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What Gen Z & Millennials’ Valentine’s Day Plans Look Like This Year

Here are three stats that show what Gen Z & Millennials have planned for their quarantined Valentine’s Day…


Valentine’s Day is upon us, and the majority of both Gen Z and Millennials told YPulse that they’re planning to celebrate this year. Our Valentine’s Day survey found that 50% of 13-39-year-olds are in a relationship, and 80% of those with a partner said they would be celebrating the holiday this year.

But really, it’s not just coupled up young consumers who will be celebrating. We’ve said before that these generations are changing what Valentine’s is about, and 74% agree Valentine’s Day is mostly a good opportunity to tell my friends and family that I love & appreciate them. This year, we found that 41% of young singles planned to celebrate Valentine’s Day. As one 27-year-old female explained, “I used to mope a lot on Valentine’s Day. But viewing independence as a gift instead of a curse has been very invigorating. Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romance. It’s about celebrating people in your life and that’s what I’ll do.” Another young respondent mentioned that “Some friends want to do a play on secret santa and do a secret valentine,” (Editor’s note: brands, please make Secret Valentine a thing.) It’s clear that they’re looking to celebrate all kinds of relationships on Valentine’s.

But of course, as with all things during COVID, their celebrations will look different. YPulse’s surveys continue to find that the majority of young people are staying at home as much as possible, and avoiding contact with others because of COVID. So what do their Valentine’s plans look like? Here are three stats on what they’ll be doing:

Seven in ten plan to stay in for Valentine’s Day.

YPulse’s surveys continue to find that the majority of young people are staying at home as much as possible, and avoiding contact with others because of COVID, so it makes sense that 69% tell us they’ll be staying in for Valentine’s Day. Many explained that their plans will be different this year, and staying at home instead of going to a restaurant was a common theme. As one respondent explained, “I am assuming Coronavirus will still be going at this time….So we will most likely order takeout and probably stay home eat dinner and dessert, have a few drinks, and binge watch some of our favorite shows together.” Another told us, “Usually we go out to eat on the pier c but this year all the restaurants are closed for covid. So I will be cooking at home.” Of course, this will be yet another blow for restaurants. However, some companies are still trying to reach cooped up couples: Dunkin’, White Castle, and Lowe’s are among the brands who’ve launched live, in-person events for Valentine’s Day as a way to “gauge consumers’ comfort level.” Our data shows that the balance of young consumers who say they will be staying in for the holiday versus going out aligns with the balance of young consumers who say they are still quarantining. A little under a third of consumers are comfortable/willing to go out in general, and so a similar number will be going out for Valentine’s Day.

Two in five will be cooking a special meal, and a third will be baking for the holiday.

With so many staying out of restaurants, cooking at home will likely get a boost this year: 42% of young consumers say they’ll be cooking a special meal as part of their Valentine’s celebration. Millennials are far more likely than Gen Z to be cooking their Valentine’s Day dinners, with half (47%) saying they will be cooking a special meal. But that doesn’t mean Gen Z won’t be in the kitchen. They’re actually more likely than Millennials to say they’ll be baking on Valentine’s Day (37% versus 32% of Millennials. We’ve explored how time in the kitchen has been a major part of young consumers’ COVID-coping, and they’re bringing their passion for cooking and baking to this holiday. Recipes (for couples and families) and fun Valentine’s baking ideas are a smart idea for brands’ social media plans this weekend.

Almost half of young people in relationships will be looking for creative at-home date night ideas.

Their usual go-to Valentine’s Day plans are on ice for the year, which leaves a lot of young people looking for a way to make the holiday special at home: 45% of young people in a relationship and 40% of married Millennials say they’ll be looking for creative at-home date ideas this year.  But brands should know that this desire is not just about Valentine’s Day. YPulse’s Finding Love Post-COVID trend research found that 86% of young people quarantining with a significant other say they would love ideas to have fun date nights at home. The monotony of quarantines is, of course, wearing on everyone, but we found that young people still want to spend quality time with their significant others and need some inspiration on what to do to make another night at home feel special. While they might be especially eager for ideas on how to spend Valentine’s Day at home, their desire for fun at-home dates will continue afte rthis weekend.