More and more consumers use coupons as shopping strategy

By , Special to The Christian Science Monitor

Consumer Network Inc., which surveys shopper attitudes for marketing executives, says in a recent Shopper Report there's a new feeling in the American marketplace about coupons.

''The quantum leap in the use of coupons,'' the publication reports, ''is the unfinished marketing story of 1981. The vastly increased importance of coupons as a market tool has changed the character of couponing. Instead of simply providing a cents-off impetus to try a new product, they are now ongoing promotions that become in-purse ads and supplementary shopping lists for consumers who increasingly refuse to buy a noncouponed product.''

Consumer Network respondents generally approve of couponing. But some are concluding that ''with all that money to give back, some products must be overpriced in the first place.''

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In 1981 comments on packaging came second only to attention given by respondents to rising prices. Champion package of all time, it was concluded, is the Morton Salt pour-spout cylinder. Most criticized packages were those of Sunmaid, Nabisco crackers, Fritos, all scouring powders, detergent boxes, all blister packs, and very tall cereal boxes.

TV commercials which got a round of applause for 1981 were those of Dr. Pepper, Coka Cola, Polaroid, and Bell Telephone. Competitive commercials and those with sexy overtones were near the top of the disliked list.

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