Love is driving consumer spending to new heights. For February 14, U.S. consumers are expected to spend a near-record $19.6 billion on Valentine's Day-related cards, flowers, and other gifts, according to a new retail report. Even those forgoing romantic celebrations are spending more on alternative Valentine's experiences, such as dining out with friends or indulging in chocolate at home. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), through its members and accredited standards developers, supports many of the gifts that boost Valentine's spending in 2018.
A report released by the National Retail Federation (NRF) reveals that more consumers plan on purchasing candy this year. NRF's survey asked 7,277 consumers about Valentine's Day plans, and more than half 55 percentsay they'll give gifts or candy for a total of $1.8 billion in spending.
Standards support the sweetest of gifts, as ISO 11053, Vegetable fats and oils-Determination of cocoa butter equivalents in milk chocolate, specifies a procedure for detecting and quantifying cocoa butter equivalents (CBEs) and milk fats in milk chocolate through triacylglycerol profiling.
This standard was developed by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 34, Food products, Subcommittee (SC) 11, Animal and vegetable fats and oils. ANSI member American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS) is the ANSI-accredited administrator of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to ISO (TC) 34 SC (11).
NRF's survey found that consumers plan to spend an average $88.98 on their significant other/spouse ($12.1 billion). Jewelrya popular and more long-lasting gift than chocolateis supported by ASTM F 299-14, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Adult Jewelry, which establishes requirements and test methods for specified elements and for certain mechanical hazards in adult jewelry. It does not cover product performance or quality, except as related to safety.
The standard was published by ASTM International, an ANSI member and audited designator.
A more cost-friendly token of affection, balloons also abound during Valentine's festivities, in restaurants, store windows, and as decorations at home. One standard, CGA SB-14, on Helium Gas for Filling Balloons, was developed by the Compressed Gas Association (CGA), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer.
Other popular Valentine's Day presents this year are "gifts of experience," which include items such as tickets to a concert or sporting events. Those ages 25 to 34 are the most likely to give these gifts (41 percent).
ANSI E1.8, American National Standard E1.8 - 2012 Entertainment Technology-Loudspeaker Enclosures Intended for Overhead Suspension-Classification, Manufacture and Structural Testing, provides structural requirements that help concert organizers to keep these performances safe for their audiencesand Valentine's Day dates. The standard was developed bybathrory ANSI-accredited standards developer and organizational member PLASA.
Read more about Valentine's Day consumer habits on the National Retail Federation website.