Coupons return to modest growth

1 August 2013

DEERFIELD: Coupon distribution volume grew 1.8% year on year in the US over the course of the first half of 2013, although redemption rates declined 8.1% in the same period due to changes introduced by marketers, a new study has found.

The CPG Coupon Industry Facts, a half-yearly report by NCH Marketing Services, the consumer data division of Valassis, found that coupon usage for consumer packaged goods is undergoing a post-recession revival, MediaPost reports.

The study found that consumer packed goods (CPG) manufacturers issued 168bn couples during the first half of the year. Digital couponing recorded double-digit growth for both distribution and redemption, although free-standing inserts continued to hold 91.1% of the overall market.

Coupons for non-food products have increased 2.9% since the first half of 2012, representing 62.5% of all coupons distributed.

Nonetheless, redemption rates declined 8.1% in the first half in response to changes made by marketers to coupon offers. Marketers shortened the expiry dates of coupons by 3.2% to 9 weeks on average with the food sector reducing redemption dates by nearly one week.

Marketers have also increasingly required multiple purchases of two or more products, especially in the food sector. The average face value of distributed coupons has increased by 4.5% year on year to $1.62.

NCH Marketing noted that CPG marketers have continued to evolve their mix of coupons offered and how consumers receive them.

Suzie Brown, vice president of sales and marketing at Valassis, said that CPG marketers are increasingly expanding their use of digital formats, which are continuing to grow although on a smaller scale than free-standing inserts.

"For marketers, it's about finding the right media mix and defining the coupon characteristics to both activate consumers and still drive return on investment for their brand," Brown added.

Data sourced from Marketing Daily, NCH Marketing Services; additional content by Warc staff