Promotions trends 2018: Mid-year catch up

As part of Kantar Media’s commitment to providing you with comprehensive insights into brand advertising and promotion activity, we thought it would be useful to look at print, digital and mobile coupon activity for the first half of 2018.


This year, Kantar Media reports that FSI print promotion activity (as measured by coupons dropped) fell 12.2% in the first half of 2018. Worth noting is that H1 2018 includes one less week than H1 2017 – if normalized across 26 weeks, the decline measures -8.5%.

These declines have been driven primarily by Dry Grocery, with one of the most notable declines coming from the prepared condiments category.   

Indeed, many manufacturers in the Food category have shifted their FSI investment to digital promotion offers. In the first half of this year Kantar Media measured raw growth in digital offers, driven by Dry Grocery and Personal Care. Digital promotion distribution increased overall by 25%.


Effective Promotion = Print + Digital + Mobile

The high level trend noted in our 2017 full year results continues – manufacturers are leveraging integrated Print and Digital and Mobile together to effectively promote their offerings.

For example, print is clearly still a dominant and important part of manufacturer promotion strategy, and is increasingly being used as a tactic to drive shoppers into the store. Manufacturers continued their collaboration with retailers in H1 2018, using both Print FSI pages and Retailer-distributed digital coupons.

Kantar Media measured an increase in retailer website activity, with Cereals also leading (+56%) and Other Packaged Goods (+98%). Similarly, Estimated Prints/Clips on Load to Card/Direct to Card offers increased by 56% in H1 2018.

Mobile-centric properties provide shoppers with close-at-hand opportunities to secure offers and redeem digital coupons after their purchase. Specifically, digital rebate offers increased, with one website posting a 101% increase in Estimated Prints/clips in H1 2018.        

These platforms may provide an ideal location for manufacturers because, unlike retailer websites, the private label competition may be much more limited.

Another emerging trend is the use of brand properties or websites.  A brand or manufacturer may maintain its own website to help measure and connect with shoppers as they load digital offers for use at a number of retailer websites.  Kantar Media data shows brand properties increased 37% in digital estimated Prints/clips in H1 2018, ahead of the overall growth rate in digital for the same time period.

Shorter Shelf Life

In the first half of 2018, Kantar Media found that expiration (the time given to redeem an offer) continues to decrease. For Digital, expiration measured half a week less than the prior period, bringing overall time available to redeem a digital offer under 4 weeks. In Print, the decrease was less pronounced, with only a 3% decrease in time available – down to 5.5 weeks overall. 


Print Food offers continue to average nearly 8 weeks for redemption, while Non-Food offers have held steady at just under 5 weeks for Weighted Average Expiration.


What’s It Worth?

Another indicator of 2018 trends is the weighted average face value of promotions distributed to consumers. In print, food manufacturers increased this overall Weighted Average Face Value to $1.28.  Non-food manufacturers stabilized their face-value trend in the first half of 2018, increasing only $0.01 – potentially opening an opportunity for Food Manufacturers to capture new shoppers with increased incentives rivaling some Non-Food offers.

Want to know more?

These insights are just the beginning of the visibility you can gain into promotional activity in your market and across your competitive set. For more specific details, contact our client service team at (952) 925-5272.

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