Retail current value sales within the US chewing gum market declined by 3% through 2012, to hit a market value of US$4 billion, while retail volume sales fell by 5%.
Traditionally, the gum category has relied heavily on younger consumers to make up a large part of its consumer base. In recent years, however, younger consumers have had less disposable income and increased apathy towards the activity of chewing gum in general. With the growth of this trend, gum sales had been somewhat flat in the past few years and have finally started to decline.
Continuous product innovation holds the key for the market to increase sales opportunities and enhance revenues. Generally, product innovations are focused on novel and unique flavours, new ingredients, different product shapes, varied colours, and distinctive packaging techniques.
Nearly 80% of total gum sales are impulse driven. In a bid to capitalize on this kind of market behaviour, gum manufacturers continuously focus on merchandising their products efficiently through all possible modes.
As one of the best performing segments within the candy market, chewing gum remains a favourite among US consumers. Children, seniors as well as adults chew different types of gums for different reasons, driving the market demand for chewing gum within the confectionery market. Of late, demand for breath-freshening gum, mints, and other related products are increasing in the US.
Unit prices of gum increased in 2012 as companies continue to try to grow the share of small packs of gum. As a result of the economic downturn, many consumers have a smaller amount of disposable income than before and see buying a 12-unit pack of gum as an unnecessary and unaffordable expense.
As such, many companies are releasing smaller pack sizes that carry a seemingly low price to entice consumers into seeing them as a more affordable product. These smaller packs, however, carry a much high price per piece than larger pack sizes.
The gum sector in the US continues to be dominated by Wrigley (GBO Mars) and Kraft Foods, which held respective value shares of 55% and 31% in 2012.
For more information on the US chewing gum industry, see the latest research: US Chewing Gum Industry
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