“In 1887, the Coca-Cola Company was incorporated with Asa Candler as one of the partners. He transformed Coca-Cola from an insignificant tonic into a profitable business by using innovative advertising techniques. The key to this growth was Candler’s ingenious marketing including having the company’s employees and sales representatives distribute complimentary coupons for Coca-Cola. Coupons were mailed to potential customers and placed in magazines. The company gave soda fountains free syrup to cover the costs of the free drinks. It is estimated that between 1894 and 1913 one in nine Americans had received a FREE Coca-Cola, for a total of 8,500,000 free drinks. By 1895 Candler announced to shareholders that Coca-Cola was served in every state in the United States.
Coupons first saw widespread use in the United States in 1909 when C. W. Post conceived the idea to help sell breakfast cereals and other products. Today, more than 2,800 consumer packaged goods companies offer coupons for discounts on products. In 2010, coupon transactions for consumer packaged goods amounted to 3.7 billion dollars within the U.S.”
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