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History of Coupons


The History of Coupons

Coupons have been around the block a time or two. They are not a new idea and have continued to evolve over the last hundred years. The idea of issuing goods for less than market value to build an enthusiastic buying base was revolutionary to consumer psychology. Just who would dream up giving away a free product in exchange for bigger sales? Wouldn't they have to close their doors?

Coca Cola CouponA quick survey of those early coupon pioneers reveals that...drumroll please...Coca Cola was among the first to offer free goods! In 1887 Coca Cola started offering slips for complimentary Coke and provided the vendors with free syrup to compensate.

And how did that strategy work out for the company? A mere seven years later, every state in the U.S. was offering Coke. As the leading soft drink provider around the world today, the Coke insignia is the most globally recognized symbol across all cultures and languages. A few free drinks proved to pay off. Strolling down memory lane we also find that:

Coke offered the first widespread coupon for free drinks. By 1913 nearly 8,500,000 people had enjoyed a free beverage. Asa Chandler, marketing guru and Coca Cola mogul, snipes the French word "couper" (to cut) and officially christens the coupon.

C.W. Post begins offering 1ยข off Grape Nuts to boost sales.

The biggest financial meltdown in U.S. history, The Great Depression, sends millions into poverty. Coupons become hotly collected commodities and serve an integral part of food shopping.

Larger supermarket chains grow across the U.S. and continue offering promotional offers via coupons.

An actual coupon company, The Nielsen Coupon Clearing House, is established which spurs the creation of a new industry.

Nearly half of the U.S. population uses coupons.

Coupon usage reaches a new high of 65% for all shoppers.

The internet makes all things possible, including huge savings with downloadable printable coupons and coupon codes.

Over 3.6 billion consumers redeem coupons, the largest growth year ever, with just over 1/3 of coupons redeemed for nonfood purchases. Shoppers can download coupons from coupon sites, receive text offers, and even scan barcodes from their phones.

With this revolution in coupon clipping and technology, the future is endless, and highly optimistic for deal seekers. Clipping paper deals will soon become a fond memory with grocery coupons instantly accessible on your phone. Thanks to Asa Chandler, we now have a multibillion-dollar industry that exists to generate customer-specific manufacturing and save us we got some free Coke along the way!


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