You’ve no doubt witnessed it at the grocery store – shelves full of products with a square of sticky film, or clear plastic hinges still dangling from them. Or worse yet, products with half-shredded labels, as though someone tore at them, trying to get something…

All telltale signs that a peelie thief has been there.

Taking a “peelie” coupon off a product that you don’t purchase right then, is the source of endless debate. Stores and manufacturers may frown on it, as do many shoppers, but others see no problem with taking a few if they plan on using them later.

But would you take a peelie if it was stuck onto someone else’s grocery bag?

A manufacturer of peelies (or, in the language of the trade, “instant redeemable coupons”) is promoting a new method to distribute the instant discounts. The Kennedy Group has teamed up with plastic bag manufacturer Hilex Poly to sell plastic shopping bags to stores, with coupons attached to them.


The idea behind what the companies are calling “ChatterAds” is to provide “100% visibility” for coupon offers that might otherwise be overlooked if they’re only seen by customers who pick up a particular product. “It is an in-hand billboard that turns everyday plastic bags into an opportunity – guaranteed to be in consumers’ hands every day,” the Kennedy Group announced in a news release. ChatterAds, the company says, “delivers one message on every bag and that message won’t get lost in the clutter surrounding everyday coupon placement.”

The idea is an interesting one, though it does have its limitations. ChatterAds mock-ups on the company’s website include offers like “Buy 2 loaves of bread, get 1 free.” But it’s unclear whether you’re meant to run back into the store after bagging your groceries, to take advantage of the offer stuck to your bags – or whether the coupon is meant to be used during a return visit. And that presumes you’ll remember to save the coupon and use it the next time you go shopping.

And while having coupons stuck onto grocery bags at the checkout might deter peelie thieves from swiping them right out from under cashiers’ noses, there’s always self-checkout. If there’s a particularly tempting offer, you might find peelie remnants on stacks of grocery bags rather than on shelves full of products.

Still, it’s a novel idea, and any new source of coupons is a good thing.

As to where and when we’re likely to see ChatterAds, and what types of coupons they’ll offer, the Kennedy Group isn’t saying. Company representatives have not offered any answers to questions about whether they have any buyers, and whether the coupons are likely to be manufacturer offers or store coupons (which would seem most likely, considering they’re selling their bags to retailers and not to product manufacturers).

So, in the absence of any word from the company behind ChatterAds, keep an eye on your bags. They might turn out to be worth something – just as long as another shopper doesn’t get to them first.

Image source: The Kennedy Group

One Comment

  1. Yea… except some states are outlawing plastic bags. No need to encourage more waste because extreme couponers might walk up when nobody is looking and take a stack of bags, peel the coupons and throw the bags in the trash.

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