Sarah Elmer, Mentos Brand Manager, talks about the latest plans for the mint brand


Can you please give an overview of your brand?

Mentos is a hugely innovative and global confectionery brand. Originally known for our mints, the brand assortment now includes a variety of fruit flavours and chewing gum as part of our extensive product portfolio. Over the past four years we’ve become synonymous with inspiring people to make fresh connections. Every single sweet and mint has the potential to connect people and act as a tool for breaking the ice and to start conversations. We’re a brand that knows how to have fun, and is committed to growing the category and providing retailers with a quality core range, as well as some tasty and exciting additions to re-fresh people with.

How is your brand currently performing?
Mentos launched in the UK in 2015 and has seen growth almost every year, is currently worth £25m, with candy worth £19.8m and gum £5.2m. Although we have seen a slight decline over the last 12 months, we’re focusing on continuing to innovate our product offering and listening to what is selling well for retailers and what consumers are enjoying. We’ve just introduced our limited edition Complimentos rolls, (16 rolls with compliments on) and we’re really excited to have a 360 campaign behind it to drive brand awareness and boost sales. We’ve also seen that in convenience, Mentos singles are growing +7%, which is really positive.

How are the mints and confectionery markets currently performing?
Confectionery remains in the top purchases within the convenience channel, and is worth £1.3bn – it’s a category retailers cannot afford to ignore.
Mints and gum play a key role in driving the confectionery category, representing around a third of the market. PVM is currently outperforming the gum market with a growth of +1.4%. A number of smaller trends are affecting the category’s performance, for example, the decline in smokers has likely affected mint & gum sales. That said, there are other opportunities we can tap into. As smoking declines, sales of takeaway coffees are rising. We’re advising retailers to think about secondary sightings of mints and gums alongside their ready-to-drink coffees and machines, to help them capitalise on this ever growing trend.

We know refreshment is under pressure to stand up against traditional sugar confectionery and needs some excitement injected back into it, and that’s where we come in.

Do you have any new product development to talk about?
We’ve launched our limited edition ‘Complimentos’ across Fruit and Mint singles. Every roll features a light-hearted compliment perfect for sharing with friends, family, lovers or connecting with someone new and making them smile. The fun comments include “You are the one I CHEWS” and “You and I are MINT to be”. We’re aiming to bring people together and inject a dose of innovation into the category with these exciting products available until September.

How are you supporting the new NPD?
Building on the success of our previous Mentos Say Hello, campaigns we’re supporting Complimentos with an above the line £1.2m media activity including cinema advert, OOH media, experiential pop-ups, PR activity and sampling which will get consumers across the country sharing compliments and drive them in store. We’re encouraging retailers to stock up and make use of the engaging POS available to bring the campaign to life in store and encourage conversations with their customers too.

How important are independent retailers to your brand?
Being such an impulse category, independent retailers are very important to us. We’re aware of the significance of working closely with convenience stores in order to drive sales and grow the category further. This is particularly the case for mints and gum – we’re helping retailers build visibility in store by utilising POS and siting refreshment products in areas such as till point to maximise their sales. We’re also helping C-Stores capture other shopper occasions such as on-the-go and after coffee, ensuring their offerings are always relevant to these consumer needs.

What trends are occurring in the sector that retailers should be aware of?
Sugar reduced and sugar free are the big trends across sugar confectionery. Consumers and retailers can have peace of mind knowing that all of our gum SKUs are sugar free and many of them contain xylitol. Available in the popular white bottle format in spearmint, peppermint and bubble fresh flavours, and are tooth friendly. Great for those on the go who are looking for a healthier alternative, and a really easy product for retailers to add to their core range without any risk.

Retailers should also ensure they’re stocking exciting and adventurous flavours and textures as part of their range. Our latest launch Mentos Chewy & Fresh is a tasty, smaller more moreish mint with flavours that included traditional Peppermint but also new Lemon Mint which is hugely popular amongst shoppers and presents big opportunity to drive this further.

What three words would you use to describe your brand?
Refreshing, fun and innovative.

Source: IRI 27th May 2019