Coupon redemption up 27% in 2009

Winston-Salem, N.C. Annual coupon use is on the rise for the first time since 1992, according to a report by Inmar, a promotion transaction settlement provider.

For the first time in 17 years, consumers used more coupons than they did the year before, with 3.3 billion consumer packaged goods coupons redeemed, an explosive 27% increase over the 2.6 billion redeemed in 2008.

The rise in coupon use started in October of 2008, coinciding with news of the U.S. financial crisis. That has led to five consecutive quarters of double-digit growth (based on percentage change from the same period of the previous year).

The increase in redemption goes hand-in-hand with an increase in distribution, the report said. Despite the tight economy, marketers invested heavily in coupons, boosting the number available to the highest level in over 30 years. Brands issued 367 billion coupons, at an average face value of $1.44, indicating that they were committed to promotions in 2009.

Online coupons also contributed to the rise in coupon distribution and redemption, with Internet distribution up 92% and consumer redemption of these coupons up over 360%. 

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