Flowers and chocolates have long been the preferred gifts for Valentine’s Day, and while partners can’t really go wrong with roses and truffles to declare their affection, such gestures could be seen as a bit passé at this point.
With younger consumers leaning toward experiences over products as a means of celebration, those in the food industry are uniquely positioned to help consumers create romantic moments when Valentine’s Day rolls around.
How can restaurants set the stage for a unique and memorable evening? How can food manufacturers offer treats that create a special moment couples treasure? In short, how can businesses contribute to a singular and intimate experience?
Here are a few ways to bring romance into the culinary world and cater to individuals, couples, or groups seeking a one-of-a-kind Valentine’s Day activity.
An At-Home Food Experience
Creating an interactive experience with food doesn’t have to be difficult. While candy conversation hearts can be fun, you can go the extra mile with sweets that incorporate an activity to bring couples closer together.
Consider the Valentine’s Day S’mores Kit from Clever Candy. Featuring specialty, gourmet chocolate and holiday-themed packaging, this kit includes all the ingredients needed to make a fun treat, but more importantly, it gives couples a way to bond over a shared activity and resulting dessert.
This theme could be applied to all kinds of packaged dessert kits, from cookies and cakes to bespoke kits that allow consumers to select preferred flavors or ingredients.
Candy makers could offer kits that come with their signature treats but include the option to personalize them with edible decorations. This helps to create a shared experience that couples can savor just as much as the treats they’ll eat.
Restaurant Dining Experiences
Creating a special menu for Valentine’s Day is par for the course. With so many reservations to juggle, it’s smart to offer a pre-set menu, and it provides the chance to create a unique dining experience.
To maximize profits on this busy day, however, you won’t want to turn anyone away. This is why it’s important to offer dine-out options with pick-up and delivery.
You can set up a pre-order option to ensure you have ample supplies on hand and time to prep and deliver meals rather than struggling to stay on top of real-time orders through food delivery services.
In the interest of creating a consumer experience, you could also offer meal kits that come with ingredients and instructions for couples to cook their own meal at home. You might even consider delivery deals to encourage pre-orders.
Or you could team up with other local businesses like florists, bakers, and breweries/distilleries to cross-promote and create a special delivery package.
Don’t forget to offer options for those who are single on this romantic day. Galentine’s Day and anti-Valentine’s Day parties are trends you definitely want to get in on, so think about how to cater to crowds that aren’t coupled up.
New Flavors to Explore for Valentine’s Day
Sweet flavors are a given for this romantic holiday. The profiles that are trending heading into 2024 include juicy peaches, caramelized fruits, and tart grapefruit, along with refreshing options like melon and cucumber. Also making an appearance are mildly sweet Asian additions like ube and milk tea.
For a slightly more savory approach to sweets, pistachios, tahini, and black sesame are on trend heading into Valentine’s Day. Don’t discount the drive for spicy profiles, either. Think gochujang caramel cookies or sriracha ice cream, for example.
Create Experiences for Customers to Fall in Love With
With options for both at-home and dine-in experiences that will knock the socks off consumers, food industry entrepreneurs have plenty of opportunities to innovate and create a novel and romantic moment for individuals, couples, and groups this Valentine’s Day.
If you have questions about Insights or trends, get in touch with us today!