KANSAS CITY — Valentine’s Day is once again at the forefront of consumers’ minds as foodservice locations and retailers launch heart-shaped innovation in time for the upcoming holiday.

While limited-edition Easter holiday products typically dominate late winter to early spring product introductions, Valentine’s Day spending is expected to reach $25.9 billion, up from $23.9 billion in 2022 and $21.8 billion in 2021, making it one of the highest spending years, according to the National Retail Federation.

“Valentine’s Day is a special occasion to shop for the people we care most about,” said Matthew Shay, chief executive officer and president of NRF. “This year, as consumers embrace spending on friends and loved ones, retailers are ready to help customers celebrate Valentine’s Day with memorable gifts at affordable prices.”

  In a survey conducted by the NRF, top gifts this year include candy, with 57% of respondents reporting they plan to give something sweet.

Both foodservice locations and retailers are adding limited-edition products ranging from heart-shaped chicken nuggets to biscuits and donuts. Of course, there is no shortage of candy and chocolate innovation this year either.

“While Valentine's Day has historically been tied to couples, shopper data reveals an evolution in consumers’ patterns around Valentine’s Day,” said Tim LeBel, president of sales at Mars Wrigley. “Omni channel data shows consumers are gifting candy to friends, family and loved ones to inspire moments of everyday happiness.”

View slideshow of Valentine’s Day products.