C-store customers seeking a satisfying type of gum desire a crisp, well-defined, long-lasting taste that literally tickles the palate of the most discriminating taste buds.
A gum that provides that amazing initial burst of flavor and one that, when you chew harder in the minutes to come, has the “staying power” to deliver continued smaller flavor explosions will draw the consumer back repeatedly.
Usually, customers largely turn to gum to help with fresh breath, a need that has dwindled during COVID-19, causing sales for both gum and mints to decline. As customers have donned masks it has literally as well as figuratively, “masked” our collective, dare we say, “bad breath,” thus making it unnecessary to chew gum or partake of mints for the sake of breath freshening.
Luckily, there are other reasons customers turn to gum, and gum sales are expected to rebound and grow in the months ahead.
Customers like to try new and exciting flavor innovations. Employees can let customers know what’s new and trending and upsell the items at the checkout counter. But tried-and-true flavors and brands are also important to keep well stocked. Packaging is a growing focus in gum today and can sway sales. Customers today are gravitating toward big plastic bottles of gum because the closable containers allow them to keep the gum from getting lost in bags and pockets, preserves freshness and can make sharing easier. Such packaging is often seen by customers as offering more value for the dollar.
Sugar-free gum is also in high demand and is often marketed for its ability to help reduce plaque when customers are on-the-go and can’t brush between meals. Functional gum is another trend in the segment drawing customers to the category. C-store retailers can make customers aware of functional gum, whether it’s offering energy, weight management, immunity-boosting capabilities or other attributes. As customers continue to focus on health, they’re taking a closer look at labels. Gums touting natural ingredients or a better-for-you profile are also resonating with customers. If you’re carrying these products, make sure customers know.
Despite a challenging pandemic landscape, gum’s sales potential remains promising. By focusing on customer trends and demands, c-stores can help upsell gum and highlight various attributes to customers.