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NEW YORK, July 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans are chewing a lot less gum these days, according to a new report from Rabobank – and it is mints that are taking the "share of mouth."
The report, "A Nation of Suckers," points out that the $4 billion U.S. gum market is down 10% in sales and a whopping 20% in volume in the last five years alone. Sales are falling across the board, from kid-friendly bubble gum to mainstream sugar-free chewing gum. Rabobank says the widespread exodus suggests it is an issue with the category itself, and not a particular company or product.
The mint category, however, is being invigorated by rapid growth in recent years, especially stronger tasting mints that are marketed as breath fresheners. U.S. mint sales burst nearly 20% over the past five years, reaching $1.2 billion in 2013.
"The gum industry has become unstuck and will need to sink its teeth into some solid marketing ideas in order to reinflate sales," said Rabobank senior analyst Nicholas Fereday. "Savvy mint companies have packed fresh breath, oral hygiene and low calories into their marketing mix, and trumped gum on convenience and value. If current trends continue, we may become a nation of suckers."
Factors Deflating U.S. Gum Sales
Three of the factors popping gum's bubble, Fereday says, are loss of appetite among youth, consumer distaste for artificial ingredients contained in most gum, and overblown brand and flavor extensions.
Make Way for Mints
On top of these factors, Fereday says, the major driver behind gum's decline is the ascendancy of mints. The U.S. market has seen 4% CAGR since 2008, with standard mints growing 15%, and power mints growing 27% ? up 6.4% in 2013 alone.
While not fully offsetting the decline in gum sales, most mint products contain many more servings (five to seven times) than do gum products. Mints have the additional advantages of leaving no product waste, thus eliminating the "residue" issue, and also being much more discreet to suck than chomping on gum.
Care for Some Gum?
We unwrap four suggestions for gum manufacturers to chew on:
For more information please contact the report's author:
Nicholas Fereday: firstname.lastname@example.org +1 212 916 3793
Rabobank's report on the U.S. market for gum and mints is available to media upon request.
Rabobank Group is a global financial services leader providing wholesale and retail banking, leasing, real estate services, and renewable energy project financing. Founded over a century ago, Rabobank is one of the largest banks in the world, with nearly $1 trillion in assets and operations in more than 40 countries. In North America, Rabobank is a premier bank to the food, beverage and agribusiness industry. Rabobank's Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory team is comprised of more than 80 analysts around the world who provide expert analysis, insight and counsel to Rabobank clients about trends, issues and developments in all sectors of agriculture. www.rabobank.com/f&a
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