When it comes to love, a new study reveals that some U.S. cities are more romantic than others.
Just in time for Valentine's Day, same-day delivery service Instacart, which delivers from stores like Whole Foods, Fairway, CVS and Costco, released its second-annual Instacart Romance Index, ranking the country's most romantic cities — and the ones lacking in love — based on search data from its service.
Boston, Massachusetts, it turns out, is full of romantics.
For 2018, Instacart found that the country's most romantic city is Boston, followed by Atlanta, Georgia. Last year, Boston also clutched the top spot on Instacart's ranking, but Atlanta actually improved by leaps and bounds, skyrocketing to second-place from its 2017 spot on the list as the fifth least romantic city.
Instacart's index looked at grocery shopping search trends for 12 universally romantic terms including: chocolate, flowers, candy, strawberries, champagne, Valentine, truffle, cookies, dessert, hearts, roses and wine.
To determine its ranking, Instacart looked at millions of searches from consumers on both its app and website in the week leading up to Valentine's Day in 2017, and compared it to searches from the week of Valentine's Day to see the relative change in customer searches.
While grocery shopping itself might be the furthest thing from romantic, the items people were looking for prove that many consumers had love on the brain, as people prepped to celebrate with all things sweet, sugary and indulgent.
"Chocolate" topped the list in terms of sheer search volume, with "strawberries" coming in second. However, searches for the term "heart" spiked the most, with searches surging by 219 percent.
While Valentine's Day might not bring forth visions of frenzied shopping chaos like Black Friday, consumers are still forking over a significant amount of money. This year, total U.S. spending on Valentine's Day is predicted to hit $18.2 billion, and the average consumer is expected to shell out $136.57 on holiday merchandise and services, according to a survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
How U.S. cities rank romantically
The cities whose searches spiked the most for Instacart's list of romantic terms ranked highest on the index. 2018's Most Romantic Cities, according to Instacart, are:
1. Boston, Massachusetts
2. Atlanta, Georgia
3. Austin, Texas
4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
5. Charlotte, North Carolina
6. Oakland, California
7. Washington D.C.
8. Chicago, Illinois
But residents in some cities were looking for stereotypical romantic items much more than others. Prior to Valentine's Day, cities whose searches for romantic items mirrored those of "just another day," dropped to the bottom of Instacart's ranking.
The least romantic of them all, according to Instacart's index, is Indianapolis, Indiana, followed by Raleigh, North Carolina. Last year, Miami, Florida claimed the spot as the country's least romantic city, followed by Indianapolis and then San Francisco, California.
According to the index, 2018's Least Romantic Cities are:
1. Indianapolis, Indiana
2. Raleigh, North Carolina
3. Orlando, Florida
4. Seattle, Washington
5. Denver, Colorado
6. San Diego, California
7. San Antonio, Texas
8. Houston, Texas
For the index, Instacart examined the change in Instacart user behavior by comparing growth adjusted week over week changes in the popularity of various search terms, and used a data set comprised of millions of searches from consumers spread over 190 North American markets in which Instacart operated in 2017.
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