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Millennials say Valentine’s was ‘created by card and candy companies’

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RICHMOND, Va. – Several consumer-based apps say Virginia is clearly for lovers, though some research found the younger generations are most cynical about Valentine’s Day, especially compared to their Baby Boomer counterparts.

Ibotta, a mobile shopping app said their data proves Virginia is the most romantic state, based on wine and chocolate sales.

OpenTable ranked the River City sixth in the nation when it comes to amorous behavior – based on the number of couples dining out and user-generated reviews of “romantic” restaurants.

An analysis of more than 4.6 million receipts uploaded to the Ibotta app showed that Virginia experienced the biggest spikes in both wine and chocolate purchases, up 136 percent and 138 percent, respectively in the two weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day 2016.

North Carolina ranked second, up 125 percent in wine sales in the run-up to last year’s holiday, and chocolate surged by 136 percent.

Ibotta said they also surveyed more than 800 of its users across a wide range of demographics, and found that most baby boomers still view Valentine’s Day as a romantic occasion, while millennials were more cynical about the holiday.

Fifty-one percent of baby boomers answered, “It’s romantic,” when asked to describe Valentine’s Day, while only 37 percent of millennials surveyed had the same response.

The largest contingent of both millennials (45 percent) and Generation Z (51 percent) said they feel Valentine’s Day is “just another day created by card and candy companies,” while more than half of all baby boomers say the holiday is inherently romantic.

Nearly 75 percent of baby boomers, in addition to their views on the holiday itself, consider themselves to be romantic.

Ironically, while a majority of all respondents to the survey said they view themselves as romantic, more than half of them said their significant other isn’t, especially those who are married with children.

Ibotta also found that among those celebrating Valentine’s Day, two times as many dating couples plan to spend $100 or more on gifts than married couples.

Nearly 70 percent of dating couples would prefer an experience – such as dinner and a movie, or a trip – over a physical gift, while one-fourth of married couples want a gesture, such as a poem or alone time away from kids, over anything else.

Only 14 percent of all those surveyed said they agree to a budget with their significant other ahead of time in order to save money. And almost unanimously, respondents of all generations and relationship status say it is okay to buy a discounted gift or earn cash back when buying a Valentine’s Day gift, although only 16 percent actually admitted to doing so.