The UK gum market increased by 1% in current value terms through 2012, reaching a value of £296 million, however the industry increased by a negligible amount in volume terms, to reach 20 tonnes.
Strong competition from other snack products, rising health and obesity concerns and a lack of real innovation have all combined to reduce growth rates right down and in some instances put the UK gum market into reverse.
Sugar-free gum is expected to represent a 91% share of value sales in 2012, and is expected to be the only category to see growth in 2012. Consumers had somewhat lost interest in chewing gum, and innovation was much needed to revive interest, such as proven oral health benefits, exciting flavours and packaging originality.
Fortified/functional sugar-free gum helped to revive interest in 2012, with value sales expected to post an increase of 5%, representing close to 33% of sales of sugar-free gum, compared with 27% five years ago, in 2007.
Awareness of oral health and product innovation brings the attention back to sugar-free gum, the only growth category, accounting for more than 90% of overall value sales.
Functional sugar-free gum, which forms part of the above-mentioned category, does well, as its health benefit claims are approved by the European Food Safety Authority in 2012.
Wrigley Co (Mars) still clearly dominates the UK gum market, and was forecast to reach sales of £249 million in 2012; an impressive 84% value share of the gum industry.
Its Extra brand is expected to account for sales of £172 million (and growing), followed by Airwaves, with sales reaching £41 million (and growing), and Orbit, with sales of £14 million, but declining.
For more information on the UK gum market, see the latest research: UK Gum Market
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