Just as the pandemic has shifted shopper priorities, it has also shifted their shopping behaviors. While certain categories have seen consistent growth, like alcohol, others plummeted. Gum is one of those categories, but Red Oval Partner Mars Wrigley is working to help shoppers find their way back to healthy chewing habits—and retailers can help reignite category sales.
Prior to the pandemic, the gum category was growing—primarily driven by heavy users spending more. But since the pandemic hit, gum has been affected by shifts in both shopping and usage behavior. According to Mars Wrigley, the where and when for gum has been disrupted. For example, 65 percent of gum is consumed out of the house. With many people staying at home and away from others during the pandemic, that out-of-house consumption dropped. But why people chew remains the same:
- Freshens breath—even more important when wearing a mask
- Stay focused when working from home or home-schooling
- Stops cravings and helps curb boredom snacking
As the market leader, Mars Wrigley has analyzed the data and created a plan to revitalize the category. In addition to their advertising efforts, they recommend retailers maintain gum on the shelf because format, variety, and pack-type matter to the gum shopper.
By following these three steps, retailers can help reinvigorate gum sales:
- Maintain presence in aisle and in checkout—offer a strong assortment to appeal to a wide variety of gum buyers
- Disrupt the shopper throughout the store—use POP kits in unexpected places, like near onions and garlic or snack foods
- Remind shoppers to purchase—use reminders to add to cart for eCommerce shoppers
Work with your wholesaler to find the right assortment for your shoppers by looking at past gum sales in your store, and make sure you have fresh product to anticipate the return of gum purchases. This is one category that will be picking up as the pandemic subsides and social activities resume.