New flavours to widen categories for Wrigley

By Peter Stiff

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Wrigley, Confectionery, Chewing gum, Gum

American confectioner Wrigley is aiming to continue its aggressive
growth strategy by broadening its product ranges through brand
extensions and is taking successful flavours cross-brand.

From the beginning of January Wrigley will introduce new flavours to its confectionery brands, building on the success that some of them have shown in the chewing gum market.

An example of this is the offering of DoubleMint mints a new take on the DoubleMint chewing gum brand.

Wrigley has seen sales of new products jump from 5 per cent of overall sales in 1999 to an impressive 20 per cent today.

Much of this can be attributed to the forward thinking of a fourth generation of family leadership, spearheaded by William Wrigley. According to Information Resources Inc, the gum market is worth over $20 million in Wrigley's native Chicago alone.

Wrigley's senior director of external communications Chris Perille spoke to ConfectioneryNews.com about the new product offerings, commitment to growth through innovation and on increasing competition in the confectionery market.

"Anytime we put out a new product offering we are trying to attract new users and increase consumption. We've stepped up innovation and our goals are to attract new and current customers."

The claim of 'stepped up innovation' isn't said lightly. In September the company opened its $45 million innovation centre in Chicago.

Although the company is clearly aware of competitors such as Cadbury Schweppes eyeing its margins, Perille was keen to establish that, "the implementation of our plan is not a reflection on any one competitor. Competition is good for the growth of the category."

Wrigley's moves into the wider confectionery market, however proactive or reactive they might be, have made waves across the industry, for instance, the successful acquisition of the Kraft confectionery brands, Altoids and Life Savers, in which it invested $1.64 billion in 2004.

Wrigley's transformation from being a gum company into a wider confectionery business was confirmed in 2002 when it tabled a $12 billion bid to try and buy Hershey, only to be blocked by Hershey's trust.

Perille did not discount the possibility of further acquisitions: "We have an openness to selectively acquiring brands that fit into our portfolio and continue to have a focus on the broader confectionery category."

Founded in 1891 and with global sales of $4 billion last year, Wrigley's commitment to total confectionery is certainly high on the agenda.

Now present in 180 countries worldwide and with a mission to be 'woven into the fabric of everyday life,' ringing in the New Year with brand extensions may just be the start of a busy 2006 for one of the world's confectionery giants.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging, Gum

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