Promotion Information Management, Chicago, conducted for Advertising Age a study of the top 26 marketers of mustard, finding a total of 56 promotional events in 1993, a 7% decrease from 1992.
Promotional spending for the category was down 4.4% to $15.3 million, attributable in part to the lower cost of FSIs.
The top three marketers-Nabisco Foods Group, Reckitt & Colman and CPC International's Best Foods-accounted for 86% of promotion activity in 1993. In addition, the category is rife with small, regional players providing incremental promotional efforts.
As in years past, 44% of the activity in the first half of 1993 occurred during May and June, when consumers start buying condiments for the barbecue season.
The biggest surge in promotional activity came from Best Foods, whose coupon circulation nearly doubled to 258 million, from 131 million in 1992. Spending for its only mustard-Hellmann's Dijonnaise-was up 63% to $4.4 million.
The spending increase accompanied Best Foods' gradual national rollout of the new Dijonnaise product, introduced in 1992. Best Foods ran four coupon programs for the mustard in 1992 and offered 14 promotions in 1993.
Increased promotional spending helped boost 1993 sales of Hellman's Dijonnaise by 130% to $22 million, according to Information Resources Inc. Hellmann's share of the $245 million market climbed to 8.9% in 1993 from 4% in 1992.
The success of Hellmann's Dijonnaise took some zing out of category leader Grey Poupon, whose market share fell to 17.9% in 1993 from 18.7% in 1992, on 1% lower sales of $43.9 million.
"I would say [Hellmann's] did bring some competition," said Kathy Hyland, Nabisco's promotion manager. "I wouldn't say we are a specialty mustard, but we don't consider French's a major threat. Hellmann's created a sepa-rate category-a spread slightly above French's."
Grey Poupon's share slippage may also have been due to its Grey Poupon Specialties line extension. The three new flavors-honey mustard, peppercorn and horseradish-were introduced early last year.
"It's a trend that people are using more flavorful condiments," Ms. Hyland said.
Despite the new-product introduction, Nabisco's promotional spending for Grey Poupon mustards was roughly flat at $6.9 million, while coupon circulation fell 1% to 345 million.
Ms. Hyland said Nabisco has been stepping up its mustard ad dollars instead. Couponing, she added, "isn't a main factor" in promoting Grey Poupon's image.
In 1993, Hellmann's Dijonnaise ranked fourth in mustard sales, overtaking American Home Food Products' Gulden's, whose sales were down 0.3% to $20 million. Private label ranked third.
Gulden's sales dipped despite boosted promotional spending. The marketer circulated 65 million mustard coupons in 1993, up 63% from 1992. Spending in 1993 was up 60% to $910,000.
Reckitt & Colman reduced promotional spending for French's brand by 52% to $2.1 million in 1993. Coupon circulation was down 31% to 204 million. Sales fell 5% to $40 million.
French's average coupon value in 1993 dropped to 28› from 45› in 1992. Coupon values for Nabisco and Best Foods increased.
Following national couponing trends, all mustard marketers decreased average coupon life to 14 weeks, from 17 weeks in 1992.M
Kate Fitzgerald coordinates Promotion Marketing News.