Wrigleys Extra chewing gum shopper

Two confectionery categories looking fairly safe from HFSS regulations are gum and mints. With less reliance on sugar for taste and consistency, and an established market for sugar-free lines, both are well placed to keep their spot at the tills.

“While chewing gum as a category is in scope of HFSS legislation, the vast majority of products within it are HFSS-compliant, giving retailers an opportunity to merchandise them on aisle ends and in other promotional locations in store to drive sales, and fill the spaces that become vacant as a result of the regulations,” says Max Adams, HFSS lead at Mars Wrigley, owner of Orbit, Extra and Spearmint.

That opportunity comes on the back of a sizeable recovery in gum and mint sales due to the return of on-the-go occasions, with value up 14.1% to £373.6m and volumes up 5.4% [NielsenIQ 52 w/e 9 July 2022].

The importance of impulse sales – which make up two-thirds of gum purchases, according to Mars Wrigley research – highlights the need for gum and mint brands to have low or zero-sugar ranges that can sit in impulse locations.

That was a motivation for Fox’s Glacier to launch its sugar-free sweet range this August in pocket-sized cartons, which are designed to occupy prime in-store positions.

And to tempt shoppers outside those impulse locations, brands will need standout packaging.

“The key here will be to fill shelf space with eye-catching products that will be quick to garner shoppers’ attention,” says Robyn Fairweather, brand manager at Motif.

“Motif’s range of mints is not only sugar-free and HFSS friendly, but the standout tins (pictured) that the mints are housed in come in eight different designs, created by artists and illustrators.

“The striking packaging makes for a truly unique product that consumers can’t help but pick up.”