Big spending Hershey attempt to tap sugar-free gum market

By Staff Writer

- Last updated on GMT

Hershey, the US confectioner, is attempting to tap into the growing
sugar free market with the launch of a new gum in the shape of an
ice cube.

The company will embark on a multi million dollar campaign to raise awareness of its Icebreakers Ice Cubes product in the fastest growing confectionery segment in the US, sugar-free gum.

The sugar free gum market was worth $730m (€610m) in the US last year, with sales increasing 54 per cent since 2002, according to figures from ACNielson.

Total US chewing gum sales, excluding Wal-Mart sales, stood at $944m (€790m) for 2005, up 23 per cent since 2002.

Hershey stated that it sees new products as a key strategy to achieve growth.

"Innovation continues to drive market growth in the competitive refreshment category,"​ said Hershey's Eric Lent.

The frosted Ice Cube gum is available in spearmint and peppermint flavours.

Hershey views the product as an alternative to its stick and shell gum offerings and said that it is expected to build upon the Ice Breakers brand's 15 per cent growth in 2005, which it achieved with its mint product lines.

The company is investing heavily in the new product through advertising and sponsorship.

The confectioner has enlisted US TV stars Hilary and Haylie Duff to promote the product in a television advertising campaign.

The Ice Cube brand will in addition sponsor the Duff's concert tour.

Hershey will also sponsor NASCAR driver Keven Harvick's car and begin the process of a 14 million-sample giveaway campaign at races.

The company plans to launch other gums and mints under the Icebreaker brand throughout 2006.

Hershey is North America's biggest manufacturer of chocolate with annual sales of over $4bn.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Gum, Hershey

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