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Valentine's Day Chocolates: Not Just for Women Anymore.

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Women aren't the only ones expecting that heart-shaped box of chocolates this Valentine's Day. In recent years, men, young children and teenagers have become increasingly important both to Valentine's Day shoppers and manufacturers.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060207/CGTUFNS1 )

According to the Chocolate Manufacturers Association, half of all women will give a chocolate gift to a loved one this Valentine's Day. While that number is significant and may surprise some, it might still fall short of satisfying the sweet tooth of American men. In a recent national survey, eighty-five percent of men said they hope to receive a Valentine's Day gift this year.

Men aren't the only new group being remembered more often at Valentine's Day. Pre-teen and teenager consumers are also becoming more frequent recipients of Valentine chocolates, with more and more parents remembering their sons and daughters with sweet gifts.

"Valentine's Day is becoming much more of a family holiday," notes John O'Hara, Vice President of Marketing for Russell Stover Candies. "Valentine's Day gives parents another opportunity to tell their children they're special and appreciated."

In response to this trend, manufacturers are producing Valentine's Day candies specifically geared toward these new consumers. Russell Stover Candies has introduced a line of "Just for Him" hearts to appeal to male recipients and a "Tween" heart line for pre-teens and teenagers. "Just for Him" hearts include the same great-tasting Russell Stover candies with packaging that even the most "macho" man would find appealing. Packaging for "Tween" hearts includes catchy phrases and illustrations aimed at younger consumers.

"Our Looney Tunes(TM) and Peanuts(TM) lines of children's hearts have always sold well," O'Hara explains. "The 'Just for Him' and 'Tween' lines help fill a niche that has been largely forgotten until now."

Valentine's Day is the biggest day for boxed chocolate sales. The National Confectioners Association estimates that more than 36 million heart-shaped boxed of chocolate will be sold this year.

First Call Analyst: FCMN Contact:

CONTACT: John O'Hara of Russell Stover Candies, +1-314-725-3069, rscmarketing@aol.com

Web site: http://www.russellstover.com/
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 7, 2006
Words:350
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