More Japanese women buying Valentine’s Day chocolates for themselves

by Feb 13, 2024Featured Article, News

The number of women who plan to buy Valentine’s Day chocolates for themselves in Japan is over threefold more than those giving the treats to their sweethearts, a recent private sector survey showed.

Among respondents, 21.7 percent of women said they plan to purchase chocolates for themselves, up 8.5 percentage points from the previous year, reflecting an increasing trend of women treating themselves with sweets, the survey by marketing firm Intage Inc showed.

The gap between women who plan to buy for themselves and those set to gift their partners or people they have a crush on expanded to 3.4-fold compared to a 1.7-fold seen last year, the survey showed.

In Japan, women traditionally give a box of chocolates to the men in their lives, including husband or boyfriend, father and coworkers, on Valentine’s Day.

Women are also spending more on chocolates despite price hikes hitting daily goods and tightening their purse strings, with the average budget surging 34.0 percent to 5,024 yen.

The amount spent for chocolates for sweethearts and those for themselves also increased from the previous year to 3,222 yen and 1,766 yen, respectively, it said.

The largest cohort at 44.7 percent said they would buy chocolates for their families, the online survey drawing 1,257 responses from women aged 15 to 79 in January showed.

“As ways to enjoy (Valentine’s Day) have become diverse, more people are buying (chocolates) to treat themselves,” an official at Intage said.

The majority of working women, meanwhile, are reluctant about following the tradition of giving giri (“obligatory”) chocolates to male coworkers, with 82.2 percent of the 370 respondents saying they do not want to give such chocolates.