Customers increasingly reach for better-for-you sugar-free gum.
Gum manufacturers are appealing to customer with fun flavors, sugar-free options and potential dental benefits.
Market research firm Packaged Facts estimates that chewing gum sales comprise 11% of the total U.S. retail candy market, which also includes chocolate and non-chocolate (i.e., sugar) candy products.
The findings were recently published in the final report in Packaged Facts’ confectionery trilogy, “Chewing Gum: U.S. Market Trends and Opportunities.”
Total retail dollar sales of the U.S. chewing gum market reached roughly $4.1 billion in 2018, representing a slight rise over 2017. Due in part to health concerns over snacking calories and sugar consumption, better-for-you sugar-free gum accounts for 85% of dollar sales, compared to only 15% for “regular” (sugared) gum. It’s a trend that will keep the category relevant in coming years, predicts Packaged Facts.
“Gum marketers are developing fun and flavorful products and are innovating with non-caloric sweeteners, as well as stressing the potential benefits of dental and nutrition-bearing gums,” said David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts.
Mars—through its Wrigley acquisition—and Mondelēz—via its Cadbury Adams division—are the leading marketers of gum, with Hershey rounding out the top three. More than half (54%) of adults chew gum, according to data in the report, and Mars Wrigley draws nearly half (47%) of these gum consumers as customers, compared with 43% for Mondelēz.