Promotions trends 2019: Mid-year catch up

As part of Kantar’s commitment to providing you with comprehensive insights into brand advertising and promotion activity, we thought it would be useful to look at notable Print and Digital coupon activity for the first half of 2019.

Overall Promotion Activity H1 2019

This year, Kantar reports that FSI print promotion activity (as measured by coupons dropped) fell 12.4% in the first half of 2019.

These declines have been driven primarily by Personal Care and Dry Grocery, with some of the most notable declines coming from select Personal Care categories including Hair Care and Shaving. Dry Grocery declines were more disparate with smaller decreases in coupons dropped seen across a variety of categories including Combination/Food, Candy, Snacks, and Coffee.

In Food categories, manufacturers continued to shift their FSI investment to Digital promotion while Non-Food categories remained flat. 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.

Estimated Prints/Clips

​Partnering with Retailers

Kantar again measured 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 followed by Personal Care which saw a 5.7% increase in Digital retailer activity and was among the top areas in both Print and Digital retailer activity despite the previously noted declines in overall Print coupons dropped. 

New Product Support

So far in 2019, Kantar has captured over 1,300 new products in Print and Digital with Dry Grocery leading all other areas in total number of new products launched by a wide margin. Over 400 of these 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.

Top 5 New Product Areas H1 2019

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 while 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).

What’s It Worth?

Another indicator of continuing 2019 trends are the weighted average face values of the promotions distributed to consumers. In both Print and Digital, Weighted Average Face Values and Weighted Average Face Values Per Unit continued to increase across Food and Non-Food manufacturers.


In H1 2019 Kantar reports that the largest face value increase was in Print where Food manufacturers 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).

Weighted Average Face Value 

Shorter Shelf Life

In the first half of 2019, Kantar found that expiration length (the time given to redeem an offer) continues to decrease. 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.

Print Expiration Length

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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