Gum & Mints: A Breath of Fresh Air

By Angela Altass

Many a gum or mint purchase has been made at convenience stores across the country and reports are now indicating that changing consumer interest in these items coul d be resulting in a breath of fresh air from this category.

Reports from Mordor Intelligence state that the mints market is expected to register a compounded annualized

growth rate (CAGR) of 4.2 per cent during a 2019-2024 forecast period while chewing gum is anticipated to grow at a CAGR rate of 4.3 per cent over the same period.

Mordor Intelligence’s Mints Market report says that North America is the largest market for mint and breath fresheners, driven by an increase in the consumption of breath fresheners by smokers and alcohol consumers. Clean label ingredients are boosting sales and consumer preference for mint confectionery remains high.

The Chewing Gum Report from Mordor Intelligence indicates that functional gum that helps consumers with teeth problems is driving sales, while sugared chewing gum sales are declining. Teeth whitening gum leads the functional gum market with more than 50 per cent share, followed by nicotine gum, while chewing gum that claims weight loss benefits is gaining traction among developed countries.

mint in hand

An indicator that the category is changing can be seen with Ganong’s recent announcement that it is discontinuing the classic white and pink double-thick wintergreen mints that have been on the market for 130 years.

Bubble gum has suffered the most among all gum categories, largely due to lack of innovation and a rise in competing products, says Euromonitor’s Gum in Canada report.

New items in the gum category include a glitter gum introduced this year by the Hershey Co. under the Ice Breakers brand, a product combination of mint and gum.

“Next year, we’ll be bringing Trident Vibes pouches in our top two flavours to the convenience channel in a format to encourage trial,” says Melani Melnyk, shopper marketing managerchannels, Mondelez Canada. “Indulgent craving is an even more important factor than brand. However, we have seen a direct correlation with media investment and performance in market on both our gum brands, which leads me to believe that being top of mind does influence a shopper’s purchasing decision.”

With 70 per cent of gum being consumed out of home, keeping a good stock and variety in store is very important, says Melnyk.

Consumer preference for simple ingredients on products labels has fueled mint market growth, indicates a Market Watch Mints 2019 Global Industry research report, also noting that mints consumption is primarily driven by impulse purchases. Product innovation, convenient packaging, low sugar content and oral benefits are other attractions to consumer interest in mint purchases. The report indicates that despite the increased sugar-free gum market and gum infused with vitamins, gum sales are growing at a negligible rate while North American mint demand has risen by a double-digit growth rate over the past five years.