Home Articles When it comes to Valentine’s Day, Aussie lovers plump for class

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, Aussie lovers plump for class


So what’s your pick this Valentine’s Day?

If you haven’t made up your mind as yet, here’s a gentle hint from IBISWorld, the business researcher that has already sensed if most Australians are going to buy a dozen red roses or sexy lingerie this year.

IBISWorld’s finding: Overall spending will rise only a marginal 1.8% to $791.4 million, or an average $86, but lovers are getting classier in any case. So, fine dining and premium flowers are in this year, but fancy lingerie or ordinary chocolate, favourites perhaps of a bygone era, are out.

Going the extra mile to demonstrate love

“Premium items are at the top of the agenda this year as Valentine’s Day becomes more entrenched in Australia,” said IBISWorld General Manager (Australia) Karen Dobie. “And for those unable to splurge on a romantic getaway or dinner at a hatted restaurant, there will be opportunities to go the extra mile by purchasing premium chocolates and a dozen red roses rather than a mixed bouquet from the local servo.”

So, spending on fine dining is projected to rise 24.4 per cent to $42.3 million as lovers plump for tables for two at high-end restaurants.

“Dining is expected to be the clear winner this year, with consumers favouring a close and intimate dining experience,” said Dobie. “And given the popularity of current reality television programs, such as My Kitchen Rules, establishments with celebrity chef endorsements will be popular picks for those trying to impress their nearest and dearest.”

Only the best roses will do

The second biggest growth segment is jewellery and accessories – estimated to jump 9.2 per cent to $40.5 million. Still, the diamond is no longer a girl’s best friend, with various other accessories like bangles, bracelets or baubles finding more favour.

Spending on flowers, a perennial favourite, will see a modest uptick of 3.4 per cent to $93.3 million but the story here is bigger. Lovers will pick the best and the priciest ones – not the ones wrapped in cellophane – in a bid to convey their deepest love, according to IBIS.

International travel is certainly off this year, thanks to the falling Australian dollar. But domestic travel is quite another thing – up a marginal 0.9 per cent to $441.6 million  — as lovers plan moonlight rendezvous by the pier, strolls along the beach and champagne picnics. Driving this segment is the fact that this year Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday, offering a long weekend for the romantically inclined.

Where’s the surprise in the frillies?

Two things surely but slowly going out of favour are frillies and run-of-the-mill chocolates.

IBISWorld forecasts only marginal growth in clothing and lingerie spending, up 2.2 per cent to $68.2 million, while spending on chocolates and confectionery declines by 7.1 per cent — the steepest fall for any segment this year – with premium products being an exception.

“Lingerie and clothing have been losing momentum as Valentine’s Day favourites for a number of years, perhaps due to a combination of their relatively high cost and the difficulty in finding a surprise for your loved one that they will like and fit into without causing offence and dampening the mood,” said Dobie.

Similarly, even as chocolates decline in popularity, “premiumisation of this category, fair trade and organic chocolates are becoming increasingly popular with socially conscious consumers.”