The rise of ethical and personalized love gifts

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Valentine’s Day has always been an opportunity for retail and hospitality to generate post-Christmas profits, but there has been some shift in tradition as consumers seek more personalized offers and look for ethical alternatives. .

The average UK consumer spends around £35 on goods to mark this celebration of love. Collectively, Britons spend more than £1.45billion on the festival, according to figures from Professional Jeweller.

Some retailers have focused on a humorous approach to gifts and Marks & Spencer has brought back the product that created a viral social media hit for the company in 2019 – the Love Sausage. This year, the retailer has also added Love Cucumbers and Love Pork Pies to its heart-shaped food offerings.

Moonpig, the online card and gift retailer is also banking on the appeal of humor with a limited-edition range of playful cards featuring heat-reactive technology that reveal more adult secret messages when body heat is applied to them. the map.

Yet customers are demanding more than a quick pun of products on Valentine’s Day and are looking for more personalized offers and ethically sourced products.

Laudree, the Parisian pastry specialists, have created a special edition box featuring the “City of Love”. Inside, gift recipients will find the brand’s famous macrons as well as a QR code for an exclusive Instagram filter to personalize an image for Valentine’s Day.

The Feast of Love continues to capture the imagination of retailers to move beyond the traditional red roses and chocolates long associated with the event and increase the offering of personalized products and experiential goods and services. With greeting cards, foil balloons and stuffed toys purchased by the millions, Valentine’s Day leaves its mark on the environment, as well as on the heart.

Ethical and ecological issues could and should inform the choices of more retailers and customers. The SSAW Collective is a community of chefs, florists and growers committed to an ethical way of working with seasonal produce and is behind the campaign to buy ‘better’ this year.

The collective has launched a new campaign entitled “Why buy roses in February? to highlight the environmental impact of imported flowers for Valentine’s Day. As over 570 tonnes of roses are used for Valentine’s Day in the UK, the campaign seeks to highlight the carbon footprint impact to meet this demand. Roses are imported in droves, mainly from the Netherlands and Kenya, with the average bouquet of roses potentially having a carbon footprint of around 32 kg.

Retailers like The Stem are encouraging consumers to consider indoor plants and dried flowers instead, which are more durable than cut flowers. The retailer features heart-shaped philodendrons and flamingo flowers as alternatives.

Selfridges is focusing on self-love and emotional well-being at its flagship Oxford Street store as the retailer is set to launch its ‘Superself’ event. The retailer renowned for bringing new ideas to the atelier will cross new boundaries by offering therapies and “psychedelic journeys” in specialized high-tech capsules.

Therapy sessions include a £150 ‘sex life reset’ from Dr Karen Gurney, a psycho-sex therapist who promises to ‘assess and reset a couple’s or individual’s sex life through a MOT sex life”.

Other experiences include a 10-minute session in giant pods that use virtual reality technology to guide guests as they “drift” through a “soothing universe” of kaleidoscopic shapes and relaxing music.

While Valentine’s Day seems to be “growing” with more ethical and thoughtful products accessible and available this year, the popular holiday still brings a bit of joy and frivolity to customers looking for a post-Christmas pick-me-up.

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