Wrigley is hoping to add £12m to its gum business with the launch of a new bottle format.

The confectioner said bottle packaging was a massive opportunity in the UK, and is this month rolling out variants of its biggest gum brands - Extra White, Extra Ice peppermint and Airwaves menthol and eucalyptus - in bottles of 46 pellets (rsp: £1.99).

The company, which holds roughly 90% of the UK gum market, is confident enough in the new format to be installing a second bottling line at its factory in Plymouth.

Wrigley already produces a 60-pellet bottle (rsp: £2.60) but believes the smaller pack size and lower price would encourage more chewers to embrace the format, which the company said accounted for about 25% of volume sales of gum in China and Germany.

“Grocery store gum displays in China, in particular, are a wall of bottles,” said Wrigley UK general manager Hamish Thomson, adding that the bottle format was particularly targeted at drivers and office workers. “Thirty per cent of occasions for gum use are in a car or office environment and this format will tap directly into this opportunity,” he said.

Wrigley is also hoping to revive its Five brand, which fell 21.9% by value last year [Nielsen 52 w/e 13 October 2012]. A new pack format this month will contain seven sticks rather than the current 12 and brings with it a price drop from £1.02 to 59p.

“Five will never be the biggest gum brand but it offers retailers good margins and brings in new users,” said Thomson.