‘Continuous innovation’ key to success for gum makers: Report

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Confectionery

Confectioners must continuously innovate to capture a share of the global gums market, as nearly 80 percent of gum purchases are made on impulse, claims a new report from Global Industry Analysts (GIA).

In its report, entitled “Gums: A Global Strategic Business Report”​,​the market researcher said that although the global gums market was impacted by recession in 2008 and 2009, it fared better than the confectionery market as a whole, which shrank during the period. GIA forecasts the global gums market to reach $20.7bn by 2015, driven by a high level of product innovation in the category, efficient distribution networks, effective large-scale promotional campaigns, and new functional gums.

However, the researcher warned that although chewing gums that offer functional properties may boost the gum market in the short term, they could prove to be counterproductive for gum manufacturers in the long term.

“In the short term, functional gum products may surge sales, however in the long run, they are a threat to the gum market,”​ GIA said. “Consumers, who used to purchase gum on impulse, would buy it only when they want to derive some functional benefit. With more functional gum products, there would be few impulse purchases, thereby restraining gum sales.”

The industry analyst’s predictions are in line with those of other market researchers, including Euromonitor International's, which said in November that it predicted strong growth for the functional gum category from 2009-2014, driven by increasing demand for health-oriented products. It said that the two most popular application areas for functional chewing gum are energy and oral health.

Since then, two major gum manufacturers have announced launches of functional gums for early in 2011: Cadbury, the maker of Trident sugar-free gum, unveiled Trident Vitality, and Wrigley is set to relaunch its premium Extra Ice range in February, this time with stronger oral care credentials, microgranules, a new speckled coating and xylitol.

The Trident range includes a citrus and strawberry flavor that contains vitamin C, a blend of white tea and mint flavor, and a peppermint flavor with ginseng.

The GIA report said that the United States is the largest regional market for gums, followed by Europe, although the Asia-Pacific region is set to demonstrate the highest compound annual growth rate, of five percent to 2015.

In the US, the market is driven by different sectors of the population seeking different attributes in gums, according to GIA.

It said: “Children, seniors as well as adults chew different types of gums for different reasons, driving the market demand for chewing gum within the confectionery market. Of late, demand for breath-freshening gum, mints, and other related products is increasing in the US gums market.”

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