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More than $281 billion in consumer incentives were delivered via free-standing insert (FSI) coupons in the first six months of this year. The total was 5.5 percent higher compared to the same period in 2014, according to data released by Marx, a Kantar Media solution.
Meanwhile, retailer promotion pages decreased 21.6 percent to more than 11.4 billion pages in the first half of 2015. Walmart continued to hold the top spot based on number of pages circulated with a decline of 24 percent to more than 4 billion pages, which was the largest actual decrease among the top 10 retailers. Dollar General had the largest actual increase among the top 10 retailers having doubled pages circulated to more than 1 billion pages.
The FSI growth came despite the fact that the number of coupons distributed decreased 0.9 percent, with a total of more than 156 billion coupons issued during the first half of the year. This was offset by an increase in the average face value for FSI coupons of 6.5 percent to $1.80. Average expiration (Fuse) also decreased 7.2 percent to 6.5 weeks. It was the eighth consecutive year of declining expiration lengths during the first six months of the year.
Overall, the number of FSI coupons dropped was flat within the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. Non-food activity increased 4.4 percent, accounting for 68 percent of all FSI activity.
“Non-Food activity has increased share of overall FSI coupons by 10% over the last five years,” said Lisa Ekstedt, director of custom solutions at Marx. “Where we are seeing the greatest activity in four out of those five years is in the personal care category. Additionally the health care category has surpassed dry grocery as the second most active area for the first time in mid-year trends history.
“While food products tend to dominate new product introductions within FSIs," continued Ekstedt, “these trends indicate that FSIs are a useful tool for non-food products to increase sales as well, in addition to securing in-store display support and incentivizing consumers to try new varieties of existing products.”
Manufacturers continued to increase the value of FSI coupon offers while decreasing the number of weeks available to redeem the offer in both the non-food and food segments. Average face value for non-food increased 5.5 percent to $2.10 while average face value for food increased 0.9 percent to $1.14. Average Expiration (weeks) decreased 10.2 percent to 5.6 weeks for non-food categories and decreased 0.2 percent to 8.2 weeks for food categories.
The number of manufacturers participating in retailer promotions declined from 325 in the first half of 2014 to 255 during the first half of 2015. The number of retailers also decreased during the first six months of the year from 125 in 2014 to 99 in 2015. Companies from the mass channel (Walmart, Target), drug (Walgreens, CVS), value (Family Dollar, Dollar General), food (Safeway, Kroger and Publix) and warehouse (BJ’s) comprised the top 10 retailers.
Trailing Walmart in the second to tenth spots were Walgreens, Target, Dollar General, Family Dollar, CVS Pharmacy, Safeway, Kroger, Publix and BJ’s.