Whether you’re in a committed relaysh, flying solo, or attempting to tame the unruly stallion that is pandemic dating, one thing is certain: Valentine’s Day is a corporate labyrinth full of weird-ass brand promotions. The big day isn’t for another 10 days, but it already feels like we’ve been locked inside a heart-shaped box for weeks. During that time, The Takeout has received dozens of press releases detailing this year’s lineup of heart-shaped food items. We saved them all up so we could bring you the following list of our favorites: the good, the bad, and the lobster. We’ll update this list as V-Day approaches.
First, the good. Baskin-Robbins is offering a new Box of Chocolates Cake designed to look just like a classic heart-shaped candy box with none of the guesswork and/or funky marzipan truffles. The cake is made to order with your favorite ice cream flavor, topped with a layer of rich fudge, and decorated with an assortment of milk chocolate candies. You can order the affectionate confection in two sizes on the Baskin-Robbins website.
Another excellent, if indulgent, pick is Elegant Brie’s “bake-at-home delight,” which combines brie cheese and a flaky puff pastry with a heart-shaped top. Pop it in the oven and let ’er rip for a mildly flatulent, very fancy Valentine’s Day. The only catch is that it costs $64 on GoldBelly.
This is where things get hairy. While the nuggets themselves aren’t technically heart-shaped, Chick-fil-A is encouraging paramours to “say it with chicken,” offering nuggets, Chick-n-Minis, and chocolate chunk cookies in heart-shaped trays. The chain argues that “chicken nuggets are the new chocolate,” which is certainly a bold claim.
Tyson also joined the chicken nugget party, hoping to make the “season of love extra scrumptious” with the return of the Chicken Nugget Bouquet Contest. To enter the contest, you actually have to create your own chicken nugget bouquet, share it on social media, and tag Tyson by February 17. If you win, you’ll get $5,000 for a staycation and a year’s supply of Tyson chicken nuggets. But 150 runners-up will receive a bag of limited-edition heart-shaped chicken nuggets. Those might photograph better than your best staycation.
There’s something truly off-putting about hyper-gendered gift services like Man Crates, a website that offers—you guessed it—crates of gifts for men. But I am reluctantly very into the site’s heart-shaped jerky box, which features an assortment of exotic jerkies for the meat lover in your life. Unfortunately, I am but a little tiny dainty lady and will probably die if I ingest such such a product. Oh, woe!
Another cute one: Krispy Kreme will turn your love notes into “dough-notes.” The Krispy Kreme’s Valentine’s Day Collection includes heart-shaped doughnuts in four amorous flavors—Sprinkled, Sugar Cookie, Strawberries & Kreme, and Chocolate Caramel—all packaged in something called a “Dough-Note” box. You can personalize your box with a custom message (“You’re cute” or “I’m the one who killed your landlord”) and have it delivered directly to your sweetheart’s door.
Everyone’s favorite domestic stoner Martha Stewart has, perhaps unsurprisingly, launched a heart-shaped gift box of CBD-infused gummies. The Martha Stewart CBD Wellness Gummies 6 Flavor Sampler features flavors from Martha’s garden: Pink Grapefruit, Rhubarb, Strawberry, Red Raspberry, Black Raspberry, and Passionfruit. This is one I’d recommend keeping all to yourself, maybe while watching a Bridget Jones vehicle. Damn, that sounds like a good night.
If my partner is reading this, the personalized Valentine’s Day Heart-Shaped Fruit Snack Box from Welch’s is the way to my heart. I would love chocolate, but I would really love fruit snacks. Although the fruit snacks in this box aren’t heart-shaped, they are “bursting with flavor” (sexy!!!) and you can customize a message to your Valentine if you order the box online. You can also have these delivered to directly to your one and only or, I don’t know, a friend. Fruit snacks are innocuous enough for platonic relationships, I’d say.
Dry prose aside, I’m a pretty mushy romantic at heart. Still, I get the cynicism surrounding Valentine’s Day. If you’re in the anti-V-Day camp, you might enjoy these wonderfully cynical Anti-Valentines available on Etsy. You can order the cookies with phrases like “kiss off” or simply “fail,” the latter of which sums up plenty of my past romantic interactions.
Confess your love with a customizable heart-shaped cookie cake from Mrs. Field’s. Each cake is approximately nine inches, and you can customize everything from the frosting color to the message printed on the cake. If you’re not feeling creative, you can play it safe with a standard “I Love You” cookie cake.
I can’t tell if the HeartBaker pizza (booo) at Papa Murphy’s is technically smaller or larger than a standard pizza. Like, if you get an 11-inch pizza, is the heart then carved out of that? Will no one claim the crust scraps? Don’t think about it too hard or your head will start to hurt. Either way, you can snag the heart-shaped pie online or in stores between February 7 and 14. If you’re feeling crazy, you can bring home a “Sweetheart of a Deal,” which includes a HeartBaker Pizza and chocolate chip cookie dough ripe for the bakin’ for 13 buckaroos.
And now, the award for my absolute favorite Valentine’s 2021 promotion. This year the award goes to the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative, offering the decadent Maine Lobster Tail Bouquet “so you can gift the sweetest lobster on earth to the sweetest person in your life.” The lobster is harvested and shipped in Maine and includes a “kit” complete with cooking and bouquet assembly instructions. You can order yours online now.
Valentine’s Day is a great time to prioritize self-love, and nothing says “I love myself” like devouring a platter of heart-shaped biscuits. Hardee’s will serve heart-shaped biscuits during breakfast hours at participating locations nationwide from February 11 through February 14. They’ll be available with any Hardee’s biscuit offering (Bacon Egg & Cheese Biscuit sandwich, et al) for no additional cost.