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According to a new study from NCH Marketing Services, the total number of manufacturer coupons printed and distributed by consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies grew by 3.8 percent to 248 billion in the United States during 2002, with the growth driven by the health and beauty care category, which alone was up almost 16 percent.

In addition, free standing inserts (FSIs) continued to be the dominant method of delivering coupons, representing 86 percent of all the 248 billion coupons delivered last year.

Internet coupon volume was up better than 50 percent, according to the report.

Perhaps a reflection of the nation’s troubled economy, 71 percent of consumers say that coupons save them “a lot of money,” compared to 51 percent in 2001. And the average face value of coupons was 89 cents in 2002, up four cents from a year earlier.

“The grocery channel represents the largest portion of all coupons redeemed; however, the share of coupons going through traditional supermarkets has been declining as more shopping shifts to other channels,” the report stated.
KC's View:
The usage and distribution of coupons may be up, but we’re still amazed at the utter waste that is implicit in every FSI that drops out of our newspaper on Sunday mornings, FSIs that are replete with money-off offers for items that we have no interest in, no use for.

It just seems so terribly inefficient…