Closeup detail of woman putting pink chewing gum into her mouth.

Mints and gums are among the most impulsive categories in the store and earn their place on the counter top.

The total gum category is currently worth over £260million (Nielsen).
Growth is driven by sugarfree gum and Mars Wrigley Confectionery expects this to continue as chewers seek out a healthy addition to their day-to-day oral care routine.
Bottle formats 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.
“The food on the go trend provides a fantastic opportunity to encourage gum as an additional purchase,” says Dan Newell, Marketing Director, Mars Wrigley Confectionery UK. “For example 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 (UltraDEX), while 16-34 year olds are more likely to be concerned with oral health when compared to other age groups (Mintel).
Impulse purchases
“With mints and gums most commonly occurring as impulse purchases in convenience stores, we recommend retailers maximise the sales opportunity by siting these products in disruptive locations, as well as at checkout, kiosk and in-queue,” suggests Levi Boorer, Customer Development Director, Ferrero. “Many shoppers will browse for longer at places such as the newspaper or magazine fixture, so retailers can capitalise on this opportunity by implementing magazine hook-over units.”
Boorer says Ferrero understands how important it is for retailers to implement visually-striking displays in-store, to encourage repeat purchases, entice new shoppers and to contribute to the overall appearance of the store. In light of this, the Ferrero retailer hub – – features a dedicated page for point of sale where the latest items are uploaded for retailers to order free.
“The mints and gums category continues to see increased consumer demand for a range of fruit flavours, which is a trend that’s developed over the past few years,” adds Boorer. “We list our Tic Tac Lime & Orange and Strawberry Fields products in our core range to reflect that demand, and continually seek to develop insight-driven NPD to ensure retailers have a range of products to offer shoppers.”
Tic Tac Lime & Orange is well established in the market and still growing, with value sales up by +3.74% (Nielsen). Strawberry Fields is growing at an even greater rate, seeing a +7.75% increase in value sales (Nielsen), showing how retailers can capitalise on the trend towards fruit flavours.
Ferrero has also seen demand increase for stronger mint flavours, which is now the third-biggest flavour territory in the category (Nielsen).
That demand is largely coming from new shoppers and is creating incremental growth within the category, driven by more young adults buying extra-strong mint products.
That incremental growth is evidenced by Ferrero’s classic Fresh Mint product seeing value sales up by +3.74% (Nielsen), with new Intense Mint Tic Tac fitting the demand for stronger mint flavours perfectly to ensure that our range offers something different to suit a wide range of shoppers.
“The other key trend is one that spans multiple sectors, with the mint and gums category being no exception,” adds Boorer. “Consumers are becoming more and more aware of their health and wellbeing, so are 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.”
Ferrero’s new Tic Tac ‘Intense Mint’ appeals to consumers demanding an extra-strong mint, the third-most popular flavour territory in the category (Nielsen); its stronger flavour is bringing incremental shoppers to the category and typically appeals to more young adults than the recognised mint flavour.
The extra-strong flavour in Tic Tac Intense Mint clearly differentiates the new product from the ever-present Fresh Mint product, while also capitalising on the number one requirement of shoppers in this category, ‘refreshment’. The bold blue colour of the pill helps the product to stand out on shelf, making it an eye-catching option for impulse purchases in store.
Tic Tac Intense Mint forms part of the core range, which is featured across Ferrero’s marketing campaigns to raise awareness of the products. At launch, Intense Mint was featured as part of a multi-channel campaign, worth £1m and marking the reappearance of Mr Tic Tac across TV, Video-on-Demand and social media. The introduction of the ‘Open Up’ campaign last summer had an immediate impact on sales, driving the brand back in to growth. A +2.2% volume uplift on the core range, featured in the ad, helped Tic Tac grow its overall share of the pocket confectionery market by +0.2% (Nielsen).
On the go
“Today, mints and gum play a key role in driving the confectionery category, representing around a third of the market,” comments Mark Roberts, Trade Marketing Manager at Perfetti Van Melle. “There is an opportunity for retailers to capitalise on the sales of these refreshment products by capturing shopper occasions such as on-the-go and after coffee – they should ensure their offering is always relevant to these consumer needs.”
