Bill Patterson, senior analyst at Mintel said that while not entirely recession proof, products such as gum, mints and breath fresheners are faring well due to their low price points and the feeling that consumers are getting a small treat.
“In addition, innovative packaging and unique flavours are aiding in the upward sales momentum,” he said.
According to Mintel, its survey respondents believe functionality is crucial in the gum packaging category, with nearly 50 per cent of people cited packaging that reseals better or is easier to open as being most important.
Moreover, the market researchers noted that 19 per cent of people want gum and mints to have more environmentally sustainable packaging.
Unique flavour combinations are also boosting sales, claims Mintel, and cites innovative flavour launches by Wrigley’s Orbit brand of gum including Sangria Fresca, Maui Melon Mint and Citrus Mint.
Mintel said its survey results show 43 per cent of participants want to try new brands or flavours for reasons of variety while 13 per cent stated that they try new brands or flavours because they have no particular preference as of yet.
Health promoting ingredients
Patterson maintains that the emphasis gum and mint manufacturers have placed on the health-delivering benefits of their products in recent years has been paying off.
“Gum has long been associated with this approach but has become even more so by providing more functional benefits like whitening teeth, strengthening teeth and overall oral hygiene.
Mints have followed suit by enhancing their products with antioxidants, green tea and other health-promoting ingredients,” he added.
However, the market analysts note that despite the emphasis on health, breath-freshening remains the most important function of gum and mints in the minds of Mintel’s survey respondents.
“Nearly four times as many respondents cited this compared to a healthy function,” found the researchers.