Mann told ConfectioneryNews that the Max range is the “new variation” of Mondelēz’s gum brands, and the company will continue its rollout of Max products to a number of new markets across Europe in 2017.
Mondelēz first launched Trident Max in Spain, Portugal and Greece in 2016, as well as Hollywood Max and Stimorol Max respectively in France and Switzerland shortly after.
According to the Trident maker’s Twitter account, it is currently in the process of bringing four new Trident Max flavors to the European market, including mandarin, strawberry and lime, watermelon and spearmint.
Is sugar free the ultimate solution to the sluggish gum category?
“Growth curtailed by developed market saturation; prospects stunted by socioeconomic woes in emerging markets” are the two new realities the sweets and snacks industry face, said the head of packaged food at Euromonitor, Lamine Lahouasnia.
“Confectionery, the largest sector within snacks, grew by the smallest amount at only 1% and looking deeper we can see the usual story unfold: Chocolate confectionery still delivered decent growth at 2%.”
“But sugar confectionery sales barely registered anything positive and gum continued its decline as the chewing habit fades,” he added.
Euromonitor’s recent survey found that the “war on sugar” has dented demand of sweet snacks as 47% of global consumers look for foods with limited or no added sugar.
Gum manufacturers, such as Project 7 and PUR Gum, have been tapping the sugar-free, and even aspartame-free movement in order to gain competitive advantages in the stagnant gum market.
Project 7 led growth in the sugarless gum category growth with a 154.59% dollar sales increase, compared to 5.92% by Mondelēz, according to IRI’s multi-outlets data for the last 52 weeks ending September 4, 2016.
But the sugarless gum category still grew slower than the regular gum during the same period, with sugarless gum posting a 1.27% dollar sales increase and regular gum, 1.65%.
The new Trident Max flavors that will be launched in Europe are all sugar-free, according to Mondelēz.
Eastern Europe contradicts Western Europe in gum retail value
Even though Western Europe surpassed its Eastern neighbor in total retail value of gum products, according to Euromonitor Passport data, Eastern Europe has seen a value increase ever year for the past five years.
The total retail value of gum products in Western Europe posted $4.15bn in 2016 (a 0.71% decrease from 2015), while Eastern Europe posted $1.52bn (a 7.61% increase compared to 2015), the data shows.
Mondelēz’s Q3 earnings results filed to US Securities and Exchange Commission on Dec. 12, 2016 show that the company’s net revenues from Western Europe were $2.10bn, a 1.4% increase from Q2, but a 3.2% decrease from the same period of 2015.
Mondelēz will report its Q4 and full-year 2016 financial results on Feb 7, 2017.