Amid continuing economic uncertainty, the total value of savings associated with coupon redemptions increased 12.2% to $4.6 billion in 2011, according to the U.S. Consumer Packaged Goods Coupon Facts Report, released by NCH Marketing Services, which is owned by Valassis.
Overall, CPG marketers distributed some 305 billion coupons in 2011, up 8.1% over 282 billion coupons distributed in 2010 -- both record-setting years for coupon distribution.
NCH’s annual consumer survey found that 80.6% of respondents said they use coupons regularly, up 17% from pre- recession levels; over a third of respondents said they used coupons more in 2011 than in 2010. And a remarkable 91% of respondents said they plan their shopping list with coupons before going to the store.
In terms of category growth, the biggest increase in coupon distribution came in the health and beauty care products, while the grocery segment actually saw the volume of coupons distributed fall. Twenty-seven percent of coupons distributed in 2011 required multiple purchases, up from 25% in 2010, and the average face value was $1.54 -- even with 2010.
As might be expected, digital coupons are one of the fastest-growing categories, with 64% of consumers saying they regularly search the Internet for coupon savings on CPG products in 2011 -- up 13.5% from 2010. However, the total volume of digital coupons is still just 1% of all coupons distributed in the U.S.; 89.4% of all coupons were distributed in free-standing insert coupon booklets.