FSIs Continue to Decline While Digital Promotions Increase    

By Jack Grant

Free standing insert (FSI) print promotion activity, measured by coupons dropped, fell 12.4% during the first half of 2019, according to analysis by Kantar Consulting. The decreases are mainly in packaged goods like candy, coffee and snacks, and in personal care products including shaving and hair care.

Food makers continued to shift their FSI investments to digital promotions. In the first half of this year Kantar measured an overall growth of 8.5% in Digital offers, driven by Dry Grocery which saw an increase of 390 million Estimated Prints/Clips. Meanwhile, activity in non-food categories remained flat.

Kantar reported an increase in retailer website activity, particularly in Food where Estimated Prints/Clips increased by 26% in H1 2019, with Frozen Products (+48.5%) and Dry Grocery (+27.7%) showing the largest positive shifts.  Print retailer pages were also up nearly 60% over 2018, with significant increases in both Food (+70.6%) and Non-Food (+32.1%).

In Print promotion, the number of retailer events increased in every area except Health Care, which despite a 1.4% decrease still saw the second highest total number of Print retailer events behind Personal Care.
In Digital promotion, Dry Grocery dominated the number of retailer events increasing 17% over 2018. This was followed by Personal Care which saw a 5.7% increase in Digital retailer activity. Personal Care was among the top areas in both Print and Digital retailer activity despite the previously noted declines in overall Print coupons dropped.

Kantar has captured over 1,300 new products in Print and Digital so far this year. Dry Grocery led all areas in total number of new products launched by a wide margin.  Over 400 new Dry Grocery products were first seen in Digital, where manufacturers have increasingly turned to promote their new products.  Among Digital new product offers, Food saw the greatest increase in number of events (+8%) driven by Refrigerated Foods which saw a 63.9% increase in number of events and was one of the top five areas for new products.
In Print, Kantar also measured an increase in the number of events that manufacturers ran in support of their new products, with an average of 1.7 events per new product in both Food (+13.3%) and Non-Food (+6.3%).  Cereal had the highest average number of events per new product with an average of 3.3 events in Print (+10%), followed by Household products (2.1 events) and Refrigerated Foods (2.1 events).

In Digital, the average number of events per new product increased from 2.1 to 2.2 events per product in Non-Food. Food remained flat at 2.2 events per product.  Cereal again had the highest average number of events per new product with an average of 4.9 events in Digital (-3.9%).  Household Products (2.3 events) and Refrigerated Foods (3.3 events) were again above the average number of events per new product in Digital along with Personal Care (2.4 events).

The Weighted Average Face Values of the promotions distributed to consumers provided another indicator of continuing 2019 trends. In both Print and Digital, Weighted Average Face Values and Weighted Average Face Values Per Unit continued to increase across makers of Food and Non-Food products.

In H1 2019, Kantar found that that the largest face value increase was in Print where food makers increased their face values nearly $0.20 to $1.46 on average.  Driving this trend were shelf stable beverages where Print face values rose more than a dollar from $1.50 to $2.74 and unit values rose $0.68 from $1.16 to $1.84 indicating multi-purchase offers.  While increases in Digital face value were not as pronounced as those in Print, shelf stable beverages again saw above average increases in Digital face values (+$0.19) and unit values (+$0.16).

The expiration length (the time given to redeem an offer) continued to decrease in the first half of 2019.  For Digital, expiration measured 5% less than the prior period, bringing overall time available to redeem a Digital offer to 3.7 weeks.  In Print, the trend was similar, with a 5.5% decrease in time available – down to an average of 5.1 weeks.

Print Food offers, however, saw an increase in expiration length from 7.6 weeks to 7.8 weeks.  This is a full 3.5 weeks longer than Print Non-Food offers, which declined 8.7% from 4.6 weeks to 4.2 weeks.

                                               September 2019
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