To tap into the mints and gum market it is vital retailers utilise POS and site refreshment products in areas such as till point to build visibility in store and maximise impulse sales.
Sugar free has never been more important to shoppers and the mints and gum category is not exempt from being altered by the rise of the health conscious consumer.
“With 95% of all gum already being sugar free, the industry has responded to the challenge with vigour, but there is still room for growth,” adds Roberts. “Retailers need to ensure that their offering includes a strong range of no and reduced sugar alternatives across all formats to capitalise on growing demand and increase sales.”
PVM is leading the way in sugar free and reduced sugar – it is currently the number one Better For You manufacturer in the UK, with 2018 sales totalling £13.3m (IRI). The sugar free brand SMINT grew 17.4% MAT in 2018 (IRI).
“Classic flavours such as peppermint and spearmint continue to be popular within the category, but new unconventional flavours should also be considered, as these engage a younger audience,” says Roberts. “Mentos Bubblefresh for example is a great addition to any gum offering which appeals to a teenage and young adult shopper.”
It is important that retailers stock a range of pack formats and sizes, to ensure that they are tapping into the various shopper occasions. Price Marked Packs are important as they encourage brand loyalty by allowing consumers to feel they are getting value for money.
Bottles are the key growth area in which retailers can encourage shoppers to trade up to larger basket spends – currently bottles make up 59% of the gum market and are growing at 10.5% (IRI).
“Resealable bottles offer convenience and allow shoppers to feel confident that their mints or gum will remain satisfyingly fresh,” Roberts continues. “Retailers should ensure they stock a full range of bottled gums to tap into this lucrative sector and Mentos has a wide selection of bottled mints, and through the Mentos White Bottle Gum (available in Peppermint, Spearmint and Bubble Fresh) it engages its core target audience of 18-24s, driving excellent incremental sales.”
Trebor is the UK’s number one mint brand with a 35%1 share of the mints market in the UK (Nielsen).
The Trebor range meets the consumer need states of refreshment and confidence through its portfolio of hard, soft and sugar free mints. Trebor also caters to the on-the-go occasion, offering Softmints and sugar-free Mighties in a handy 100g pot format – created to allow consumers to easily enjoy the mints while out and about.
With the aim of further targeting the on-the-go consumer, Trebor also brought its first ever hard boiled, sugar free candy to the range this year – Trebor Cool Drops.
Launched in a handy 28g flip-top box with two refreshing flavours, Trebor Cool Drops Sugar Free Extra Fresh and Trebor Cool Drops Sugar Free Lemon, the innovation aims to bring new consumers to the category to drive incremental sales with a new candy that has less than 100 kcal per pack. The launch is supported with digital media during 2019.
“Key to success in selling mints is visibility,” says Susan Nash, Trade Communications Manager at Mondelēz International. “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 a high traffic location such as front-of-store.”
“Use manufacturers’ point of sale material to ensure the product stands out to really inspire purchase,” Nash continues. “Products should be neatly merchandised to help the shopper scan and select what they are looking for. Pricing should also be clear.”
In October 2018, Fox’s Glacier celebrated its 100th anniversary and, as part of the special celebration, Big Bear Confectionery launched the first new mint edition in Fox’s 100-year history with the unveiling of Glacier Spearmints.
Made with natural mint oils, new Fox’s Glacier Spearmints offer a milder, sweeter flavour profile than classic Fox’s Glacier Mints, but the same great quality and freshness consumers are looking for.
“At the end of 2018 we launched some exciting NPD; our XXX Minty Balls – a tongue-in-cheek treat that combines the popular strong mint taste of XXX with a timeless mint imperial format, sold in a handy travel pack,” says Andrew Ovens, marketing manager at Big Bear Confectionery. “After a successful trial, XXX Minty Balls rolled out widely across the UK and present a real opportunity for retailers to drive sales with a product specifically designed for the travel and commuter markets. Sales have proven particularly successful when merchandised near till points, as they drive impulse purchase for shoppers to keep in their car or bags.”