It was never going to be a usual Valentine’s Day this year, either from a retailer or consumer perspective, due the Covid measures, but the greeting card industry has much to thank our four-legged friends for helping to notch up some extra sales for the first Spring Season event.
BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours helped to spread the love of our pooches and pussycats, highlighting that Valentine’s Day cards to and from pets as being one of the key trends for this year, partly due to soaring pet ownership during lockdown as well as the ongoing relationships we have with the 9 million pet dogs and almost 11 million pet cats.
The radio programme highlighted how Valentine’s Day cards from and to pets this year have doubled, drawing on key trends from Moonpig, the online card player.
But Moonpig is not the only one to have been barking up the right tree on the pet front.
Having tracked the huge uplift in searches for pet cards over the last year, online print on demand site Thortful urged its creatives to come up with suitably ‘fluffy’ designs for Valentine’s Day, resulting in a selection of some 190 different designs from the dog and another 46 from the cat. Thortful saw Google searches for cards from the dog and cat double from last Valentine’s to this year.
According to Thortful’s PR strategist, this pet love is definitely extending to all other events too, with the British pet owning public already logging on to ensure they don’t miss out on the Mother’s Day rush.
Some pooch owners are however more particular about the designs being breed specific. Looking at the Google searches for dog-related birthday cards, it seems that Labradors are in the ascendence year on year followed by Border Collies, but Dachsunds, may have short legs, but are still top of the tree!
One card publisher who definitely sent tails wagging this Valentine’s Day was Gemma Connolly, founder of Scoff Paper, which publishes what she claims is the world’s first healthy and flavoursome edible greeting cards for dogs.
The greeting cards are made using natural ingredients, like potato starch and soybean oil, spanning six alluring flavours to, as the brand puts it, “trigger any dog’s drool reflex”. Jauntily named flavours include ‘Gone in 60 Chickens’ (chicken), ‘Gnashers Rashers’ (bacon), ‘Tearable T-bone’ (beef), ‘Chompable Cheddar’ (cheese), ‘Peanut Drool’ (peanut butter) as well as an unflavoured variety, simply called ‘Do Me No Flavour’.
As Gemma told PG Buzz: “I think in these times, with people not be able to go and visit their friends and family to spread joy for Valentine’s Day it is great that Scoff Paper cards can bring a bit of fun into doggy’s and owners lives; and we need all the joy we can get right now.”
Top: A trio of pet-related Valentine’s cards from Thortful by (left-right) Sarah Maddox, Jo Scott and Inkwells Creations.