Analysis: FSI couponing activity increases more than 10%

MINNEAPOLIS Free-standing insert coupon activity increased 10.1% based on coupons dropped during the first six months of 2010 versus the same time period a year ago, Marx, a Kantar Media solution, reported Thursday.

It’s the largest increase in FSI couponing over the first six months of a calendar year since the top half of 2004, when coupon activity was up 8%. “CPG manufacturers are continuing to use FSI coupons to reach consumers in the home to deliver advertising impact, influence consumer purchase decisions and secure retail merchandising support,” stated Mark Nesbitt, president of Kantar Media Intelligence.

Marx also reported that retailer promotion activity continued to grow, with a 56.2% increase to 6.7 billion pages in the first half of 2010. Target led retailer promotion activity based on pages circulated, though 9-of-the-top-10 retailers increased pages circulated during the first half of 2010 versus one year ago. Additionally, the number of manufacturers participating in retailer promotion events increased from 135 during the first half of 2009 to 213 during the first half of 2010.

“In addition to Target’s expanded use of cooperative FSI coupon vehicles to support [its] retailer promotion activity, other leading retailers are expanding their use of retailer promotion events, especially within the food, drug, value and pet specialty channels,” Nesbitt said. “One of the trends observed in response to the declining economy was consolidation of retail shopping trips within the supercenter format. The increased use of retailer promotion events within cooperative FSI coupon vehicles may be an effective retail response to combat the consolidation of trips.”

During the first half of 2010, more than $234 billion in consumer incentives were delivered via FSI coupons in Sunday newspapers, up 17.8% from the same period in 2009. FSI coupon average face value achieved a new record level in the first half of 2010 at $1.51, up 7.1% versus the first half of 2009. However, average expiration dropped to 8.8 weeks, down 9% versus a year ago — the largest percent decline in average expiration for the first half of the year reported in the last five years.

Target continued to lead in pages circulated with more than 1.3 billion pages, up 66.9% versus the first half of 2009. Dollar General had the largest actual increase based on pages circulated among the top 10 retailers, increasing 566.8 million to more than 1 billion pages to rank second during the first half of 2010. Family Dollar went from a rank of 29 in the first half of 2009 to a rank of 5 in the first half of 2010, distributing an additional 488.9 million pages for a total of 512.8 million pages circulated. Walgreens and PetSmart also reported large increases in pages circulated, up 69.4% and 32.7%, respectively.

During the first half of 2010, there were 196 new products that delivered FSI coupons, compared with 199 new products during the same period in 2009. The snacks category led with 16 new products, followed by alcoholic beverages with 15 new products and cereals with nine new products.

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