CPG Marketers Distributed 315 Billion Coupons in 2013, Up 3.3% Y-O-Y

February 7, 2014

This article is included in these additional categories:

CPG & FMCG | Promotions, Coupons & Co-op

NCH-Marketing-CPG-Coupon-Distribution-Trends-2008-2013-Feb2014CPG coupon distribution volume rebounded in 2013, rising for the first time in a couple of years, according to NCH Marketing Services’s annual report. The 315 billion coupons distributed represented a 3.3% climb from the 2012 and 2011 figures, but remained below 2010’s peak of 332 billion. Some 8 in 10 consumers surveyed said they at least sometimes use coupons while shopping in grocery, mass, supercenter, drug, or dollar stores.

Last year, 44.7% of consumers said they used coupons about the same amount as in the prior year, while more than three times as many said they used more than said they used less (39.7% vs. 11.2%).

While marketers distributed more coupons last year, that wasn’t the main reason why consumers increased their use of them. Instead, among those who upped their coupon use, the primary reasons were: liking to save money (76.1%); needing to stretch the budget (66.7%); and rising gasoline and food prices  (55.6%).

Among those who used less coupons last year, the primary reason was the inability to find coupons for the products they wanted to buy (49.1%). Other reasons included the coupons expiring before they had a chance to use them (28.3%) and coupons requiring too many purchases to get savings (19.3%).

Those last complaints were substantiated in part by other results from the NCH study. The average offer duration of a food coupon dropped from 11.3 weeks to 10.1, while for non-food coupons it slipped from 8 to 7.8 weeks. That translated to an overall drop in coupon duration from 9.3 weeks in 2012 to 8.6 weeks in 2013, a 7.5% decrease.

But while the percentage of non-food coupons requiring multiple purchases grew from 18% to 20% (the highest point in at least 5 years), it fell from 45% to 42% for food coupons (a 3-year low). On the whole, then, some 28% of coupons distributed required multiple purchases for redemption, down a point from 2012.

About the Data: Coupons distributed and redeemed in the U.S. Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) marketplace are studied utilizing NCH’s manufacturer client databases, data cleared via its retailer processing operation and other independent sources. NCH’s proprietary methodology utilizes rigorous controls and statistical standards to maintain the integrity of the information contained in its report, as well as, all other information tools supplied by NCH.

Data points from client and market sources are dynamic. As such, projections are based on the most current information available at the time of publication and may be revised in the future. Also, due to rounding, the sum of certain percentages may not equal 100 percent. The scope of the NCH report includes Manufacturer Coupons of all paper and paperless media formats that are most typically funded by CPG marketing budget allocations for consumer promotion. Retailer In-Ad coupons are not included in the report, as they are most often funded by trade dollars. Consequently, In-Ad distribution and redemption are less precisely tracked by manufacturers. C2C is an abbreviation for coupons download to retailer loyalty cards or unique identification numbers. The scale of C2C and mobile coupons is limited by enablement of retailer point of sale systems, currently deployed primarily in the grocery retail channel.

The report also contains various references to the Valassis Shopper Marketing Survey. The data was obtained in August of 2013 in conjunction with Ipsos, a market research firm with expertise in Internet surveys. The sample was derived from an online consumer opinion panel, and all participants were at least 18 years of age and living in the contiguous United States. Consumers were emailed an invitation to participate in the survey and were given three days to complete it. The survey was closed once 1,000 completed responses had been reached. The responses were weighted by factors obtained from national census data to provide appropriate representations of demographic groups at summary levels.

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