Valentine’s Day has two sexy histories. One is that the day comes from Lupercalia, a Roman festival where men got naked and spanked ladies to up their fertility; the second is that back in the day when Roman Emperor Cladius II forbade his soldiers to marry, one young man, St. Valentine, broke the rules and performed secret marriages. These days, Valentine’s Day is celebrated with lots of greeting cards, roses, candy hearts, and … plenty of chocolate. So in the spirit of celebrating what we love, we’re going all in on chocolate and learning more about this sensual sweet bite!
Giving chocolate goes back a long way. The first Valentine’s Day box of chocolates was introduced by Richard Cadbury in 1868.
According to the History Channel, more than 40,000 Americans are employed at chocolate companies. And though we’re sure the “I Love Lucy” episode comes to mind, remember that making chocolate is hard work!
Valentine’s Day chocolate sales account for 5.1 percent of chocolate candy’s annual sales, according to Nielsen. In fact, lovebirds will buy more than $340 million worth of chocolate during Valentine’s Day week.
There are 1,241 chocolate producing locations across the United States, according to the U.S. Census. And California has more than any other state (with 136)!
Americans will buy almost 60 million pounds of chocolate candy during Valentine’s Day week, says Nielsen. (By comparison, nearly 90 million pounds of chocolate are sold during Halloween week).
Maybe love makes us absent minded? Nielsen reports that February 13th is the top chocolate selling day of the month. (Way to procrastinate guys.)