Natural Foods Merchandiser


California Licenses Naturopaths
With the signing of legislation Sept. 22, California becomes the 13th state to grant licensure to naturopathic physicians, and Bastyr University intends to open a branch campus there.

Gov. Gray Davis signed into law a bill that enables any graduate of an accredited naturopathic medicine program to pursue licensure. Without licenses, naturopaths in California have been limited to practicing as "health consultants." Under the new law, licensed naturopaths will be able to diagnose and treat disease with natural and some pharmacological therapies.

Bastyr, based in suburban Seattle, will "actively plan to open a branch campus in California," according to its president, Thomas C. Shepherd.

Consumers Keep on Clipping Coupons
Coupons: You love them, you hate them. But marketers spent more than $6.8 million on coupon programs in 2002, papering grocery stores and other retailers with 336 billion cents-off vouchers.

According to a study by the Promotion Marketing Association's Coupon Council, based in New York, coupon distribution grew by 3.4 percent in 2002, with household cleaners, prepared foods, detergents and paper products most frequently discounted. Consumers redeemed 3.8 billion coupons and saved $3 billion, the council said.

There's one new tool worth noting: the co-equity promotion, in which the retailer and manufacturer split expenses. In-ad coupons, in which the retailer covers printing and distribution and the manufacturer pays for some or all of the coupon redemption expense, grew to 11 percent of total coupon distribution, up 4 percent from 2001.

Fastest-growing categories in coupon distribution were oral hygiene (excluding toothpaste and toothbrushes), skin care, cosmetics, baking mixes and first aid products.

Eight out of 10 coupons are redeemed at grocery stores, with mass merchandisers collecting nearly 10 percent of all coupons used.

Not surprisingly, older consumers and those with lower household incomes were the biggest fans of coupons, with more than 80 percent of those demographics confessing to clipping. But here's a twist: 78 percent of respondents with household incomes between $50,000 and $75,000 say they use coupons, and 76 percent of those who make more than $75,000 a year say they use them too.

— L.E.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIV/number 11/p. 18

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