FSI Coupons Gain Clout For Brands AND Stores

With coupon activity in free-standing inserts increasing, Kantar Media reports that the fliers are increasingly important to retailers, as well as brands.

“While retailer alignment has always been an objective, we’ve seen this growing in importance this year,” says Dan Kitrell, VP/ account solutions at Marx, a Kantar media company. “It gives retailers bigger merchandising opportunities, moving away from brand events and toward sales events.”

In part, he says, marketers are driving the trend, with companies like Procter & Gamble, L’Oreal, Johnson & Johnson, and Unilever offering multiple page themed events, which he says are effective at breaking through promotional clutter. And stores are also beefing up their cause-related promotional and couponing efforts, he tells Marketing Daily, stores will focus on such partners as Wounded Warriors or Feeding America, “which go across many brands.”

The company reports that FSI coupon activity increased 3.4% during the first six months of 2014. Retailer page promotions jumped 27%, to 14.5 billion pages.

Nonfood categories increased 8.2%, driven by health and personal care products. (These now represent roughly two-thirds of all FSI coupons, or 158 billion.) Overall, some FSI coupons delivered $267 billion in consumer incentives, an 8% jump from the same period in 2013. Food coupons, however, actually declined 3.9%, to 55.9 billion coupons. By category, refrigerated foods dropped the most. 

And while the dollar value of coupons increased, the number of weeks available for redemption declined. In nonfoods, the average face value gained almost 1% to $1.99, while the average expiration fell to 6.3 weeks, for a decrease of 2%. And for food coupons, the average face value added 9.8% to $1.13, while the redemption period slipped 1.3% to 8.2 weeks.

Walmart continues to be the largest retailer in FSI activity, it also showed the largest increase, cranking FSI activity up 46% to 5.2 billion pages. Walgreens, Target and Family Dollar are the next largest, followed by Dollar General, CVS, Safeway, Kroger, Publix and Vons.

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