Malaysians spend 78% more on food for Valentine’s Day


Restaurant operators in the country will be happy to know that Malaysians are the region‘s biggest spenders on food, according to global payments technology company Visa.

According to Visa payment volume data [1], Malaysian Visa cardholders spent 78 percent more on food during the Valentine’s Day period (between 11 to 16 February) last year with an average bill of RM291 (USD87), proving that when it comes to romance, many Malaysians believe that sharing a special meal with a loved one is still the best way to celebrate the occasion. Other countries with relatively high payment volume growth for food on Valentine’s Day were Macau, with a 29 percent increase, and Singapore with a 26 percent increase.

No date is complete without a bouquet of beautiful blooms, and the Philippines shows a massive amount of love by spending a whopping 955% on flowers above any other average day, with an average purchase of RM210 (USD63), an increase of 31%. Malaysians on the other hand, spent 68% more on flowers than usual, but still pales in comparison with Sri Lanka and Thailand, who came in second and third with 334% and 190% in payment volume growth respectively.

Nothing says love like a box of chocolates. Under the confectionary category, Hong Kong is the clear winner with a 110% increase on chocolates purchase for Valentine’s Day. Japan and Macau also showed modest increases at 30% and 16%. Interestingly, Malaysia saw a decrease of 9% in confectionary spending during the Valentine’s period, as compared to any other time in the year, perhaps indicating that many Malaysians actually prefer food to flowers and candy for the occasion.



Additional information:
To find average spending increases, Visa used the following data methodology:
Data is from Valentine’s Day 2013
Data Source: VisaNet data (in USD Nominal)
Valentines day Period: Purchase day between 11th – 16th February 2013
Control Period: Purchase day between 16th – 21th September 2013
China, Taiwan, South Korea were excluded.


About Visa

Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 47,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit

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