U.S. Coupon Market Posts Record-breaking Distribution and Redemption Numbers

LIVONIA, MI—Jan 29, 2010—Shoppers saved nearly $3.5 billion with coupons in 2009, according to the Year-end 2009 Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) Coupon Industry Facts Report recently released by NCH Marketing Services, Inc., a Valassis company. A record number of coupons in the marketplace contributed to this increase of $800 million, or nearly 30% more than 2008.

CPG coupon distribution increased by 11% from 2008, to a total of 311 billion coupons distributed in 2009 — the largest single-year distribution quantity ever recorded. The majority of 2009 coupon distribution growth occurred as marketers chose to put paper coupons in the hands of consumers in a variety of different ways to stimulate product purchase decisions last year. Consumers redeemed nearly 3.2 billion coupons in 2009, a 23% increase over the prior year. This growth represented the second-highest increase ever recorded for year-over-year coupon redemption. Marketers also increased the average face value of coupons — up to $1.41 in 2009 from $1.29 in 2008.

“With interest in coupons by consumers at an all-time high and lasting savings habits being formed, we expect that coupons will continue to be an important tool marketers will use to reach and motivate consumers in 2010 and beyond,” said Suzie Brown, Valassis Chief Marketing Officer. “Through our consumer brand, RedPlum, we deliver savings and deals to over 100 million shoppers a week.”

Personal economic situations are causing consumers to make changes in savings and lifestyle habits. Over 30% of respondents to a 2009 NCH Consumer Survey indicated they are now more careful about remembering to bring their coupons to the store, with 74% stating they would maintain this new habit. Twenty-five percent of respondents also said they are now clipping more coupons than in the past.

“The state of the economy is influencing manufacturers and consumers as it relates to both distribution and redemption,” said Charlie Brown, NCH Vice President of Marketing. “This recession has been long enough and unemployment has been high enough, to have placed a greater emphasis on spending and savings habits since the last period of deep U.S. recession in the early 1990’s.”