As Marvin Gaye once sang, Let’s Get It On. We are, of course, talking about the oven as bakers gear up for Valentine’s Day 2019.
Consumers are increasingly looking for fun, quirky and Instagram-worthy treats for their loved ones on this special day, which means thinking beyond the usual hearts and flowers theme.
Here are some of the trends bakers should tap into if they want to be lucky in love and sales this 14 February.
You’re my lobster
These cute crustaceans are taking over this Valentine’s Day and it’s all thanks to the hit-1990s TV show Friends. Lobsters mate for life, according to Phoebe, leading Ross to confess to Rachel “you’re my lobster”. Cue (albeit 15 years late) t-shirts, cards and biscuits all emblazoned with the phrase.
Biscuiteers is one brand taking advantage of interest among certain-aged consumers (read millennials) with its £18 You’re My Lobster Letterbox Biscuits (right). Fortnum & Mason also has a lobster biscuit on sale, although this one is wearing a top hat, so he’s extra fancy (left).
One quarter of the UK population hates or dislikes Valentine’s Day, according to a recent YouGov poll. That’s a lot of consumers to ignore.
Instead, some bakeries are choosing to embrace their distaste. Edinburgh-based Cuckoo’s Bakery, for example, has created a white chocolate and coconut cake that says ‘Stupid Cupid’ (pictured) and the Biscuiteers has a ‘Fries before guys’ biscuit. Other ideas include ‘Swipe left’ messaging for the Tinder crowd and using broken heart cake and doughnut toppers.
For more information on the anti-Valentine’s trend, check out the latest feature here.
That’s so retro
Some are looking to the future for Valentine’s inspiration, others are looking to the past.
Konditor & Cook has particularly embraced this trend with a pop-art inspired range called ‘Pop Goes My Heart’. It features a Mini Curly Whirly Cake – a dark chocolate sponge with cream cheese frosting – with a personalised pop-art plaque decoration (pictured) and Dodgy Jammers, vanilla biscuits with a collection of cheeky words such as ‘Bum’, ‘Grr’, and ‘Hot’ in raspberry jam.
Fortnum & Mason is taking it back even further with its Cupid’s Angels Iced Biscuits featuring traditional-looking cherubs, a dove, a harp and a lute.
Savour the love
Love isn’t always sweet. Sometimes it’s savoury – taking the form of heart-shaped pizzas, pork pies or, in the case of Aunt Bessie’s, Yorkshire puddings (pictured). That’s right, Aunt Bessie’s has rolled out limited-edition Heart-Shaped Yorkshires especially for the romantic occasion.
Asda, meanwhile is offering Hand-Finished Beef Wellingtons, complete with a pastry heart on top, as part of its £15 meal deal for the occasion.
Gail’s Bakery is also pushing its sourdough loaves for Valentine’s Day with a Chocolate Sourdough returning to the menu. It features cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate to complement the sourdough’s natural tang. Gail’s recommends serving it with lashings of butter and marmalade.
Galentine’s Day, celebrated on 13 February, is all about ladies celebrating ladies. The idea originated on American TV show Parks & Recreation but has transcended television land to become a real-life celebration. Notably, Poundland has got in on the act with a Galentine’s range this year.
Ok, so it’s not going to be as big a sales driver as Valentine’s Day, but offering a Galentine’s Day brunch special with pancakes and waffles could draw in gal pals, as could a prosecco and cake day.