend Valentine’s Day 2024

Few celebrations evoke both as much excitement and dismissal as Valentine’s Day. Many dive in to pick out gifts, scribble out messages on cards and maybe zero in on their something-red, while others couldn’t really care less. In this piece, we explore where Britons stand - do they plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year? What gift do they intend to give their loved ones? And where exactly do they harvest ideas for celebrations?

Around a third of Britons (36%) will celebrate Valentine’s Day this year while a further third (33%) say they’ve celebrated Valentine’s Day before but will skip this year. Nearly three in ten (28%) say they haven’t celebrated it before and this year will be no exception.

Similar proportions of men (37%) and women (36%) say they’ve celebrated Valentine’s Day before and will do so again this year. But women are more likely than men to skip the celebrations this year (36% vs. 31%).

A majority of Brits (76%) celebrate Valentine’s Day with their romantic partners only, but a significant proportion - 16% - do so with romantic as well as non-romantic partners.

Nearly a quarter of women (24%) celebrate the day with romantic partners in addition to family and friends - a significantly lesser proportion of men (7%) say the same.

Britons likely to stick to standard gifting trinity this Valentine’s - cards, flowers and food or drinks

Greeting card (48%), flowers (27%) and food/drink (27%) are the top three gifts Britons would like to receive this Valentine's Day. Gen Z is the most likely across generations to prefer being gifted flowers (53%) and food/drink (48%) while Baby Boomers would most prefer receiving greetings card (55%).

Gen Z is also the most likely to cite 'experiences' like heading to a concert or booking in a day at the spa as their preferred Valentine's Day gift (32%) and millennials are most likely to pick confectionary (30%).

Gifting is always a two-way street – or at least it should be. So, when it comes to gifts Britons are most likely to give their Valentine’s dates this year, greeting cards (57%), food/drink (30%) and flowers (29%) are the top three choices again. These choices hold strong ground across age groups as well.

Half of all men (50%) in Britain plan on giving flowers as gifts this Valentine’s Day. Fewer than one in ten women (9%) have the same plan.

But how much are Britons willing to spend on Valentine’s Day gifts - among other things that make up picture-perfect celebrations? The same as they did the last time, or maybe even more?

YouGov data shows that 61% of Brits plan to spend roughly the same amount for Valentine’s Day this year compared to the previous year. Further, 16% plan to spend less than before, while 13% plan to spend more.

Brits are most likely to create their Valentine’s Day experiences inspired by in-store advertising, ideas from friends, family

A quarter of Brits (25%) seek inspiration for Valentine’s Day gifts and celebrations from in-store advertising, followed by friends and family (22%) and good old Google (15%). YouGov’s data shows no differences between men and women when it comes to their top three sources of inspiration for Valentine’s Day.

However, the difference is significant when it comes to seeking inspiration from Instagram - two in ten women in Britain (20%) take to the social media platform for Valentine’s Day ideas, compared to just 5% of men.

Men on the other hand are more likely to get inspired by TV advertising than women (10% vs. 7%).

In a piece that covers romance on the other side of the Atlantic we reveal that Americans rely on the same sources of inspiration as well – in-store advertising, friends and family and Google - for Valentine’s Day gifts and celebrations. Notably, American women rely on Pinterest (22%) more than they do on in-store advertising.

As for preferences by age groups in Great Britain, Gen Z is most likely to get inspired by Valentine’s Day ideas on TikTok (31%), while a similar proportion of Millennials pick friends and family (30%). In-store advertising works best for a little over a third of Gen X (34%) and a quarter of Baby Boomers (25%).

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Methodology: YouGov polled 1,500 GB adults on January 25, 2024. The survey was carried out through YouGov Surveys: Self-serve. Data is weighted by age, gender, race, political affiliation, education level and region. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Self-serve.

Photo by RDNE Stock project on Pexels