April 28th, 2011
General Mills Tests Using Groupon to Drive Trials, Coupon Use
In its first test of the power of social coupons to move consumer packaged goods, Minneapolis-based General Mills ran a Groupon deal on April 21 that offered coupon buyers in two cities a $40 Big G sampler pack for $20.
The offer was only shown to Groupon users in Minneapolis and San Francisco who logged into their local Groupon site looking for the Daily Deal last Thursday. The offer consisted of a sampler pack of 12 grocery items, including Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix, a Wanchai Ferry Orange Chicken dinner kit, and sampler sizes of Green Giant Corn Niblets, Chex Mix and Hamburger Helper.
Consumers who bought the deal received an email requesting their information for free home delivery. The sampler basket will also contain a booklet of coupons to be redeemed for other General Mills products in-store, including nature Valley Granola bars, Suddenly Salad products, Yoplait yogurt Cups and Cheerios.
Merchants offering deals on the Groupon platform often place caps on those offers, and in this case, the General Mills offers sold out by about 11 a.m. in each of the local markets in which they were available. Caps in each market were apparently in the 4,500 range.
According to press reports, General Mills viewed this foray into social couponing as a test of its powers to build sampling and in-store redemption, not as a way to sell full CPG orders directly to consumers.