Sweet and resilient

Trebor Extra Strong Mints

The UK’s gum and mint category is as robust as ever despite the turbulence of the last few years.

By Elena Dimama

It has been a turbulent few years for the local retailing sector in Scotland and while ‘normality’ still seems like a long way off, some things carry on regardless – and that very much includes the profit-driving mint and gum category.

Chewing all troubles away

Despite all this uncertainty, gum was the most profitable grocery category in the beginning of 2022, according to Nielsen, with more than 8.4 million consumption occasions each year.

Against this backdrop of popularity, confectionery giant Mars Wrigley is launching its first global campaign for Extra, called Find Your Fresh Look, going live first in the UK. The brand targets the under-25s for the first time, following research suggesting that nearly 50% of gum consumption coming from Gen Z.

The campaign marks the beginning of a series of initiatives from Mars Wrigley, aiming to reach the next generation of gum consumers and get half of the nation chewing gum by 2025.

Staying within the theme of targeting Gen-Z, the brand has also launched two new flavours for Extra, Apple and Blueberry, with research by Kantar having showed that fruit-flavoured gum is over-indexing with that age group and is 51% incremental to the segment. Apple was also found to be the most popular fruit in the UK, and blueberry was the leading flavour in confectionery, according to research by Kantar.

“These two popular flavours are set to continue to grow gum penetration in the UK by recruiting new consumers to the segment. We will be supporting retail partners with colourful POS to drive awareness and trial of Apple and Blueberry,” Sasha Storey, Senior Brand Manager, Extra, at Mars Wrigley, notes.

Earlier in the year, Mentos announced it had enjoyed a strong year of sales for its Mentos Pure Fresh gum range, reinforcing Kantar’s figures for the nation’s appetite for fruity gum. Growth was primarily driven by fruit flavours (Tropical, Cherry and Bubble Fresh).

“These flavours are relatively unconventional compared with traditional mint, providing that point of difference and indulgence, whilst the sugar-free aspect targets the health-conscious too,” Kim McMahon, Product Manager, Mentos UK, said.

“That’s why we’re investing heavily in the range this year – watch this space! Retailers should consider adding Mentos Pure Fresh Cherry, Tropical and Bubble Fresh to their till points to make the most of this demand.”

Breath of fresh air

Using recognisable and ‘trusted’ brands is key to ensuring the confectionery segment does well on shelf, according to Ferrero Rocher.

“The three biggest flavours that consumers are looking for in [Mints & Gums] are mint, fruits and extra-strong mint,” Levi Boorer, Trade and Shopper Marketing Director, Ferrero, tells SLR.

“By offering the Tic Tac range in a number of pack sizes, and always in a robust, resealable box, consumers can easily manage their treating without fear of the product spoiling when they just want a quick treat during the day,” adds Boorer.

“People typically look for mint and fruit flavours from this sector, which is why we recommend retailers stock a variety of flavours from our Tic Tac range, so they can cater for different shopper tastes.”

Perfetti van Melle is also keeping its faith in the category, having announced earlier in April that its signpost mint brand Smint is the fastest growing mint brand in the UK, according to the IRI Sugar Confectionery report.