Forget traditional flowers.
Although roses continue to be one of the top-selling Valentine’s Day gifts, other bouquets are gaining in popularity: Think meaty ones made with bacon and beef jerky, sour ones with pickles or sweet ones with candy, cupcakes and doughnuts.
More edible and nontraditional bouquets like these have been sprouting up in recent years. “(It’s) allowing consumers to get their valentine a unique gift that still holds onto the tradition of Valentine’s Day,” said Sarah Hollenbeck, shopping and savings expert at Offers.com, a deals website.
U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average of about $162 on Valentine’s gifts and meals this year, up $18 from last year, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual holiday survey. Total spending is forecast at a record $20.7 billion, a 6 percent increase over last year. About 35 percent of those celebrating the holiday are expected to buy flowers and 52 percent will purchase candy, according to the survey.
About 35 percent of participants in an Offers.com survey said chocolate, candy or other food treats were their most-wanted gift.
This doesn’t surprise Ben Wynkoop, co-founder of The Manly Man Company.
Valentine’s Day is his Newport Beach, California-based company’s busiest time of the year. The company started selling beef jerky flower “Man Bouquets” in January 2017 and then added beef jerky rose bouquets.
This year, they added Bacon Jerky Roses, a $79 gift of a dozen dark chocolate-dipped maple candied bacon jerky roses. Orders were still being accepted Wednesday but the bouquets are back-ordered.
“They want to be unique and give an intriguing gift,” Wynkoop said of his customers. “We’re working around the clock.”
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So where can you find these wacky Valentine’s gifts? We’ve got you covered.
Take note: A “Do It Yourself” component is required with some of these bouquets. Check Pinterest for ideas and search Etsy for additional bouquets.
Beef jerky: The Manly Man Company sells beef jerky “Man Bouquets” with prices ranging from $49 to $79. Amazon also sells an Exotic Jerky Bouquet for $55.
Breadsticks: Order Olive Garden’s breadsticks to go, or the Valentine’s Day ToGo Dinner for Two. Then print and cut out the custom bouquet wrapping square of your choice – available with sayings like “my love for you is never ending” – roll up the cone and tape before filling with breadsticks.
Candy: Walmart has several candy bouquet options including a Skittles Candy Bouquet, Hershey’s and M&M’s for $18.98. There are additional bouquets online like a Reese’s Extravaganza Bouquet, which includes 36 peanut butter cups for $44.99. Amazon has options, too.
Cookies and cupcakes: Cheryl’s Cookies Long Stemmed Buttercream Frosted Cookie Flowers are $39.99 at www.cheryls.com. Shari’s Berries have a “Hot Stuff 9 piece Cookie Bouquet” for $49.99 at www.berries.com. Baked Bouquet, a cupcake shop in Verona, New Jersey, makes cupcake bouquets that are only available for pickup.
Doughnuts: The Harry & David Donut Bouquet featuring 10 mini doughnuts is $49.99 and available at www.harryanddavid.com. Doughnut shops including Federal Donuts in Philadelphia and Las Vegas-based Donut Bouquets have bouquets available for in-store pickup.
Pickles: Boston-based Grillo’s Pickles posted directions on how to make a pickle bouquet at www.grillospickles.com/picklebouquet. You can put one together by buying a few varieties of the brand’s pickles sold at retailers across the country including participating Target stores, plus wooden skewers and a vase or tissue paper. The bouquets are available to purchase online for $44.99 in the greater Boston area.
Plush bouquets: Both Amazon and ThinkGeek have various plush bouquets including a Plush Kitten Bouquet and Star Wars bouquets. Prices start at $19.99 at www.thinkgeek.com.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
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