Coupons Keep Their Mojo

February 04, 2011

CPG issues more coupons and people redeem more, especially in lower-priced retail outlets in 2010

The second straight year of record coupon distribution reflects CPG’s mounting attempts to prod value-seeking shoppers who balk in this tough economy.

“Consumer demand for coupons remained high in 2010 as shopping habits created during the most recent recessionary period sustained throughout the sluggish economic recovery that occurred during the year,” said Charlie Brown, vice president-marketing, NCH Marketing Services, Inc., a Valassis company. “A third of the respondents to NCH’s Annual Consumer Survey said they used more coupons in 2010 than in the prior year.”

Indeed, CPG issued 332 billion coupons in 2010, up 6.8% over the 311 billion in 2009, which was 10.7% above the 2008 level, data from the NCH 2011 Coupon Facts Report show. Of the latest total, 216 billion were grocery coupons and 116 were in health and beauty care. Nearly nine out of ten (87.7%) appeared in freestanding inserts, and 5.2% were in in-store media.

Shoppers redeemed 3.3 billion coupons in 2010, a 3.1% rise over the 3.2 billion redeemed in 2009. As a result, they saved $3.7 billion on purchases, up from $3.5 billion a year earlier. Every retail channel saw redemptions rise in this time period, but the greatest gains occurred in the ‘all other’ grouping, which includes convenience, warehouse club and variety/discount stores, up 25.1%. Of all retailers, Walmart, Kroger, Target, Publix and Walgreens topped the list of coupon redeemers.

How did coupon traits compare in 2010 vs. 2009? The average face value rose 6.6% to $1.46. An equal percentage of coupons—26%—required multiple purchases. Coupon expiration dates were a week-and-a-half shorter, at 9.1 weeks, down from 10.6 weeks a year earlier.