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Coupon Facts Report Indicates Marketers Continue Steady Use Of Coupons

LIVONIA, Mich., Jan. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --  Valassis (NYSE: VCI), a leader in intelligent media delivery, released today the annual topline report of U.S. coupon trends prepared by its subsidiary, NCH Marketing Services Inc., providing retailers and marketers with redemption response insights for manufacturer coupons that are offered to consumers. The findings include that consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers issued a steady flow of coupons in 2012, distributing 305 billion coupons to consumers, the same quantity as the year prior, although the marketing objectives were substantially different for those coupons.

Consumers' expectations for value in their purchasing decisions remained strong throughout 2012. NCH's August 2012 Consumer Survey found that 79.8% of consumers regularly shop using CPG coupons, very similar to the 80.6% prior year result, and well above the 63.6% who reported regularly using coupons in the pre-recession 2007 study.

Additionally, the BIGinsight Monthly Consumer Survey in December 2012 found that 53.7% of consumers continued to focus more on needs than wants while shopping. Those results are very similar to the 52.1% in December 2011 and 52.7% in December 2010 who also said they focus more on needs than wants. These surveys confirm that a strong value-oriented mindset has persisted for a large segment of the population despite some improvements in overall consumer confidence measures and unemployment rates in 2012.

While consumer desire for saving with coupons continued, and the quantity of coupons made available to them was the same, CPG marketers have made other strategic shifts, including which products are promoted with coupons, how consumers receive coupons and various tactical offer-level changes, all of which affected industry redemption volume.

Of the 305 billion coupons issued in 2012, non-food categories comprised 4.4% more of the available coupons than the prior year, with items such as medications, personal care and other household products all distributing a greater quantity. CPG marketers increased the coupons available in non-food categories where consumers tend to delay purchases or have a multitude of national brand and retailer private label choices. Conversely, there were 6.5% fewer food coupons, including products that are purchased frequently.

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