Market insights and trends within chewing gum
Looking back at the year just gone, chewing gum has proven to be a remarkably recession-resistant category. Not many categories within FMGC are able to present positive growth rates for the annus horribilis: the year of 2009. What is the state of the category right now, and what are the most profound growth drivers?
Innovation beats recession
After a year stigmatised by the financial crisis, things are starting to look positive again. Innovation, in terms of new product launches, is up by 33% compared to last year on an YTD basis (DE, ES, FRA, ITA, NL and UK). This demonstrates strong confidence among all the key actors in the industry, and underlines the old adage that the only way out of recession is investment in innovation.
Innovation - the lifeblood of the industry
Intensive consumer research and the market data tell us the same story: Innovation has been and still is the growth engine within the gum category. Not only kids but also adult consumers want to try out new and exciting concepts. New flavours, cool packaging, mouth feeling and dental benefits are all embraced by the consumers.
A good example of the power of innovation is illustrated below:
Gum - the dynamic category (USA)
Top 10 gum brands in USA 1994-2009
The table speaks for itself. Not many categories within FMCG innovate as fast as chewing gum. Only one out of the four best selling brands today existed in 2002, and the pressure is still increasing.
Flavour trends – adventurous flavours and taste sensations
Exotic flavours and adventurous fantasy names are no longer reserved for children. They have become one of the preferred strategies to attract consumers and to create buzz around the brand. Flavours like Watermelon Sunrise, Electro – “the tingling spearmint” and Mango Smoothie are just a few examples of this trend. Excitement and enjoyment goes hand in hand.
Times change and so does chewing gum
Back in the 90s through the beginning of this century, the variety of chewing gum was not overwhelming. You could either go for a pellet gum or pick a stick gum. This is definitely not the case anymore – the number of new types of chewing gum has exploded within the last 5 years:
On top of this, we see brand new product types, like compressed gum, ice cubes, Mentos shapes, double and triple-layer mini-sticks, leaving a profound mark in the category in other key markets. One thing is for sure, the innovation race will continue for many years to come, and the companies which are able to deliver exciting new products to the marketplace will survive in the long run.
If you want to know more about the development in the gum market, please contact one of our sales managers for more information.