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Kraft coupons

Did you notice all the new Kraft coupons that came out late yesterday? The company released 20 printable coupons on Coupons.com (click here to see them), for everything from Mac & Cheese and Miracle Whip, to Jell-O and juice.

Just do the poor company a favor – don’t combine the coupons with sales or other offers. Better yet, maybe you shouldn’t even use the coupons at all. Because then you’re just saving “too much”.

That’s what Kraft CEO Tony Vernon suggested in a call with investors Wednesday, in which he tried to explain a somewhat disappointing quarterly performance. Never mind that Kraft has raised prices on many products, turning off shoppers and causing sales to slump. What really gets Vernon’s goat are shoppers who are too good at stacking coupons and deals, and the coupon blogs and message boards that teach shoppers the best ways to save.

“The most important dynamic in couponing today is the stacking that’s going on, enabled by the internet,” Vernon said. “If we’re not careful, the consumer is getting a discount that’s more than they need.”

Take that, coupon user who’s trying to feed your family on a budget – how dare you spend time researching the best deals to get a discount that’s “more than you need”!

Vernon lamented that Kraft “fell into the trap” this past quarter of offering too many coupons and discounts (it’s “a promotional trap that’s bitten many in our industry,” Kraft CFO Teri List-Stoll concurred). He described how savvy shoppers are using coupons and combining them with sales, loyalty program prices, “buy this many Krafts and get this off” deals, and other offers. “You can stack them all together now,” he said. It’s “an incredible change.”

If you’ve ever seen a company put out a coupon in the Sunday paper, then print a store coupon in the supermarket circular, at the same time that the product is buy-one-get-one-free, you may wonder – are they trying to give their product away for nothing? What is this company thinking?

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What they’re thinking is, that different customers will take advantage of different deals, not that one customer will take advantage of all of them at once. But as Kraft knows all too well now, a lot of shoppers are doing just that.

“It’s something we’ve got to get very disciplined about,” Vernon told investors.

That could mean companies like Kraft will get smarter about spreading out their offers, so they don’t overlap as much. Overall, when it comes to promotions, “we have to unlearn what we believed to work in the past and relearn what will make a difference today,” Vernon said.

Then again, Kraft’s sales already took a hit when it raised prices on an alarming number of products – half of everything it sells costs more now than it did a year ago. Rising commodity costs prompted the company to pass along those price hikes to customers, especially in the cheese and cold cut categories, where prices have risen more than 10%.

So is effectively raising prices even more, by cutting back on coupons and promotions and getting retailers to dial back on the deals, really the answer?

It turns out that you actually may hold more power than your supermarket, and a conglomerate like Kraft. “The strapped consumer is driving retailers’ actions,” Vernon said. “The consumer is shopping channels for best price and it is very important to the retailer that they maintain their share of those families.”

It’s a balancing act. So don’t look for the coupons and deals to completely disappear, as evidenced by the new crop of Kraft printables. But please, while you’re trying to save money and put food on the table, think about the poor Kraft executives and shareholders who would rather you pay full price, so they can reap the benefits of bigger profits.

Even if those profits end up being “more than they need.”

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13 Comments

  1. Pingback: Too Good At Stacking Coupons, Kraft? Too Bad…

  2. Pingback: Kraft - GREAT News Today If You're A Couponer

  3. Ok I can’t help but laugh at this. A multi-million (billion?) dollar corporation is complaining that we are too smart? Why? Because they aren’t rich enough? Get real. I’m a one income military mom with 5 mouths to feed. I’m going to save my coupons for a sale and stock up, then get rebates on top of that. You are a rich a$$ hole who clearly believes enough is never enough.

    That’s all beside the point, because Kraft DOESN’T make real food. They make “food like products” with anything they can add to make it taste better and preserve longer even if it is unfit for human consumption (only because the USDA allows it to an extent). Minimal ingedients and GMO free is the only way to go. Kraft will never meet my standards. That’s ok, I am going to Whole Foods tonight to get my 100 free cartons of ORGANIC ready to eat soup by combining a manufacturer coupon, a store coupon and a sale! And guess what a$$ hole? They are all going in holiday food baskets we are putting together for the low ranking military families with kids because unlike you, they aren’t rich because they chose a low-paying honorable job and it’s the simple gestures that help reduce stress in the lives of these people, not if your company is making enough money when you are already loaded. So please quit putting out coupons. Your so called “food” shouldn’t be consumed anyways.

  4. yeah i was going to use the kraft dressing coupon and it said you had to buy 24oz. my walmart doesnt even carry a 24 ounce. also they dont have three packs or five packs. or kraft macaroni an cheese. since ole vernon feels like he does, well i will just not buy his products, he might need some of them himself. like when kraft boost his butt out the door for running the company into the ground. and pissing consumers off. that might be more than they need lol. going on a no kraft grocery shop!!! and telling all the groups i am on about this link!!

    • LOL! I agree, Jane. Last night at the club, I noticed an almost $2 increase on Kraft Parmesan cheese (24 oz used to be $7.99, now $9.79). I opted to buy Rozzano brand parmesan instead. 2 containers of Rozzano (16 oz for $3.99).

  5. I remember growing up eating Kraft products. That being said, my children probably won’t. Not only have their prices gotten ridiculous (and I say this being able to shop at the military commissary, which is usually discounted as well as all the normal retailers) but they also have clearly refused to keep on trend with offering whole, natural, or even organic products.
    We no longer buy Kraft macaroni & cheese in our home as certain additives have been linked to hyperactivity in children. True or false? Who knows, but the additives are unnecessary & since they refuse to remove them we have moved on.
    The only Kraft product I currently have in my home is mayo. Mayo that I got SUPER cheap. But even with that I’m considering homemade as I’ve been taking everything back to the basics and cooking from scratch lately so I can control what is in our meals.
    Kraft should continue to raise prices so people stop putting it into their bodies and start couponing for more basics like flour, butter, sugar, etc. and make their own. Either that or they need to make a real change.

  6. Kraft is crap anyway. I buy real food!

  7. That’s very true, Lisa. It can be difficult to use them with logos. Even though there is a difference between “redeemable at” vs. “reedeem only at”.

    I do believe it’s the price increases and not the couponing that is hurting Kraft. I’ve noticed .50 to a dollar (or more) increase at the club.

    Unless it’s an absolute necessity, I won’t buy an item without a coupon. It’s getting harder and harder to meet our food budget.

    I believe Kraft is making a big mistake. They might just find their products collecting dust on the shelf, as shoppers look for better bargains. Cains mayo, anyone? *grin*

  8. This latest batch of Kraft coupons all have the Walmart logo on them. That sometimes makes it hard to use them at other stores, even though they are mfg coupons. Some of them are odd sizes, as well, that I suspect are only sold by Walmart, e.g., 24 oz. salad dressing and 3-lb. Maxwell House coffee. If that’s the case, they won’t have to worry about stacking since Walmart doesn’t offer anything to stack with.

    Many of the “deals” are going away now. The best way I have found to save money recently is to use threshold coupons that are occasionally offered by Target and CVS, and Walgreens points boosters or their senior discount coupled with purchasing using my accumulated points.

    I find it amusing that, for many years now, marketing experts have been using psychological tactics to convince us to buy things we don’t even need at ridiculous prices. Now that the average consumer has caught on, and has started to respond by using the stores’ or manufacturers’ own promotional offers to our advantage, they are crying, “Foul!” Actually the more they take away from us, the bigger the challenge, and I happen to love a challenge!

  9. Yeah, it was the more than they need, bit.

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