Valentine’s Day is bigger business than ever for the supermarkets. 

Asda reports a 305% increase in Valentine’s Day searches on its website, making it one of the top three terms used by its online shoppers, with most products costing £5 or less.

And over two-thirds of Brits will celebrate Valentine’s Day today, with the average spend per head at £50, according to consumer data service Finder.

But with the cost of living crisis the nation is spending less on l’amour, with half of celebrating couples last year swapping a night out for a night in.

So it’s no surprise to see renewed focus on Valentine’s Day dine-in meal deals across the major players, from Marks & Spencer and Waitrose to Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Iceland – and the lavish options and savings of over 50% take the breath away. 

How many Brits celebrate Valentine’s Day

But supermarkets are also increasingly catering to customers’ more intimate desires, taking the one-stop supermarket shop concept to whole new levels, as supermarket websites and stores increasingly offer items usually seen, until recent years, only in specialist – and sometimes backstreet – shops.

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Ocado, which offers a range of sex toys, sex aids and other intimate accoutrement, has claimed a 190% year-on-year increase in dildo sales in the run-up to Valentine’s Day. Near three-quarters (73%) of sex toy-containing shopping baskets also contained ready meals, “for the ultimate day of self-indulgence” for singles, it claimed.

For those sharing an intimate moment with another, the online retailer reports a 45% increase in massage oils too.

Supermarket sexual enhancement products

When it comes to ‘sexual enhancement’ or ‘sexual wellness’ – as the category is labelled across most retailers’ websites – Ocado provides the fullest and most diverse online supermarket range, at over 100 SKUs. This compares with Morrisons’ 36, 44 at Asda, Tesco’s 43 and 46 at Sainsbury’s.

In terms of range breadth, Ocado’s meets broader needs and from a variety of suppliers, including a range of electronics, whereas other retailers’s ranges consist mostly of Durex products, including condoms, lubricants and only occasionally devices.

Famously, Tesco debuted a range of ‘sexual wellness’ brands from Lovehoney in its stores in 2022. And while not currently listed online, adult devices stocked by the retailer now include the likes of vibrators and massage wands from So Divine. 

Tried and tested gifts aren’t off the table of course. data shows cards, chocolates and flowers were the most sought-after items by shoppers. “This year, there’s insight to show there will be an even bigger increase in popularity of inexpensive gifts,” it adds, with customers preferring smaller, more thoughtful gifts with a little luxury indulgence.

Supermarkets are perfectly set up to deliver to all these needs. And with huge in-store and traditional marketing campaigns to back up its wide spread of offers, Valentine’s Day is increasingly valuable. The only question is, what will (or can) supermarkets do next to spice up Valentine’s Day 2025?