In the late 400s Gelasius declared February 14th as a day for honoring Saint Valentine. Over the years February 14th became associated with love and romance (1300s) and the exchange of cards (1600s). In the 1840s the first mass produced Valentine’s Day cards were sold in the US.
Over the years Valentine’s Day has become big business. 62% of adults in the US say that they celebrate the holiday. Spending for Valentine’s Day tops $13.9 billion. $8.9 billion is spent on sparkling wine (174,000 gallons are sold during the holiday week alone). The number of cards and gifts exchanged totals 150 million.
Cupid gets the credit for the holiday, but really Valentine’s Day is the work of logistics and supply chain. UPS alone transports more than 3,000 tons of flowers for Valentine’s Day – requiring the company to add an additional 130 flight segments.
Check out our infographic. You’ll see that Cupid really doesn’t play much of a role (sorry Cupid).