Money-off coupons and vouchers are more popular than ever among cash-strapped UK consumers, according to coupon experts Valassis.
In the first half of this year, UK consumers redeemed 275m coupons – a 38% increase on the same period last year – saving about £870m (€1.30bn), says the coupon and voucher service provider. It manages about 85% of all coupons redeemed through grocery retailers.
“The public’s determination to reduce household spending by planning their shopping around their coupons is an increasingly normal household behaviour across all socio demographics,” said Valassis managing director Charles D’Oyly.
“But it’s the price wars between the supermarkets which is fuelling this craze. Supermarkets are issuing more coupons than ever before.”
He said there were 61m more retailer-issued coupons redeemed in the first six months of the year compared to the prior year period – up 41% on 2012.
“Since 2010 retailers turned dramatically to coupons as the key way to guarantee lowest or matching prices in order to attract and retain customers. They are increasingly competing for individual shopping trips given that consumers switch shops in order to bag the better bargains.”
He added that if the current trend continues, shoppers were on course to save £1.7bn (€2bn) in 2013. D’Oyly believes that coupons have become entrenched into UK shopping behaviour, as they have in the US.
Meanwhile, across Europe, food promotions are not working as well they used to, according to market research organisation SymphonyIRI. It said in July that sales volumes of items on promotion were essentially flat, and manufacturers increasingly were struggling to fund promotions.