Coupon Distribution Down, Savings Up

LIVONIA, Mich. — CPG marketers distributed 305 billion coupons in 2011, an 8.1% decrease from 2010, according to a new report from NCH Marketing Services, a Valassis company.

The Annual Topline U.S. Consumer Packaged Goods Coupon Facts Report noted that the decline in 2011 reflects the fact that 2010 was a record-setting year for coupon distribution, which increased markedly during the recession.

Volume in 2011 was up by 20 billion over 2007 levels. Despite the decline in distribution from 2010 to 2011, consumer savings using coupons was up sharply, as Valassis reported that shoppers saved a total of $4.6 billion, up 12.2% over the preceding year.

NCH's annual Consumer Survey found that 80.6% of shoppers report using coupons regularly, up 17 share points from pre-recession levels. More than one-third of the survey respondents said they used more coupons in 2011 than the prior year, a 14.3 share point increase from pre-recession levels.

Marketers continue to modify coupon-offer characteristics, according to the 2011 Coupon Facts Report:

  • 27% of coupons distributed require multiple purchases, up 2 points from 2010;
  • 9.9 weeks average expiration, down from 10.4 weeks a year ago; and
  • An average $1.54 face value, which remained the same as in 2010.