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Survey Shows Valentine's Day Is More Than a Lovers' Holiday

Family, Platonic Friends, Colleagues and "Almost Exes" Make the List, but Remember -- No Picture Frames or Cheap Chocolates

WALLINGFORD, CT -- (Marketwired) -- 01/23/14 -- This year, it's okay to celebrate Valentine's Day with your best friends, a group from work, or your entire family. The romantic flavor of the holiday is changing to a more platonic one, according to a survey out this week from fresh fruit gift provider Edible Arrangements.

The company's "Out of the (Chocolate) Box" survey queried 500 Americans on how they acknowledge the holiday. While 85% of those in happy, romantic relationships plan to give their partner something, a third of respondents say they also gift friends and colleagues. A full 45% remember parents and extended family, and 62% give something special to their children. Even poor relationships can benefit; over a third of those in relationships they deem "on the decline" also plan to give.

Valentine's Day, the millennial way?
The 18-34 year old cohort interprets the day most broadly. Fifty-seven percent of Gen Y consider the holiday "somewhat less romantic" than preceding generations, with a third calling it an "all-inclusive" holiday that they will celebrate romantically and with friends and family.

"It's no surprise that millennials want to make Valentine's Day more inclusive. They're the generation best known for 'sharing' and creating communal experiences via Facebook and Instagram for example," says clinical social worker and relationship expert Dr. Bari Smelson, "And other generations can learn something about how to celebrate special occasions with various loved ones, not just a significant other."

What we give, what we spend
Over one-third of the 18-34 year olds prefer to give healthy food or other lifestyle gifts, as opposed to older respondents (25% of 35-54 year olds and 19% of those 55+.) Millennials are also predicted to spend more than any of the other age groups this year by varying percentages, including a 12% increase on siblings. The survey shows that people spend the most on a spouse, with 25% spending over fifty dollars.

While budget was the greatest influence on gift decisions (cited by 40%) the "pride you take in choosing a gift" came in second, with nearly 20% of gift-givers claiming its importance above "the state of one's relationship" or even "hints" from loved ones.

How giving and receiving make us feel
One thing nearly all gift-givers agreed on? Giving to someone you care about feels good! Over 80% of those surveyed found that giving increased their happiness, with nearly half calling themselves "much happier" as a result of giving.

Not surprisingly, although many of us want to give healthier gifts, there are limits -- the least desirable gift across all ages and genders? Enrollment in a weight loss program, cited by 59% of respondents.

Accruing to the desire to take pride in the gifts respondents choose, givers take heed, the following were also cited as "least desirable": picture frames, appliances, drugstore chocolates and generic gift cards.

"We have a formula for finding the perfect gift," says Tariq Farid, CEO, Edible Arrangements, "Factor in equal amounts creativity -- searching for the unique -- plus personal knowledge of your recipient and appropriateness for the occasion and you will succeed every time."

About Edible Arrangements®
With nearly 1,200 franchise locations open or under development worldwide, Edible Arrangements International, LLC is the world's largest franchisor of shops offering creatively designed fresh cut fruit arrangements. Select Edible Arrangements® locations also carry the company's rapidly expanding Edible To Go® line which features all-natural, fresh fruit smoothies, dipped fruit, fresh squeezed lemonade and orange juice, and fresh fruit salads, sundaes and parfaits and treats. Since its founding in 1999 in East Haven, Conn., the company has been recognized as an industry leader, ranking first in its category in Entrepreneur magazine's annual "Franchise 500," Entrepreneur's Top 40 of "Fastest Growing Franchises" and "America's Top Global Franchises" as well as being included for eight consecutive years among the "Inc. 5000" list of the fastest growing privately-held companies. Edible Arrangements® fresh fruit bouquets and other gift items may be ordered by telephone at 1-877-DO-FRUIT, at one of the company's retail stores, or online at EdibleArrangements.com. EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® and other trademarks noted are registered trademarks of Edible Arrangements, LLC.

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