NEW YORK: Procter & Gamble, Kraft and Kellogg's are the brand owners enjoying the greatest success with their money-off programmes in the eyes of US shoppers, a new report has suggested.

The Integer Group, the retail marketing agency, partnered with MARC Research, the consumer insights specialist, to survey 1,241 adults in the country.

Overall, 49% of the panel were making fewer shopping trips than three months ago, while 47% reported that their purchase levels were largely unchanged and 4% had actually boosted their spending.

Elsewhere, 86% of the sample said coupons were “influential” in shaping which brands they bought, with 28% arguing they were “very influential” and 14% stating they were “extremely influential”.

Some 60% of participants looked for coupons before visiting stores, with 62% of this group using newspapers and 58% relying on direct mail and circulars.

A further 33% searched in shops and supermarkets for these offers, while 31% logged on to specialist internet aggregators and 24% checked the online portals operated by retailers or magazines.

Just 18% accessed brand websites and an even less substantial 2% employed their mobile phone in this way, with men more likely to adopt this latter strategy than women.

However, while 75% of contributors said their primary reason for reclaiming vouchers was to save money, this compared with 76% who did so in order to “buy familiar brands”.

In contrast, only 25% took the opportunities provided by this kind of promotional activity to increase the volume of goods they bought, while 30% tried new products in this way.

The importance of coupons reached a high of 74% in the grocery sector, with mass discounters on 54%, apparel chains on 44% and e-commerce services on 39%.

Procter & Gamble was perceived to be the manufacturer which provided the best vouchers, with its Tide, Crest, Bounty, Oil of Olay and Gillette brands also in the top 20 on this measure.

Food brands dominated the upper echelons of the list, with Kraft claiming second spot overall, and Kellogg's, General Mills and Pillsbury completing the top five.

Campbell's Soup, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson and L'Oreal also scored well with shoppers, indicating the wide variety of categories in which this type of approach has made an impact.

Despite Gillette's strong performance, vouchers for products which were primarily targeted at men generally posted the lowest redemption rates.

Bed, Bath & Beyond led the retailer rankings in terms of having the most favourably regarded coupons, followed by Target, Macy's, Borders and Costco.

Kroger, Kohl's, Gap and CVS and Wal-Mart also made the top ten among retailers, according to The Integer Group/MARC Research study.

Data sourced from Interger Group; additional content by Warc staff