With sugar confectionery sales in general expected to continue falling as the healthy living bandwagon gathers momentum, Mintel say there’s a major opportunity for mint and gum confectionery suppliers to encourage consumers to trade up within the category.

The research experts point to the premium end of the market being underdeveloped, despite strong consumer demand, creating ripe opportunities for innovation in this area. Consumers are bold in this category.

Mintel highlights that 58% of sweet eaters as a whole like experimenting with new sweet flavours, rising to 71% of under-45s. Drilling down the detail, sweets with sophisticated flavours interest 27% of sweet/gum users, rising to 32% of under-45s and 36% of users living in London.

Looking at what the suppliers have to offer, Trebor is the UK’s number one mint brand, with 35% share of the mints and gums market, nearly double its nearest competitor, and the best-selling mint singles and multipacks in the category.

Trebor meets the consumer need states of refreshment and confidence through its range of hard, soft and sugar free mints, including Trebor Extra Strong and Trebor Softmints, which have the highest rate of sale of all mint products.

Trebor also offers Softmints and sugar-free Mighties in a handy 100g pot format, allow consumers to enjoy mints on-the-go, for the desk at work, in handbags and briefcases for the daily commute or in the car for long journeys.

Susan Nash, Trade Communications Manager at Mondelez International says the key to success for retailers selling mints is to give them visibility:

“Consumers expect to see mints by the counter area and we recommend that mints, where space allows, are sited in at least two locations: on the main confectionery fixture and in the hot zone around the counter and front-ofstore.

“Use manufacturers’ point of sales to ensure the product stands out to really inspire purchase. Products should be neatly merchandised to help the shopper scan and select what they are looking for. Pricing should also be clear.”

Perfetti van Melle‘s SMINT has launched the first extra strong menthol power mint to the market, SMINT Xtrm with Menthol and Eucalyptus. Providing invigorating freshness and instant relief in the throat and nose, SMINT Xtrm is especially appealing for the looming winter cold season. SMINT is growing at +7.5% MAT.

Hannah Acres, Smint Brand Manager at PVM, says: “The SMINT Xtrm launch builds on this year’s hugely successful SMINT Fresh To Impress media campaign. SMINT Xtrm’s extra strong menthol flavour presents something completely new to the UK mints market, whilst tapping into the continued trend for sugar-free products.”

The mints and gums category has seen an increased consumer demand for a range of fruit flavours over the past few years, says Jodie Wood, Business Unit Controller at Ferrero:

“We have acted upon this trend by developing insight-driven NPD, and our Lime & Orange Tic Tacs continue to be a firm favourite. Consumers are becoming more and more aware of their health and wellbeing and looking for options that work as part of a balanced and varied diet. Produced in small portion sizes, Tic Tac products cater well to this trend.”

Jodie Wood refers to the IGD forecasting the convenience channel to grow by 17% between 2015 and 2020, with shoppers completing smaller purchase missions, more frequently:

“With mints and gums most commonly occurring as impulse purchases in convenience stores, we would recommend retailers maximize the sales opportunity by siting these products in disruptive locations. Pocket Confectionery is one of the most impulsive categories in the confectionery market, with 7 out of 10 purchase acts being unplanned. Many shoppers will also browse for longer at places such as the newspaper or magazine fixture. Retailers can capitalise on this opportunity by implementing magazine hook-over units.”

In 2018, Ferrero launched a £1.5m TV campaign, the first on the core brand in five years, heroing Tic Tac and encouraging people to ‘Open Up’ and take on new experiences. To support the investment, this summer, Tic Tac also created an experiential pop-up in London, showcasing the brand’s iconic flavours.

It’s been a busy year on the gum front for Mars Wrigley Confectionery. They expanded their portfolio and introduced an innovative ‘candy-like experience’ to gums with the launch of STARBURST Chewing Gum.

STARBURST Fruity Mixies, STARBURST Strawberry Cubes and STARBURST Red Berry Sticks provide consumers with a sugarfree treat alternative bridging the gap between gum and candy.

Dan Newell, Marketing Director, Mars Wrigley Confectionery UK tells the backstory:

“The gum category has seen a 20% decline in penetration from the younger generation over the last 10 years. Hence the launch of STARBURST Chewing Gum, appealing to 15-24s, who are particularly strong on fruit-flavoured gum.”

The new launch aims to optimise the enjoyment of chewing gum and provide consumers with a fruity sugarfree explosion, which no other brand currently offerd. After identifying in-car consumption as a clear growth opportunity, Mars Wrigley Confectionery developed a holder to conveniently keep bottles of EXTRA AIRWAVES to hand, and front of mind, allowing drivers and their passengers to Arrive Fresh at their destination.

Mars Wrigley Confectionery’s bottle formats in 46 and 60 piece pellets are seeing increasing success, with the trend towards snacking at work and eating and drinking on the road being key to their performance. Consumers are looking for a convenient way to keep their teeth clean and healthy after eating and drinking, when brushing isn’t possible. Mars Wrigley Confectionery’s bottle formats meet this demand – they’re ideal for desk or car and a great oral care solution for those who graze frequently throughout the day and have seen 13% growth in the last 12 months.

The food on the go trend provides a fantastic opportunity to encourage gum as an additional purchase, with cross category-merchandising displays that focus on different consumption occasions throughout the day, such as ‘a sandwich and pack of chewing gum for £2’.

As chewers seek out a healthy addition to their day-to-day oral care routine the trend towards sugarfree gum has continued. 80% of women are more concerned about tooth loss and oral health than weight gain, while 16- 34 year olds are more likely to be concerned with oral health when compared to other age groups. Over 97% of Mars Wrigley Confectionery’s gum sales are sugar-free: EXTRA sugar free gum is accredited by the Oral Health Foundation.

Finally energy gum brand BLOCKHEAD has announced new partnerships with MFG, Booker Retail Partners, and Costcutter. Designed to significantly boost distribution and supercharge brand awareness, BLOCKHEAD is also further bolstering its retail distribution with increased stocking in Holland & Barrett stores nationwide, as well as new listings with 21 university outlets.

The news follows BLOCKHEAD’s formal launch this summer, which debuted retail partnerships with big name outlets from Morrisons and WHSmith through to Ocado and Amazon. BLOCKHEAD’s products are now available in over 2,800 retail outlets nationwide. These latest retail tie-ups also reinforce BLOCKHEAD’s ambition to support an industry-wide move away from sugary energy drinks and gum products, specifically at the point of sale.

An energy and vitamin-rich option for those looking for an immediate, discreet, and healthy boost,BLOCKHEAD’s main ingredient is caffeine. BLOCKHEAD Energy and Vitamin Gum are available in 10-piece and 5-piece packets.

Danny Lowe, founder and director at BLOCKHEAD says wholesalers can do a lot to help independent retailers make the most of he energy gums opportunity:

“Wholesalers need to better inform their retailers about the benefits of these products both for the retailer and the consumer. That starts by understanding our position, which sits squarely between the booming energy drinks market and the declining chewing gum sector, which have a combined market value of over £1.8bn in the UK alone. We cater for multiple audiences and can capitalise on the growing demand for onthe- go energy products, while also making a difference in decreasing the consumption of high-sugar alternatives.”

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