Chocolate reigns supreme

The word aphrodisiac comes from the name Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, and belief in the power of aphrodisiac foods dates back to ancient times. Foods purported to contain Aphrodisiac qualities include: artichokes, avocados, bananas, chocolate, garlic, ginger, honey, oysters, pine nuts and vanilla. Chocolate reigns supreme for Valentine’s Day. U.S. consumers shower their sweethearts with chocolate candy for Valentine’s Day, with retail sales expected to top more than $323 million1 during the holiday week, according to The Nielsen Co. In fact, Valentine’s week ranks No. 1 for chocolate candy sales, and places third for all candy sales with consumers expected to purchase more than $414 million. “Shoppers head straight to the candy aisles to express their love on Valentine’s Day,” says Todd Hale, senior vice president of Consumer & Shopping Insights, Nielsen Consumer Panel Services. Atlanta chocoholics Nielsen’s analysis of supermarket sales in 52 U.S. markets shows that consumers in Atlanta buy the most chocolate candy during Valentine’s week (ending February 17, 2007), with consumers in that market buying 48 percent more chocolate candy than would be expected for a market of its size, followed by Denver and Cincinnati. Romeos splurge on wine Nielsen’s research shows that overall sales of sparkling wine are slightly higher during Valentine’s week, indicating that consumers buy fewer bottles but spend more per bottle. Similarly, overall sales of rosé wine are down during Valentine’s week, but sales of premium-priced rosé wine (bottles priced $6 or higher) rise, signifying holiday splurges. First comes love, then . . . Perhaps as a result of Valentine’s Day romance, more pregnancy and infertility test kits are sold approximately six weeks after Valentine’s Day than at any other time of the year. Consumers spend more than $15 million on pregnancy and infertility test kits during the second, third and fourth weeks of March (ending March 24, 2007). Happy Valentine’s Day. Nielsen