Are Hispanics Coupon Clippers?

Coupons are an important part of newspaper and direct mail FSI advertising. The growth of these sub-sectors of print advertising targeting Hispanics hinges on the popularity of coupons among Hispanics. More precisely, the extent to which Hispanics redeem those coupons.

In general, marketers say that Hispanics are less likely to redeem coupons than the general U.S. population, mostly because less acculturated Hispanics tend to be less responsive. Marketers point out that middle class Hispanics use coupons more than Hispanics with lower purchasing power. According to them, coupon usage and redemption is partly an issue of education.

It is very difficult to get hard data on coupon redemption rates among Hispanics. “Some of our clients have indicated that redemption among the Hispanic population is much lower than the 'general' market,” Anthony Moreno, senior custom publishing media manager at Newsamerica in New York, tells Portada®. In the general market, coupon redemption rates, depending on the distribution method and the ad category, average between 1% and 5%.

Diverse Population

Given the diversity of the Hispanic population, an average Hispanic redemption rate might not be that useful. However, data obtained by Portada® from consumer packaged good companies shows that in the Northeastern United States, Hispanics have a coupon redemption rate 25% higher than for the general market. In Southern California the redemption rate is 20% lower than for the general market. Differences in redemption rates could be related to differences in the educational levels of Hispanics in these regions. Industry sources point out that generally coupon clippers are middle class, educated consumers. They are educated and know about the value of savings. Despite the fact that less well to do part of the population would gain more from coupon savings, they often do not know how to use them.

Demand for Education

Chicago based print ad sales network Papel Media is running a promotional ad campaign in collaboration with its partner newspapers to educate Hispanics about coupons. One of the ads asks, “El año pasado en este pais, la gente se ahorró 3 billones de dólares recortando cupones. Tú cuánto te ahorraste? (Last year Americans saved 3 billion dollars clipping coupons. How much did you save?)

According to Papel Media, “The Latin American region has a weak or almost non-existent coupon culture. The US Hispanic community is no different. Although it is true that immigrants adopt new ways of life, until recently Latinos, immigrant an to a lesser extent U.S. born, have not been properly exposed to FSIs in this country. This lack of coupon culture is threefold — inconsistency of drops, lack of educational support, and consumer distrust regarding privacy. Often, recent Hispanic immigrants are hesitant about redeeming coupons because they don't understand the process and are fearful of additional paperwork, INS exposure, giving out personal information, etc.”