CPG Coupon Volume on the Rise: NCH Study

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

The number of manufacturer coupons printed and distributed by consumer packaged goods companies grew by 3.8% to 248 billion in the United States last year.

Health & Beauty Care products saw the largest increase, up 15.9% with volume driven up by large companies that issued more coupons to consumers through corporate events in solo and co-op Sunday free standing inserts (FSIs), according to a study by NCH Marketing Services.

The second half of 2002 saw a rebound of coupon events growing by almost 10% compared to the same period in 2001, which had been impacted by Sept. 11, the economic downturn and an overall decline in advertising and promotional spending.

The positive rebound last year was witnessed in many types of coupon media including in and on-pack, Internet, electronically dispenses, run-of-press newspaper and FSIs, the report found.

FSIs continue to increase their share of all coupons distributed, rising to 86% of the 248 billion coupons in 2002. Notable is the increase is volume driven by national corporate solo events such as Procter & Gamble’s Brand Saver insert and Kraft’s Food & Family insert. Other large corporations like Campbell’s, ConAgra and Nestle, have created corporate group events over the first six-to-10 pages of co-op FSIs that feature many of their products in one congruent campaign.

Internet coupons grew by 50% in distribution volume in each of the previous three years. Handout coupons remain the second most frequently used medium to issue coupons including in-store, on-shelf, electronically dispenses and with samples, according to NCH.

In other findings, 84% of shoppers report using coupons while shopping for grocery, health care and household items at supermarkets, mass merchandisers and drug chains, according the NCH’s 2002 Consumer Survey. Currently, 71% of consumers agree that coupons save them lots of money, compared to 51% in 2001.

A coupon’s face value increased by four cents to 89 cents last year. Consumers redeemed more than $3 billion in CPG coupons in 2002. Redemption, however, fell off to 1.5% in 2002 from 1.8% in 2001. And the time consumers had to redeem coupons was dramatically shortened, by nine days or less, to an average of 12.6 weeks, down from 13.9 in 2001.

The top five retail redeemers of coupons in the U.S. are: Kroger, Wal-Mart, Ahold, Military Commissaries and Safeway, respectively.

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