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How is the Extra range currently performing?

The Mars Wrigley gum portfolio is performing well and is worth over £248.6 million1. Of this, EXTRA® sugarfree gum is the driving force behind the gum category, which is growing in volume sales and is worth more than £203 million2.

Is it important for multiple retailers to stock sugar-free gum?

It is important for retailers to stock sugar-free gum, such as EXTRA® Refreshers. The figures show that this is the segment within the total gum category that is driving volume and sales. More than 97% of Mars Wrigley’s gum sales are from sugar free products3.

What are the main reasons and occasions to chew gum?

While ‘freshening’ is the primary reason to chew gum, many new gum occasions have been identified, including a move away from purely ‘on the go’. Research shows that as consumers wear masks more often, they are also chewing more gum. This is a key finding for retailers as they think about how to continue to meet gum demand throughout 2021.

Did lockdown change consumer chewing gum habits?

As we have all spent more time at home, our consumption patterns and needs have shifted. Throughout lockdown, the ‘on the go’ occasion was virtually eliminated, but consumers still chose to chew gum at home. Even before lockdown, 42% of gum consumers said their top reason for chewing gum was to feel relaxed, with 30% of gum occasions taking place whilst relaxing in the afternoon or evening4. We have seen these preferences accelerate throughout the pandemic.

What trends are driving the market?

As consumer behaviour evolves, new shopper and purchase occasions also evolve in the gum category. Some emerging trends that are helping to grow the category are in-home occasions including morning routine, chewing alone, working, studying, watching TV, browsing the internet and gaming.

Has the gum category struggled over the past year due to lockdown and the resulting decline in on-the-go shoppers?

This was anticipated; however, it was not the case. Gum sales have performed well. EXTRA’s core flavours, Peppermint and Spearmint, for example, are the top performing variants and are worth over £104m5.

Is fruit flavoured gum gaining a greater share of the overall market?

Fruity gum over indexes with under 25-year-olds and nearly 50% of gum consumption comes from Gen Z6. Earlier this year, Wrigley expanded its Refreshers portfolio with a new Tropical flavour to capitalise on the popularity of fruity flavours with younger consumers.

Which pack formats are growing in popularity?

Whilst individual packs remain essential lines for stores of all sizes, the larger bottle format is set to be one of the bestselling formats of the year. Gum bottles are projected to drive growth by roughly 2% in 2021 so we recommend this format is stocked alongside core single packs for maximum sales success.

What merchandising advice do you have for multiple retailers?

It’s all about availability and visibility. Almost half of gum purchases are unplanned, so we know that to drive gum sales, retailers benefit from having visible displays that make purchasing gum easy and accessible. We know that ‘recharge’ moments are highly impulsive and therefore driving visibility at the till point is essential. We need to make it easy for shoppers to find gum and create enough impact to drive sales particularly for Gen Z who make up around half of UK gum chewers.

What marketing activity is supporting Extra this year?

This year, we released a new campaign for EXTRA®, ‘Get your Ding Back’, which has been a great success. The multi-media campaign was created to support in-home gum consumption, driving category growth within Mints & Gums. At the end of April, a TV ad was released to support ‘The Big Comeback’ as everyone began to come out of lockdown. With a positive forecast predicted for gum sales, the campaign will further support the category as refreshing on-the-go becomes relevant again.

In addition, we are also partnering with ITV2’s Love Island this year for the second phase of our ‘Find Your Other Half’ campaign. This enhanced ‘Find Your Other Half’ activation will see core flavour singles, bottles and multipacks of EXTRA® prominently featuring an initial – urging consumers to pair a pack with partners, friends or family.

Is there any new NPD coming up?

We are always looking at ways to innovate our product offering to not only tie in with consumer needs, but current, evolving trends. We hope to continue to bring to the market breakthrough experiences through our products.


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