COUPON FILER CAPTURES ATTENTION;CONAGRA AMONG COMPANIES DISCUSSING SPONSORSHIP

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Even as Procter & Gamble Co. and Kraft Foods tinker with their coupon programs to cut costs, a California company is making the shopping experience easier for coupon clippers.

The Coup-O-Dex organizing system-marketed for the first time this spring in coupon-laden Sunday newspaper free-standing inserts in California, New Eng-land and the Midwest-has been such a hit that its manufacturer can't keep up with demand.

GOING FAST

Thousands have been sold and thousands more are ordered, the company says.

"We're back-ordered, and we've had to add several telephone lines to manage the calls," said Paul Wilson, president of Direct Access International, Escondido, Calif.

The $19.95 Coup-O-Dex is a Rolodex-like flip file. Mr. Wilson, who claims to save his family thousands of dollars a year clipping coupons, said he invented the Coup-O-Dex after growing frustrated with traditional walletlike coupon organizers that made it hard to find coupons quickly while shopping.

The 12-inch Coup-O-Dex is designed to go from the kitchen to a supermarket shopping basket, resting securely on a standard cart's handle. Up to 800 coupons can be stored in the file in transparent sleeves; cards are organized in 32 product categories. The unit is also equipped with a calculator and slots for on-pack and odd-size coupons.

TALKING TO SPONSORS

Direct Access is now talking to major marketers including Con-Agra's Healthy Choice brand about product sponsorship on or within the file; marketers are also proposing to include recipe books and tips in the file.

Since the product's introduction last January, the company has enhanced its design to draw attention to the 1-800-COUP-O-DEX message emblazoned on the file for other shoppers to see.

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