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Continued interest in coupons and savings has caused consumers to make significant changes to their shopping patterns, which have now become an integral part of each shopping trip.
Consumers saved $2 billion in the first six months of 2011, according to the U.S. Mid-year 2011 CPG Coupon Facts Report, released by NCH Marketing Services Inc. This savings is a 17.6 percent increase from the comparable period in 2009 when CPG marketers began offering more coupons during the depths of the economic downturn.
Savings is within everyone’s reach and is celebrated during National Coupon Month, recognized throughout September for the 14th consecutive year.
Marketers, retailers and consumer packaged goods manufacturers today provide a multitude of offers in the marketplace reaching their target audiences both in print and digitally, making it easy for shoppers to take advantage of deals. Couponing has come a long way from 1887, when John Pemberton, a pharmacist from Atlanta, who created the recipe for the syrup used to make Coca-Cola, distributed the first coupons: handwritten cards to encourage people to try the new drink for free.
“Coupons have become a universal savings tool and Americans are seeking out coupons, savings and deals more than ever,” said Bonnie Carlson, PMA president. “Managing deals and savings doesn’t have to be daunting; shoppers have to figure out what works best for them. For new coupon users, start with collecting coupons for the items you use most frequently. Clip print coupons and search for online coupons as well. Saving money is easy and has become routine for many shoppers.”
The Promotion Marketing Association launched its first National Coupon Month campaign in 1998, aimed at increasing coupon usage and heightening awareness. Today’s shopper is much different from when the campaign began, and has made savings with coupons a part of her shopping routine. In fact, according to the 2011 RedPlum Purse String Study of more than 23,300 respondents, 77 percent said they save $11 or more each week, compared to 67 percent in 2010. Additionally, 77 percent say they use the money they save with coupons on basic necessities, a 20 percent increase from the prior year.
“Today’s shoppers are impacted by their own personal financial situation and rely on the value coupons bring,” said Charlie Brown, NCH VP of marketing and PMA board member. “Once they have seen the results of their savings and how all of the dollar-off coupons and percentage-off savings can add up, and how these savings can be achieved with ease, they are not willing to go back to their previous buying behaviors.”
Seventy-eight percent of respondents to NCH's 2010 Annual Consumer Survey report using coupons regularly, up 14.7 share points from pre-recession levels, and a third said that they used more coupons in 2010 than the prior year.
Additional findings of this survey indicate:
- 31 percent of consumers say they have become more careful about bringing their coupons to the store.
- 25 percent report that they are clipping more coupons due to their personal economic situation.
- Among those consumers who reported using more coupons than the prior year, the largest share in 2009, 37.4 percent, explained their reason for doing so was to stretch a limited grocery budget out of necessity.
Founded in 1911, PMA is the national non-profit trade association dedicated to the industry of marketing disciplines that motivate behavior, activate response and build brands. Representing $750 billion in sales, these disciplines include promotion marketing, digital marketing, shopper/retailer marketing, sponsorship and experiential marketing.