HISPANICS WANT COUPONS FOR PERISHABLES, STUDY SHOWS

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Hispanics use fewer coupons than the general population because many promotions aren't geared to product categories they buy, according to preliminary findings of a study on minority couponing trends.First-generation immigrants seek out perishables, but relatively few coupons are dropped in these categories, said Anne Brumbaugh, assistant professor of marketing, Wake Forest University's

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Hispanics use fewer coupons than the general population because many promotions aren't geared to product categories they buy, according to preliminary findings of a study on minority couponing trends.

First-generation immigrants seek out perishables, but relatively few coupons are dropped in these categories, said Anne Brumbaugh, assistant professor of marketing, Wake Forest University's Babcock Graduate School of Management in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Brumbaugh is conducting the study in partnership with CMS, Winston-Salem, a coupon processor, and Latin-Pak, St. Louis, an ethnic-marketing firm. Research is expected to be complete in about one year.

The study comes at a time when Hispanics comprise about 12% of the U.S. population, yet represent less than 8% of coupon users, according to CMS.

One of the barriers to coupon use is that coupons aren't offered for food products they consume, including fresh produce, according to focus groups Brumbaugh conducted.

Marketers that distribute coupons for perishables could benefit because Hispanics will redeem coupons at a higher rate in some categories - including refrigerated foods - than the general population if the right kind of coupon is distributed in the right media.

"Whoever does couponing right will get a lot of loyalty," Brumbaugh told SN.

Among other findings, Hispanics dislike coupons with multiple-purchase requirements. The reason for this is that while Hispanics have larger families, they have smaller residences, making it harder to pantry-load.

That's also why they're not receptive to high-value coupons worth $1 and over, as such offers typically require a purchase of larger sizes.

Brumbaugh said preliminary data suggests that marketers should consider using more targeted media by running coupons in Spanish-language newspapers and magazines.

Likewise, companies should include bilingual instructions for use.