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    Coupons Still a Hot Commodity

    3.8 billion redemptions in 2002 yielded $3 billion in consumer savings.

    NEW YORK -- In conjunction with the Sixth Annual National Coupon Month this September, the Promotion Marketing Association's (PMA) Coupon Council released 2002's coupon distribution and usage data.

    According to the PMA Coupon Council, marketers distributed 336 billion coupons in 2002, a 3.4 percent increase over 2001. Distributed coupons had an average face value of 81 cents and an average expiration period of three months. Many of the product categories with the largest coupon distribution in 2001 stayed on top in 2002, including household cleaners , prepared foods, detergents and paper products. Categories with the highest growth in coupon distribution in 2002 included oral hygiene (excluding toothpaste and toothbrushes), skin care preparations, cosmetics, baking mixes and first aid products.

    Traditional grocery stores are not the only place where coupons are redeemed, although they still hold the majority (80.4 percent). This year, mass merchandisers accounted for 9.4 percent of all coupons redeemed, drug stores accounted for 3.7 percent and convenience stores saw 2.4 percent of all coupon redemptions.

    "In addition to consumer packaged goods, coupons are increasingly appearing in all categories, including quick serve restaurants, apparel, accessories and home electronics," said Charles Brown, co-chair of the PMA Coupon Council. "As 79 percent of consumers across all demographics use coupons, marketing a product using coupons is one of the most cost-effective ways to directly motivate trial and repeat purchases."

    Age and Income
    The PMA Coupon Council also released the following information about coupon usage in varying age and income brackets:
    Age: Percent Using Coupons
    * 18-24, 71 percent
    * 25-34, 76 percent
    * 35-44, 80 percent
    * 55-64, 83 percent
    65 and older, 84 percent.

    Income Percent Using Coupons
    Under $25,000, 82 percent
    $25,00 to $50,000, 83 percent
    $50,000 to $75,000, 78 percent
    $75,000, 76 percent.

    Another trend in 2002 is the increase in co-equity promotions between retailer and manufacturer. In-ad coupons (in which the retailer is responsible for printing and distribution, and the manufacturer pays for all or a portion of the coupon expense) accounted for 11 percent of total coupon distribution, an increase of 4 percent from 2001, the council said.

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