Chewing gum used to be such a simple pleasure. You picked a flavor, paid your money and then spent the day enjoying big blocks of sugary fun. Nowadays, the chewing gum business is bursting at the seams with complications. Not only has gum become more expensive, but there are such exotic flavor combinations to choose from it makes it hard to pick between fruit, your favorite dessert or ice cream or some wild combination you’ve never even heard of and some you just don’t want to know how they came to be. Then there’s the choice of something you know is 100% sugar or being health conscious and going sugar free.
Recent marketing studies show that this overload of choices at the checkout counter may have caused a decline in sales rather than the attraction of new bubble blowers the industry had hoped for. In the past year, sales of chewing gum overall has dropped over 2.5 percent to a year-end total of $3.5 billion.
Is the ever increasing choice of flavors the reason? Whatever it is, the chewing gum industry isn’t going to let their bubbles be burst without a fight. Such marketing strategy revamps as Wrigley’s testing Chicago area sandwich shops and tiny packets with just six pieces of gum are part of the plan. The new packets seem to have gone over well with the teen crowd whose pockets are often full of phones and other devices.
Cost seems to be another factor in the declining sales as the average cost of a pack of gum is $1 or more depending on the brand and size package. Since the largest segment of the gum chewing market, teenagers, have other options on how to spend the average cost of a pack of gum the competition is tough.
However, Wrigley has pulled out the big guns to help stop their declining sales- they’ve now got science on their side. Its long been a fact that chewing sugar free gum was better for your teeth health wise. Several years ago, Wrigley Science Institute was started as way to fund research that shows the benefits of chewing sugar free gum and how it can help protect teeth. There is also recent scientific evidence that the act of chewing gum can help improve memory by stimulating blood flow to the head- seriously. Is there hope for a sugar free bubble gum that will make a decent bubble like we all remember from childhood? One can always dream.