Benjamin Punchard, senior global packaging analyst at Mintel, told ConfectioneryNews.com: “In the US, we have not seen such small sizes before. It’s about price positioning.”
He said that while small packs were present in low-income markets such as Indonesia and countries in Asia-Pacific the same trend had not been seen in the US.
However, Wrigley plans to launch its premium product 5 gum and the Orbit brand in smaller micro-sized packs in the US by July.
“The smaller pack size and reduced price point of just 69 cents makes this an ideal entry point for consumers to trial the brand or new flavour variants and will, Wrigley’s hopes, be a better fit for their consumers,” said Punchard.
Wrigley’s current offerings contain 15-gum pieces, the standard for the US, but the new packs will carry just six sticks.
The pack format will remain unchanged, using the sleek black folding carton packs from the original launch, only in a smaller size.
Kraft launched its own premium black gum brand on the back of Wrigley’s success with 5 gum, with its Trident Senses brand.
Punchard said that he expected Kraft to follow Wrigley’s move to micro-packs if the 5-gum and Trident launches proved successful.
At expense of big-packs?
Asked whether there would still be a market for larger packs, Punchard said: “We will continue to see both sizes.”
The smaller packs are only intended to encourage more impulse purchasing and the larger packs would continue to have appeal.
According to Punchard, the pocket-size packs could have “cross-country spread quite quickly”.
He said that Wrigley could launch its 5-gum brand in the UK after a trial-run in the US and may later move the product into continental Europe.
Mints could take same route
Punchard added that we could soon see smaller packs in other adult positioned confectionery that are not “pocket-friendly”, such as mints.
“Mints could benefit from reduced-size,” he said.
The black-look of 5-gum could also apply to this category as consumers would share mints with friends and would want to portray a positive image of themselves, he continued.