DUARTE, Calif. -- Despite drops in overall coupon redemption and distribution, a regional cause-marketing couponing tool is getting generous manufacturer support.
Nearly 50 brands are expected to participate in the October 2002 version of "Coupons of Hope," a freestanding insert that benefits the City of Hope, a cancer research and treatment center here for cancer and special diseases.
City of Hope won't reveal which manufacturers will be included, but Snyder's of Hanover told Brand Marketing it will be one of them.
The Hanover, Pa., salty-snack manufacturer began participating five years ago in the Southern California market. It has since expanded its involvement to include all of California, along with the Pacific Northwest and the Southwest. Its coupon face values include 35 cents off on one or 55 cents off on two, according to Don Brown, senior account manager.
Participating manufacturers benefit in two ways. Along with positioning themselves as a goodwill company, they can also improve their relationship with retailers, said Susan Susan Sulsky, associate vice president, City of Hope.
"They can identify themselves to consumers as a caring corporate citizen, while solidifying their relationship with retailers," Sulsky said, noting that brands get heavy in-store support, including shelf-talkers.
"The best benefit is that the retailers back this program," Brown said, adding that retailers run special ad programs to help generate more sales.
The "Coupons of Hope" FSI contains cents-off coupons and promotional ads focusing on cancer research. Manufacturers pay a fee to participate. A percentage of that fee is then allocated for City of Hope. Eighty-five cents of every dollar goes to research, according to Sulsky.
The FSI reaches more than 6.5 million consumers in 35 cities throughout Southern California, Northern California, the Pacific Northwest and the Southwest. City of Hope plans to make it a national effort eventually.
Along with Snyder's, Hain Celestial Group, Melville, N.Y., will also participate in October. It will feature its Earth's Best brand, and possibly others, including West Soy and Health Valley, according to Amy Wheelock, brand manager, Earth's Best and Hain Pure Foods.
Hain has been participating in the program for the last two years, typically offering $1 off five jars of its Earth's Best brand.
"This shows that we support cancer research and the community," Wheelock said, adding that the coupons get a good response.
While the program has been in operation for nearly 20 years, it's grown not only in terms of brand participation, but also in distribution.
Along with household distribution via Sunday newspapers, about 1 million copies of the FSI is available at supermarkets. About 60 retail chains, encompassing about 5,000 stores, participate. Albertsons and Safeway are among them.
"A point of difference between 'Coupons of Hope' and other couponing events is that consumers can get our consumers in-store," Sulsky said.
There are four events each year, including one for the Hispanic community. This year, two dates remain: Sept. 8 for the Hispanic market and Oct. 6 for the general market.
Brands that have participated so far this year include Minute Maid, Bertolli, Breyers, Bumble Bee, Coca-Cola, Gerber, Dreyer's, Heinz, Hershey, Kal Kan, Lawry's, Sunkist, Pepsi-Cola and Vlasic.