Food manufacturers need to target discounted offers

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

90% of UK consumers now use coupons
90% of UK consumers now use coupons

Related tags: Retailing, Grocery store

Food and drink manufacturers need to target their products to be included in discounted offers because nearly all UK consumers would swap their regular supermarket to benefit from discounts, according to a new report.

The report, by coupon business Valassis, estimated that 94% of UK consumers would by-pass their regular supermarket in favour of another if better deals were available.

Penny Dryden, commercial director at Valassis, said: “In the face of dwindling supermarket loyalty, manufacturers need to ensure their offers are relevant and targeted so they appeal to the consumers most likely to buy from their supermarket of choice. This approach ensures an effective coupon campaign that delivers return on investment.”

This “increasing”​ trend for shop-switching  – over retailer loyalty – in search of the best deal is driven by a growing consumer appetite for money-off coupons and vouchers, Valassis claimed.

‘Money off motivated’

Charles D’Oyly, md of Valassis, said: “The increased focus on money saving opportunities goes hand in hand with shop switching. Consumers are becoming increasingly money off motivated, with tracking down coupons becoming increasingly incorporated into everyday shopping behaviour.

“The choice of supermarket is now largely dictated by what promotions are on offer and therefore how much the consumer is able to save.”

The survey – of 1,000 UK adults – highlighted the reasons behind the high use of coupons were mainly money motivated.

Cost of living

24% of those surveyed said that the rising cost of living was their reason for seeking out promotional offers, with 20% saying an increase in food costs was the main reason.

The report found that 90% of all UK consumers now use coupons. As a result shoppers save on average £5.70 each per month, amounting to a nationwide saving of £2.3bn a year.

Valassis is the UK’s largest coupon and voucher services provider, performing data management and financial clearing services for the likes of Sainsbury’s and Proctor & Gamble.

Meanwhile, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said that its latest Shop Price Index reflected a trend of retailers trying to provide the best possible deal for the consumer.

A BRC spokeswomen said: “The UK grocery market is very competitive – retailers recognise that times are tough for many of us so they are battling it out for customer loyalty by offering their products at the best possible price, accompanied by a wide range of discounts and promotions.”

The BRC also noted that food inflation was at an all-time low and overall prices showed their largest year on year fall in nearly seven years.

“With nearly 40% of goods offered on promotion, there is good value to be had, but retailers don’t take anything for granted and are constantly reviewing and developing their customer offer,”​added the BRC.

Separately, Easy Jet founder Sir Stelios Haji–Ioannou announced plans for a discount grocery retail chain​ this weekend, inspired by the rise of foodbanks supplying free food to poor families.

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