Extreme couponing – is a phrase that I came across in the Knowledge@Wharton newsletter to describe the way hard-pressed value conscious consumers in North America are using offline vouchers and online resources including comparison shopping and coupon websites to make their grocery spend to go further.
A combination of food price inflation, low-to-no wage growth and an uncertain economy with high unemployment has led consumers to change their shopping. Pharmacy chains like Walgreens have benefited from business previously done as a one-stop shop in the supermarket since they will accept coupons for personal hygiene and cleaning products. The big issue is for the major brand companies like General Mills, Unilever and Procter & Gamble who are seeing brand loyalty eroded.
Alongside an increase in coupon adoptions you are seeing bulk buying to hedge against inflation, rather than consumers trying to save the money itself in bank account.