Ambiguous Coupon Wording
I am writing to complain about wording I saw on a coupon recently for a bag of frozen vegetables. It says $1off any 'new product' from this brand. How am I supposed to know which vegetables are new products?”
It’s often puzzling when brands use terminology on coupons that’s open to interpretation. In the case of this particular coupon, the coupon actually states, “riced veggies or any new product.” When I see coupons like this where the wording could be considered ambiguous, I typically head to the brand’s website to investigate on which products the coupon might be valid. In this case, the brand’s website indeed classifies a variety of riced vegetables, roasted vegetables, and vegetable nuggets as “new” items.
I realize this doesn’t exactly help while you’re standing in the freezer aisle at your local supermarket. I suspect the brand in question has created so many new products recently that listing them on the coupon would have required quite a bit of fine print.
I have a grandchild who has a rare defect. Her pancreas does not work, and she cannot have any wheat product at all. I have yet to see any coupons for gluten-free products at all. These products are expensive. A loaf of gluten free bread is $5-7, not to mention other products for baking and cooking. Any suggestions?”
It’s true that gluten-free products do cost more than their traditional counterparts. However, as the demand for these products has increased, so have the coupon offers. In January, a major brand of gluten-free breads, rolls, and buns offered $1 coupons in the newspaper, and I was happy to see this, as I believe it was the first instance of a high-value offer in the coupon inserts for this brand.
If you missed that offer, I suggest heading to the various websites of the gluten-free products your granddaughter enjoys. Many of them offer printable coupons. I would also suggest signing up for these sites’ respective email lists so you can be notified of new offers. If you really enjoy their products, take a few minutes to send them an email. I’ve often received coupons from the brands that I’ve taken the time to compliment.
I have noticed that food coupons are not showing up in the Sunday inserts. In Red Plum for January 29,, 2017, it had nine coupons for hair care, four for makeup and skin care, eight for deodorants, eight for soaps/body wash, 21 for non-food items (mostly over-the-counter drugs), and just six coupons for food items. I do use internet coupon sources and think they are going the same way. Have you noticed this?”
It’s important to remember it’s not a new trend that coupons for non-food items outnumber those for food. While I was unable to find statistics compiled for the entire 2016 year at the time of this writing, according to Inmar, in 2015, 62.9 percent of all coupons issued were for non-food products, while 37.1 percent were for food items. The previous year was remarkably similar: In 2014, 62.3 percent of all coupons issued were for non-food items, while 37.7 percent were for foods.
These statistics become even more interesting when we look at what kinds of coupons consumers redeem. In 2015, 62.5 percent of all coupons redeemed were for food items, and in 2014, this statistic was even a little higher at 64.1 percent. While brands offer about six non-food coupons for every four food coupons, the redemption is almost exactly the opposite. Shoppers redeem six food coupons for every four non-food items they buy.
I do agree that some weeks, it seems the non-food coupons outnumber those for food products by a great deal .
While the types of promotions brands offer is not up to me, I agree – I would like to see even more food coupons in the mix. However, the trend you’re noting isn’t a new one.
Jill Cataldo, a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three, never passes up a good deal. Learn more about Super-Couponing at her website, www.jillcataldo.com. Email your own couponing victories and questions to email@example.com.