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Kantar Media Reports FSI Coupon Activity Increased 7.2 Percent in 2010

January 5, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS—Jan. 5, 2011—Kantar Media reported that free-standing insert (FSI) coupon activity increased 7.2 percent during 2010 vs. the previous year, totaling more than 291 billion coupons dropped. This is the highest level of activity observed during the past decade by Marx, a Kantar Media solution. Retailer promotion pages also achieved new record levels, with a 46.4 percent increase to more than 13.3 billion pages in 2010, continuing the pattern of significant annual growth rates which began in 2007.

“Consumers continue to look for FSI coupons as part of their value-seeking behavior in response to the ‘new-normal’ economy. Additionally, marketers continue to use FSI coupons to deliver advertising impact, influence consumer behavior, and secure retailer distribution and merchandising. Finally, retailers continue to increase their participation in FSI promotions as a way to drive trips, transactions, and profits,” said Mark Nesbitt, President, Kantar Media Intelligence North America.

“As manufacturers and retailers work together to influence the shopper on their path-to-purchase, it will be important to monitor competitive promotion tactics, creative brand messaging, and retailer promotion alignment within FSI coupons.”

FSI coupon support was included as part of 344 new product introductions during this period, down from 388 during 2009. “FSI coupons continue to be an important advertising and promotion vehicle to create brand awareness and to incent trial purchasing for new product introductions,” added Nesbitt.

Corporate “scale” events continued to evolve as a promotion tactic in 2010. Scale events included both manufacturer solo inserts in which the entire vehicle is comprised of events from a single manufacturer and multiple-page corporate themed events that are distributed within cooperative FSI coupon vehicles.

In 2010, manufacturers targeted key holiday promotion weeks including distributing solo inserts on the Sunday of the holiday weekend of Easter, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Christmas. Corporate scale events contributed in part to the “pre-Thanksgiving” promotion week of November 14th having the greatest activity with a weighted average circulation of 114.8 pages. The “New Year” promotion week of January 3rd (traditionally the heaviest weighted week of the year) was the second most active week in 2010 with 114.5 pages of FSI promotions.

“Corporate scale FSI coupon events enable manufacturers to leverage their brand portfolios to break through the promotion clutter to increase share-of-voice with their consumers and share-of-merchandising with their retailers,” concluded Mark Nesbitt.

Overall FSI Activity

During 2010, more than $451 billion in consumer incentives were delivered via FSI coupons, up 17.1 percent from 2009. During the same period, over 291 billion coupons were distributed within more than 212 billion FSI pages. FSI coupon average Face Value achieved a new record level in 2010 at $1.55, up 9.2 percent versus 2009. However, Average Expiration (Fuse) continued a steady downward trend with a decrease to 8.5 weeks, down 8.9 percent versus a year ago. These trends indicate that manufacturers are delivering more offers of greater value to the consumer, but are managing their financial exposure by reducing the length of time that these offers are available in the market.



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