Young Consumers’ Top Valentine’s Day Gifts & Where They Buy Them

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we asked young consumers what they want, what they’re giving, and where they’re buying it…

Millennials and Gen Z have always taken Valentine’s Day less-than-seriously, and this year seems to be on track to be no different. Nearly three in four 13-35-year-olds say the holiday is overrated according to Ypulse’s most recent monthly survey, and most say they don’t really care about Valentine’s Day. The generation is known for having a sense of humor about the day, and though most say they plan to celebrate it this year, many will be doing so without significant others, choosing to spend the holiday with friends or family instead.

According to the National Retail Federation, U.S. consumers are on track to spend a record-breaking $19.6 billion, with each shopper spending an average of $143.56. And Millennials and Gen Z will be digging into their own wallets to add to that over-the-top total. Half of 13-35-year-olds are planning to give a gift this year, with the top recipients being moms, significant others/spouses, and friends. To find out what they’re shopping for, we asked 1000 13-35-year-olds to divulge their gift plans this year.* And to find out if they’ll be getting what they want, we also asked them to tell us what they hope to receive from their Valentines this year. Here’s what we found out:

*These were open-end response questions to allow us to capture the full range of the kinds of gifts that 13-35-year-olds want from their Valentines, and what they’re planning to give. As with any qualitative question, the responses include those that are top of mind and those that are most highly thought of. The lists are ordered according to number of responses received, and alphabetically when ties occurred.

What They’re…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I move around every few years so it would be a huge hassle to have to buy and sell property so frequently.”—Female, 28, IN

Gen Z will spend the most on rent of any generation, but Millennials aren’t far behind. HotPads estimates that 2-20-year-olds will spend $226,000 on rent before they buy a home and 24-38-year-olds will ring in at $202,000. Despite the difference, Gen Z will own their first home one year earlier than Millennials because they’ll have “a stronger job market than [M]illennials”—but, despite the myths, they are buying homes in greater numbers. PS: Los Angeles tops the list of where young demos will spend the most on rent. (Business Insider)

What’s behind board games' popularity today? The NPD Group found that board games grew 8% compared to the toy industry’s overall growth of 8% in the past year and has “no signs of slowing down.” Digital detoxing plays a part, as more Millennial parents worry about their kids’ screen time and seek toys that foster face-to-face relationships. But despite the analog appeal, games are also getting high-tech and the word-of-mouth media they receive propels social media-friendly games like Pie Face to the top of toy charts. (Kidscreen)

Parents still have the most influence over kids today, but online celebrities are also top role models. Mintel research found that 86% of 6-17-year-olds say their parents are among their top role models, 62% say teachers, and 41% say siblings. But the top kind of celebrity that gets added to the category are social media celebrities at 35%, followed closely by musicians and athletes. Only 22% said actors were among their top role models and just 16% said the President. (MediaPost)

Disney has a new beverage to fill your Instagram feed: The Purple Wall Slushie. The Millennial & Gen Z-loved company has had no problem coming up with social media-friendly items, from Baby Groot bread to a viral Beauty and the Beast-inspired tumbler, and now they’ve rolled out a boba and taro beverage at Disney World. The Purple Wall is a famous destination to snap a pic for social media in the Magic Kingdom, and this slushy is made specifically to match up with the wall (and monetize on it). (POPSUGARInsider)

Speaking of Instagrammability, the Space Needle’s new, clear benches are sure to make for a thrilling photo op. The iconic viewing deck for the Seattle skyline has been in the midst of a makeover to create a better (and decidedly more social media-worthy) viewing experience. A metal base and caging has been replaced with a high glass wall from floor to sky, and so-called “skyrisers” will let visitors sit right on the edge of it all—and snap a selfie. (Curbed)

“People have been planning outfits since the start of the year [for prom].”—Male, 15, NC

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