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 WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers saved a record $4.7 billion in 1992, or the equivalent of nearly one week's worth of groceries for the average U.S. household, simply by using manufacturer and retailer coupons. This represents a seven percent increase over 1992 savings and is more than double the consumer savings of $2.3 billion achieved in 1985.
 This latest information is the product of both industry studies and a consumer study conducted by CMS, Inc., the nation's leading manufacturers agent for coupon management with a 49 percent market share. The consumer study consisted of 1,281 home interviews in November of 1992.
 Study results indicated that consumer households save an average of $52.22 per year using coupons, or about five days of free food when compared with the weekly U.S. average grocery bill of $74.
 Other key findings include:
 -- Over 80 percent of the consumers surveyed said that coupons are an effective method to encourage trial of new or different brands. Forty percent went as far as to say that they would only try a new band with a coupon.
 -- Nearly 90 percent of primary grocery shoppers say they are using about the same or more coupons than last year and 38 percent said they are definitely using more coupons.
 -- One of every four consumers buy products they do not need right now just to take advantage of coupon savings.
 -- Overall coupon usage transcends age, ethnic group and income demographic boundaries. However, household size does influence usage. (The larger the household, the greater frequency of coupon use.)
 -- Consumers in the 18 to 29 year old age bracket indexed 53 percent more likely to have increased coupon usage in 1992 versus the average consumer. This age group also indexed 14 percent more likely to buy a new brand because of a coupon than did the average coupon user. Meanwhile, consumers 60 years of age or older showed the lowest increase in coupon usage. CMS officials said this is because mature shoppers are less price sensitive and have a higher degree of brand loyalty than other shoppers.
 -- Although women still use coupons more frequently than men, more male grocery shoppers said they maintained or increased their coupon usage in 1992. However, males were less likely to require a coupon to try a new or different brand.
 -- Hispanics (English and Spanish speaking), when compared with other ethnic groups, showed a disproportionate preference for direct mail coupons and coupons received in magazines. They also were inclined to stock up on products just to use coupons.
 The rising consumer use of coupons can be tied to increased coupon distribution by manufacturers and retailers, which rose to a total of 322 billion coupons in 1992 -- an increase of 10 percent from 1991 levels. Another factor was an increase in the average face value of distributed coupons, which rose from 57 cents in 1991 to 60 cents in 1992. Since 1985, coupon distribution has grown by 61 percent and the average coupon face value by 67 percent.
 Health and Beauty Care products commanded the highest average coupon face value distributed by manufacturers and retailers at 66 cents, followed by 51 cents for Household Products, 44 cents for Dry Grocery and Beverages, and 42 cents for Refrigerated and Frozen Food Products. The average face value of coupons redeemed by product category showed consumers required a higher than average coupon value for Health and Beauty Care products and Household products, which had average redeemed coupon values of 66 cents and 51 cents, respectively. Meanwhile, consumer-redeemed coupons for Refrigerated and Frozen Food products and Dry Grocery and Beverage products averaged one cent less than the average face value of the coupons distributed.
 Expiration dates continued to shorten in 1992. Approximately 84 percent of all coupons distributed in 1992 had an expiration period of five months or less. According to CMS, shorter expiration dates have tended to increase coupon redemption rates.
 Free Standing Inserts (FSI) continued to dominate as the primary means for coupon distribution, accounting for 86 percent of all coupons issued, with no other distribution method accounting for more than three percent of total distribution. However, instant redeemable coupons, bouncebacks (coupons sent in response to a consumer's special request), in-pack coupons and emerging electronically dispensed coupon technology all showed promising rates of redemption.
 Headquartered in Winston-Salem, N.C., CMS is the largest manufacturers agent for coupon management in North America. The company processes an average of more than 10 million coupons-a-day for over 200 companies in the packaged goods industry. The company was founded in 1983 and is privately held by Inmar Enterprises, also of Winston-Salem.
 Copies of the complete industry and consumer studies can be requested by calling Joan Johnson, Marketing Service Manager, CMS, Inc., 919-631-2659.
 -0- 5/11/93
 /CONTACT: Rand Walton of Earle Palmer Brown, 804-775-0778, for CMS, Inc., or Joan Johnson, Marketing Service Manager, CMS, Inc., 919-631-2659, or visit booth no. 758 at the Food Marketing Institute Trade Show/

CO: CMS, Inc. ST: North Carolina IN: SU:

MM -- CH004 -- 6889 05/11/93 09:15 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 11, 1993

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