Consumer Use of Coupons Holds Steady in 2010

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Consumer Use of Coupons Holds Steady in 2010


Coupon redemptions in 2010 held steady compared to 2009 levels, since beginning to rise markedly in October 2008 after years of decline.

That’s according to Inmar, a leading provider of solutions that connect trading partners through consulting, software services and operations, which noted the rise coincided with the U.S. financial crisis. That led to a 27 percent increase in redemption in 2009; for 2010, redemption remained at 3.3 billion consumer packaged goods coupons.

Food coupon redemptions, which represent 65 percent of all coupons redeemed, increased by 3 percent in 2010. Non-food coupon redemptions (the remaining 35 percent of all coupons redeemed) decreased by 5 percent, for a net change of zero percent for the full year. The decrease in non-food coupon redemption tracks with non-food product sales, which were down for the year according to Nielsen data.

“The interesting news from 2010 is that the change in consumer behavior that led to drastic increases in coupon redemption during the economic crisis is holding post recession,” said Bob Carter, Inmar president of promotion services. “Consumers continue to be coupon sensitive. It will be interesting to watch trends for newer coupon methods, such as digital promotions.”

It’s estimated that, by 2014, $44 billion will be spent in the United States on creating direct relationships between advertisers and consumers through the interactive channel.

Marketers continued to invest in coupons in 2010 with overall distribution up 8.1 percent. Distribution via free-standing Inserts increased by 7.1 percent, and accounted for 78 percent of the overall increase in distribution. Most of the redemption growth occurred in other methods, particularly in-store methods such as instant redeemable and shelf pad coupons, which increased by 44 percent and 27 percent respectively, compared to the 10 percent decline in FSI redemption.

Founded in 1980, Inmar is based in Winston-Salem, N.C., with more than 4,200 employees in the United States, Mexico and Canada.