5 Fresh Takes on Gum

gum

Gum has had a bad run lately.

In the past year, sales of gum—a perennial player on shelves—dipped 2.3% in convenience stores, or $24.8 million, according to data from Temple, Texas-based McLane Co. Single-pack gum sales dropped 6.5%, or $65.5 million. In total, c-stores represent 34% of gum sales, and 75% of the category’s decline last year came from these businesses, according to data from Chicago-based IRI.

Gum manufacturers, however, are anxious to turn category sales around, launching new flavors and varieties in effort to revamp the category.

From energy-boosting to nicotine-replacing, here are a handful of fresh gum products to watch for …

1. Big League Chew

big league chew

Bubble gum brand Big League Chew turned to consumers to help it add a new flavor to its roster: Big Rally Blue Raspberry. Released earlier this April exclusively in Dick’s Sporting Goods stores, the new flavor will arrive at other U.S. retailers this summer. The new flavor marks Big League Chew’s first product launch since it debuted its gumball five-packs in May 2016.

Last summer, Big League Chew launched a social-media campaign asking for fans’ help in selecting the new gum flavor. In December 2017, founder Rob Nelson selected Big Rally Blue Raspberry from more than 300 fan entries.

2. Lil' Drug Store Products

nicotac gum

Supplier Lil’ Drug Store Products will debut its new Nicotac nicotine gum in convenience stores nationwide on May 1. The product comes in two nicotine strengths—2 milligrams and 4 milligrams of nicotine polacrilex—and various flavors, including fruit, mint and cinnamon.

Nicotac will be sold in 10-count packages for a suggested retail price of $4.99. Lil' Drug looks to make nicotine-replacement-therapy (NRT) products ubiquitous by marketing Nicotac to the more than 150,000 U.S. convenience stores, a channel that currently sells less than 3% of NRT products, the company said.

"When we surveyed the distribution of nicotine-gum sales in the category, it was clear the convenience-store channel had tremendous room for growth," said Doug Marquardt, director of marketing for Lil' Drug. "Since the majority of smokers frequently shop convenience stores, it is a great opportunity for Nicotac brand nicotine gum to help those who want to quit smoking."

3. Ice Breaker

glitter gum

Hershey's Ice Breakers introduced its sugar-free Ice Cubes gum in a Glitter Gum Summer Snow Cone flavor in mid-April. The gum is available for an SRP of $3.69 and, like the rest of Ice Breakers’ Ice Cubes gum, comes in packs of 40 pieces. Each gum cube is peppered with edible glitter for an enhanced look.

“Consumers are looking for extra sparkle in everyday items—whether it’s what they’re eating, drinking or wearing,” said Nathan Johnson, brand manager for Ice Breakers. “Ice Breakers’ Glitter Gum gives consumers the added glittery flair to push their swagger over the top.”

The flavor is only available through this summer, making it the first limited-time offer from Ice Breakers Ice Cubes.

4. Chewpod

chew pod

Chewpod, a functional gum originating in Quebec, Canada, made its way to the United States at the end of March.

The Chewpod comes in Energy On Demand and Sleep On Demand flavors for either an energy boost or sleep assistance, respectively. Each pack contains eight individually packaged tablets, which are locally manufactured in North America and distributed exclusively in Canada and now the United States.

"We are looking forward to growing and expanding in the U.S. as we believe there is a great opportunity for functional gums and chewable tablets and their benefits,” said Joey Thiffault, president and co-founder of Chewpod.

Chewpods are available for purchase via the company’s website and Amazon. A single pack containing four servings is $5, while bundles of four packs and bundles of 10 packs are available for $18 and $40, respectively.

5. Tic Tac Gum

tic tac gum

Ferrero's Tic Tac released a chewy version in January: Tic Tac Gum. The oval-shaped candies are available in 56-count packages and come in three flavors: Freshmint, Spearmint and Cool Watermelon. Like traditional Tic Tacs, the gum offers a crunchy shell followed by a flavor burst once bitten into, according to the company.