Valentine’s Day is known as the day of love. Of course, chocolate is one of the most ideal gifts to give your loved ones. It is also a great treat, easy to work with, delicious, and allows you to indulge yourself and others. In 2018, nearly $ 1.8 billion was spent on Valentine’s Day sweets and chocolate. But do you know what Giri Choco is?
On Valentine’s Day, Japanese women are expected to give chocolates to male coworkers as part of a tradition. These treats are known as “Giri Choco” or obligation chocolates. Men are expected to reciprocate the gesture on March 14th, White Day, an event created by chocolate manufacturers in the early 1980s to boost sales.
Japanese women are protesting a tradition that requires them to give chocolates to male coworkers on Valentine’s Day, with growing rage at the practice of forced giving.
The pressure to avoid offending coworkers by spending thousands of yen on chocolates is becoming unbearable for many. Some companies now prohibit the practice, which many employees regard as abusing power and harassment.
According to a survey, 60% of women will buy chocolates as a personal treat on February 14th. More than 56 percent said they would give chocolates to family members, while 36 percent would do the same for partners or crushes.
Keeping up with colleagues, on the other hand, was the furthest thing from their minds, with only 35% planning to hand out chocolate treats to men at work, according to a poll conducted by a Tokyo department store.
Before the ban, we had to worry about things like how much is appropriate to spend on each chocolate and where we draw the line in who we give the chocolates to, so it’s good that we no longer have this culture of forced giving.Anonymous Person Surveyed on Japan Today’s Website
Meanwhile, reported on the recent gyaku choco – reverse chocolate – phenomenon, in which men give chocolates to spouses, girlfriends, or prospective lovers. (Source: The Guardian)
Valentines with Heart and Feelings
Giving chocolate as Valentine’s Day gifts became popular in Japan in the mid-1950s, quickly growing into a multimillion-dollar industry that provides some manufacturers with a significant portion of their annual sales in just a few days.
However, the backlash against Giri choco has caused some confectioners to rethink their marketing strategies.
In the run-up to Valentine’s Day, the Belgian chocolatier Godiva caused a stir by running a full-page newspaper ad urging businesses to encourage female employees not to hand out Giri choco if they felt under duress.
Valentine’s Day is a day when people convey their true feelings, not coordinate relationships at work.Godiva’s Advertising Campaign
While individual consumers consider their gift-giving options, Japan’s collective Valentine’s chocolate obsession heats up as the holiday approaches.
On 14 February, Japan Airlines will hand out chocolates to all male and female passengers on all domestic and international flights, while a hot spring resort near Tokyo has unveiled a bath filled with steaming chocolate water.
However, the prize for the most unlikely Valentine’s Day gimmick must go to a sushi restaurant chain, where diners will be served slivers of raw yellowtail raised on feed mixed with chocolate. (Source: The Guardian)
Image From: Nippon