Last year, the National Retail Federation reported spending for the Valentine’s Day holiday was expected to top $18.2 billion, which is an average of $136.57 per person. Romantic getaways, flowers, jewelry, candy and greeting cards aside, other findings show apparel, accessories and personal care products contributed about 1.65 billion U.S. dollars to Valentine's Day sales in 2017. Even though Valentine’s Day-related revenue realized a slight market correction in 2017 after a decade-long upsurge, 2018 will still generate billions for the various sectors that are sweet on this particular holiday.
“This is one day of the year when millions find a way to show their loved ones they care regardless of their budget,” says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. While the luxuries of a fresh bouquet of flowers, a box of fine chocolate and a romantic dinner are appealing, many prefer to think—and gift—outside of the candy box. Toward this end, I have sniffed out a few gastro gifts and gets that Cupid would surely approve of.
Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Go-Glass (www.woodbridgewines.com) – $2.50
There are few things more romantic than a private picnic and here’s a wine option perfectly suited for the occasion. Packaged in a shatterproof, single serve, ready to pour cups, Woodbridge By Robert Mondavi’s Go-Glasses are a convenient, no fuss entertaining option for your Valentine’s Day revelry—whether that be a private picnic for two or a group get-together with those you love to hang out with. These single-serve wine options are certainly a great alternative for those non-champagne drinkers. Retailing for only $2.50 each, they are great for entertaining in bulk while not breaking the bank. The Woodbridge By Robert Mondavi Go-Glass is now available nationwide in Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Red Blend, offering a flavor choice suitable for pretty much anyone.
Marin French Cheese Petite Breakfast Collection (www.MarinFrenchCheese.com) –
Also perfect for that picnic or party is Marin French Cheese Petite Breakfast Collection. Marin French Cheese’s mild Petite Breakfast Cheese in particular is the perfect option for all occasions: a mid-day snack, melting in a recipe or on a classic cheese platter. The company’s four-ounce triple-crème, brie-style Petites are made from the highest quality milk, and the expert cheesemakers utilize this to ensure their Petites a pure delight to indulge in. Fresh cow’s milk arrives at the creamery daily from neighboring dairies in the region. Each cheese is handcrafted and reflects characteristics of carefully chosen cultures and mastered ripening techniques. The company has been making award-winning cheeses since 1865, making it the oldest continually operating cheese company in the U.S. Their process uniquely takes place on a 700-acre ranch, just as it was done over 150 years ago, so you can count on each piece of carefully-crafted cheese curd being authentic.
Pork Clouds (www.Amazon.com) – $8.99 per
For those foodie-forward, anti-chocolate gift baskets or to round out your romantic picnic or holiday party with a savory option that won’t wreck your waistline, check out Bacon's Heir’s reinvented pork rinds. Also known as chicharrones, these are a great paleo alternative in the salty snack category. Pork Clouds are cooked in olive oil, are only 100 calories per bag, contain 0g of sugar, 0g of carbs and a whopping 12g of protein per bag. All flavors are gluten free while also free of added hormones, which make them the perfect guilt-free snack. Bacon’s Heir take fresh pork skin, melts off the fat, cures the skin in salt and rapidly puffs it in olive oil. The result is so outrageously fluffy they had to change the name to what you see it as today. The five Pork Cloud flavors include: Rosemary & Sea Salt, Garlic Thyme, Malabar Black Pepper, Habanero Pepper and Cinnamon Ceylon.
As the Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List,” Merilee Kern is an internationally-regarded consumer product trends expert and hospitality industry voice of authority—a travel, dining, leisure and lifestyle expert who spotlights noteworthy marketplace innovations, change makers, movers and shakers. She reports on exemplary travel destinations and experiences, extraordinary events and newsworthy products and services across all categories. Reach her online at www.TheLuxeList.com, on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/LuxeListEditor, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList and on Instagram at www.Instagram.com/LuxeListReviews.
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above may have been provided or arranged at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***