Report: More Coupon Offers, but Fewer Shoppers Use Them


U.S. companies distributed nearly 315 billion coupons for consumer-packaged goods in 2013, up 3.3 percent from the year before. However, the number of coupons redeemed fell 3.4 percent to 2.8 billion, likely due to an evolving product mix, says a new report released by NCH Marketing Services Inc., a subsidiary of Livonia-based Valassis.

According to the survey, while marketers distributed nearly 6 percent more coupons in the non-food segment, those in the food sector — which has a higher coupon redemption rate — distributed .9 percent fewer offerings.

An 18.3 percent increase in coupons for new products also impacted the total number of coupons redeemed. After all, consumers are more likely to use coupons for well-known or familiar products than for new or unfamiliar merchandise, say NCH officials.

“A wide variety of coupon marketing approaches to engage shoppers with brands and activate shopper store preferences resulted in an evolving mix of products being promoted with coupons, as well as an evolving mix of coupon media being used by retailers and manufacturers to promote those products in 2013,” said Charlie Brown, vice president of marketing at NCH.

The survey also found the average coupon offer duration declined from 9.3 weeks in 2012 to 8.6 weeks in 2013. Among those consumers who reported using fewer coupons in 2013, 28.7 percent said it was because the coupons expired before they had a chance to use them.

Overall, the report says 80.9 percent consumers used coupons regularly in 2013.