Mars hopes to turn around decline in gum with ‘gourmet’ Freedent Mints

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Wrigley's Freedent launches four ‘gourmet’ flavoured chewing gum. Photo: Wrigley.
Wrigley's Freedent launches four ‘gourmet’ flavoured chewing gum. Photo: Wrigley.
Mars has launched four ‘gourmet’ flavoured mints in France as part of its Freedent brand by Wrigley.

The sugar-free pastilles are already on sale in several European countries and is now available for the first time in France in; fresh mint, strong mint, wild berries and cherry.

Driving new formats

It is not the first time Wrigley France has planned new formats to offset a decline in gum. ConfectioneryNews reported in 2014​ the company launched a sealable 100% recyclable Freedent and Airwaves box designed for car cup holders or for desks as well as a range of sticks in spearmint, strong mint, and two fruit flavors.

Lionel Trapet, marketing director, chocolate and gum, Freedent, said it wanted to ‘revive a coveted category’ with the four flavors, on sale for €2.49 for 70 pellets, supported by a TV ad campaign; ‘Shine for you’.

Our goal is to develop a turnover of €4.6m in the first year generating €36m in 2018 with the Freedent brand​,” he said.

"We will have five TV advertising campaigns between mid-April and the end of November, supported by 20 weeks of advertising​."

The brand, which gained market share in the gum category (+ 1.4 points in CAM (Chartered Asset Manager) in February 2018) compared to its competitors, is however losing momentum as the French chewing gum category is in decline​. 

It is hoping the mint range will target 30% of consumers who opt for 'front-of-box' purchases.

"Freedent Mints is the next step in the Freedent adventure, gaining market share, boosting front-of-box sales and aiming to generate 4.6 million additional revenues over the year​," added Trapet.

Shifting change

According to Rabobank​, chewing gum sales have not only slumped in Europe, but also in the US, by 20% in the past five years.

Senior analyst Nick Fereday, Rabobank, said ‘chewing gum is just not as cool as it used to be’.

Teenagers, historically the biggest consumers of gum, says Fereday, are losing interest: “We are witnessing a cultural shift where chewing gum along with other habits such as smoking are no longer viewed as cool.”​​

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