Chocolate: Most sought gift on Valentine’s day

Kolkata, Feb 14 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS) A box of chocolates and dinner out at a nice restaurant are the perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day with your loved one, according to Asian consumer research released on Monday by Kraft Foods, the producer of Cadbury chocolates.

Chocolate is the most sought-after gift on the most romantic day of the year – at least 40% of Asian consumers polled are hoping for chocolate as their Valentine’s Day gift, and half (52%) plan to buy the same for their significant other.

Most ladies (42%) think February 14 would not be complete without chocolate/candies and flowers, which are apparently the top priorities of their loved ones too, with chocolates (48%) and flowers (31%) ranked the most popular gifts men plan to buy.

Despite cultural differences, the majority of surveyed consumers in major cities of China (64%), India (64%), Indonesia (43%), Malaysia (55%), the Philippines (56%), and Singapore (53%) plan to spend Valentine’s Day the same way: dinner out at a good restaurant.

In China, chocolate, especially luxurious chocolate, is the most preferred gift (36%), but buyers beware: nearly 40% of Chinese consumers believe brand/style is important for any gift. As for their counterparts in India, flowers (32%) would be very well received too.

In Southeast Asia, stuffed animals (11%) are an ideal choice for Filipino consumers along with chocolate and flowers, which is unique across Asia. Nearly half (49%) of Indonesians tend to spend less money on their Valentine (US$20).

Meanwhile in Malaysia, more than one third (39%) of consumers would like to tell their loved ones that they are not expecting anything regarding the big gift question. Interestingly, only 58% of Singaporeans remember the gift they received last year for Valentine’s Day, and among those, some (12%) were disappointed as they did not receive anything!

On such a special day, most city-dwelling Asians are happy to spend anywhere up to US$100 on gifts. But for those of us facing economic hard times, there is a positive message: most Asians agree that the very special thought behind selecting the very special gift is essential (47%) instead of price or brand.

That’s perhaps why two thirds of consumers do remember last year’s gift and are happy with what they received.

If you still have no idea what to get for your Valentine, here’s some food for thought, from the survey respondents: simply ask your loved one (22%) or you can’t go wrong with a box of chocolates (20%)!

The Valentine’s Day survey, conducted by an independent research house commissioned by Kraft Foods, was held in January 2011 and involved more than 600 male and female consumers in major cities in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore.

Quick Bites for India

According to the survey, around 77% of Indians  consider chocolates to be a must buy on Valentine’s day which is higher than in other parts of Asia — 46% in Singapore, 70% in Malaysia and 71% in Philippines.

Interestingly, 81% of Indians were satisfied with their last year’s Valentine’s gift.

According to the survey, nearly two third of Indians said that dinner out at a good restaurant was the ideal Valentine’s Day activity for them.

When it comes to receiving a Valentine’s gift or treat, for nearly 56% it’s the thought that counts, 23% feel that taste is the number 1 priority and 20% feel brand/style is most important quality.

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