Kate Vlietstra
Kate is a Global Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel. She specialises in analysing the dairy sector, with previous experience in FMCG sales and marketing roles.

In the lead up to Valentine’s Day, the focus for brands is targeting couples – romantic gift ideas and deals, such as elegant dinners with cake and champagne for two. But could they be missing out on another marketing opportunity targeting singles?

15th February is Single’s Awareness Day – a celebration of singledom, which takes the focus away from couples and encourages singletons to focus on themselves. 

So how can brands make the most of ‘self-partnering’ – the phrase recently made famous by celebrity feminist advocate Emma Watson? Using Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), we highlight the quirkiest examples of indulgent single-portion food and drink products, which could challenge the cliché of advertising for couples and celebrate self-love instead.

Indulgent single portions

Some brands in the indulgent food and drink category have been effective in targeting the lucrative food on-the-go market, by launching limited edition single-portion products. We believe the big opportunity lies in indulgent products, such as desserts, treats and alcoholic drinks.

For example, this one-glass rosé from Italian Minivino, sold in Sainsbury’s and Amazon, offers a perfectly sized wine for one.

Minivino’s ‘One-glass’ Rosé (Italy)

Source: Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD)

 

Other brands, such as French premium wine brand JP Chenet, have launched mini editions of sparkling wine – with 20 cl bottles.

JP Chenet’s ‘Medium Dry Rosé Sparkling Wine’ 20cl (France)

Source: Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD)

 

Messaging targeting solo dollars and pounds

Another opportunity to draw in the single consumer’s attention is by using funny punch-lines tailored to celebrate singledom. Paired with witty packaging, such as the example below, it’s a great way to make the consumer smile:

Galerie’s ‘Fries Before Guys’ Marshmallow Fries (US)

Source: Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD)

 

Nestlé’s Kit Kat Wafer Fingers in Chocolate has been repackaged in the Philippines’ for a previous Valentine’s Day, for those ‘emergency situations’ when you bump into your ex-partner.

Kitkat’s ‘Break in case of ex encounter’ Wafer Fingers in Milk Chocolate (Philippines)

Source: Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD)

 

This limited edition package from Purdy Chocolatier in Canada is a real ‘Valentine’s Day survival kit’ – full of treats such as raspberry hearts, milk chocolate lollipops and chocolate bars of different flavours.

Purdys Chocolatier’s ‘Meh. Survive Valentine’s Day’ Candy & Assorted Chocolates (Canada)

Source: Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD)

 

Solo dining

The idea of advertising targeting singles isn’t just for food and drink manufacturers. In fact, foodservice operators are also starting to realise the potential of this market, with Tastecard, for example, recently announcing their solo dining pop-up in London’s trendy Shoreditch this Valentine’s Day. The ‘self-love’ restaurant Two4One encourages customers to enjoy a romantic meal with themselves in front of a mirror. This pop-up comes as Mintel research shows that a third (33%) of all Brits eat all their meals alone.

 

 

What we think

Celebrating the status of singles presents a significant opportunity for brands. Companies could launch limited-edition indulgent single portions designed as a special treat, or with witty packaging which draws attention to the plight of singletons. With an educated approach to mental health and self-care, younger consumers in particular are the perfect target market for such a marketing move. 

The retail opportunity of celebrating singledom has great potential. Single’s Day in China, celebrated on 11th November, has evolved from a university-wide event to the world’s biggest shopping holiday, surpassing even Black Friday. Brands should take advantage of this opportunity to target a key demographic with relevant products and foodservice solutions.