Coupons Remain Key When Attracting Consumers to New Products and Services

Traditionally, consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers have used coupons to get shoppers to try new products or services. During the recession, coupon distributions rose significantly but analysts reported that these numbers dropped in 2011. And, in 2012, marketers may be making some changes to their coupon strategies.

In its annual review of coupon statistics, Kantar Media noted the following trends for 2011:

  • Total FSI coupons distributed: 272 billion (This was a 6.5% drop from the previous year.)
  • Dollar value of coupons distributed: $421 billion ( 6.7% drop)
  • Average face value of a coupon: $1.29 (0.2% drop)

During the course of the calendar year, specific weeks prove most popular for manufacturers who attempt to reach consumers with coupons. FSIs with the most pages were printed in the following weeks during 2011 and it’s likely these will again be popular weeks in 2012:

  • Week of May 1 for pre-Mother’s Day promotions
  • Week of October 2nd
  • Week of August 28 for Labor Day promotions

Analysts note that manufacturers and retailers are working in partnership to ensure successful promotions during their coupon drops. The FSI coupon strategy tends to be more heavily used by marketers promoting specific types of products. For example, nearly 35% of FSI coupons involve 10 product categories such as pet foods and treats, combination/​personal, household cleaning products, rug/​room deodorizer, cough cold sinus allergy, hair care and toothbrush. In 2011, the only categories which saw increases in the number of coupons released and which may also see increases this year were:


  • Snacks
  • Vitamins
  • Shaving Cream/​Razor

Media providers should also know that the franchise sector is a growing source of business for FSI pages. In 2011, franchise businesses such as restaurants or portrait studios increased their use of FSI coupons by 4.2%. As a result, this sector accounts for 9.8% of all FSI activity and will likely be a source of new business for media companies in 2012.

[Source: Kantar Media Reports FSI Coupon Activity Decreased. 4 Jan. 2012. Web. 17 Jan. 2012] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.