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Shara Blog

Unnatural Coupon-o-phobia

Even in today’s less-than-chipper economy, more than one in five shoppers admit they’re self-conscious about using coupons, according to a survey released yesterday by ICOM Information & Communications.


The company surveyed all kinds of shoppers. But I bet if they targeted naturals shoppers, results would be different. I think we’re a less easily mortified lot. I mean, we are people who are not embarrassed to pay $12 for a couple of organic pears.

Or, at least our fears are a little different: For instance, the holy horror of realizing you’ve forgotten your recycled canvas shopping bags after you’ve been rung up. I can think of lots of things I’m more self-conscious about in the checkout aisle than digging out my coupons: the fact that I often smell of Yummy Chummy salmon dog treats, that I have more candy than vegetables in my basket and the nagging fear that I’ll be busted for taking that fourth (OK, fifth) sample of imported Gouda.

Eighty-nine percent of the overall population says they use coupons in supermarkets, according to a report we ran from the Promotion Marketing Association Coupon Council. And that was back in September when the economy was rainbows and lollipops compared to today. The report found that coupon users saved about seven percent on their grocery bills. I bet even more are clipping now – especially naturals shoppers (not only are we less bashful, we’re also smarter) .

Perhaps a 12-step program is in order for those unfortunate shoppers suffering from couponophobia. Maybe coupons should have self-affirming messages printed next to the expiration date. But I don’t think our industry needs to worry too much about it. I believe that, like others in line with me, I’m proud to show I’ve got the shopping savvy to knock a few bucks off my bill.

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