Did you know May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month?

For the 24 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies1, treatment can be an expensive proposition. In honor of all the allergy sufferers who bear this financial burden, Valassis and NCH teamed up to look at how shoppers are using coupons to save money on allergy medications.

Allergy treatments are far from cheap. Average costs can range from as little as $5 to as much as $30.2 And the total expenditure is expected to keep rising with the global allergy treatment market exceeding $40 billion by 2025.3 Naturally, allergy sufferers would appreciate any opportunity to ease the financial burden of treatment.

That’s where coupons come in. We looked at FSI coupons for Cold, Allergy, and Sinus Medications that were redeemed across 2019 and 2020 at sample retailers who have a presence in every state and together account for about 45% of the All-commodity-volume (ACV) in the Grocery-Drug-Mass (GDM) segment.

What we found was that the average face value redeemed for allergy medications is $5.824 — roughly 2.5 times the value of other consumer packaged goods coupons. Not surprising, given how expensive allergy medications tend to be.

What was surprising was when and where people tend use their allergy coupons. (To visualize these nuances, check out our infographic.)

First, there’s an interesting discrepancy between when people suffer from allergies and when they redeem allergy coupons. While allergies can flare up at any point throughout the year, there are three main seasons. Spring allergy season is triggered mainly by tree pollen. Summer allergies are generally triggered by grass. And, in the fall, ragweed is the main culprit. While this variety of allergy triggers might suggest that demand for medications would be spread somewhat evenly throughout the year, 63% of allergy coupons get redeemed in the first half of the year.5

It was also noteworthy that on a per-capita basis, people living along the East Coast — including the New England, Mid-Atlantic, and South Atlantic regions — redeemed about 1.5 times as many allergy coupons as the rest of the nation. This pattern contrasts sharply with coupons for other CPG products where the Midwest is the clear leader in per-capita redemption.6

There are any number of possible explanations for these discrepancies. That’s where our Analytics team comes in. Whether it’s for the allergy medication category or some other, NCH and Valassis have the analytical expertise to help you replace mere curiosity with fresh, actionable insights into your promotional redemption activity. Contact our Analytics team to learn more about the ways they can help.

Donna Stepanek is the director of analytics at Valassis’ sister company, NCH. She has more than 20 years of experience across NCH and IRI, leading teams to create actionable analytics and innovative insights for retailers and manufacturers of consumer packaged goods.



2.  IRI data.

3. Allergy Treatment Market Overview. Allied Market Research. October 2018.

4. Coupon Curiosities Infographic: Peculiar Facts About the Use of Allergy Coupons.

5. Ibid.

6. Ibid.