According to figures from Information Resources, the brand had achieved sales of just over £9m across all grocery and impulse outlets by December 1, 2002, a figure which equates to around 3.5% share of the chewing gum market.
Jo Hartop, Wrigley's head of communications, confirmed that the brand's performance had exceeded its owner's expectations, but said the company's figures ­ which cover all outlets, including leisure facilities and vending machines ­ were much higher than those from Information Resources. Wrigley valued X-Cite at £13m retail value by the end of 2002, and said it accounted for a 4.2% share of chewing gum.
The brand offers a cross between chewing gum and mini mints, with consumers able to regulate the intensity of flavour by chewing fewer or more pearls at the same time. Rush, the strong mint flavour in blue packaging, is the top seller but Delight, a sweeter variant in green, is also holding its own. The 40-piece packets retail at 49p.
Marketing support totalling £8m certainly helped X-Cite get off the ground. Activity targeted 16 to 34-year-olds and included TV ads as well as more unusual tactics such as sponsorship of extreme sports shows.
A £4m spend is planned for this year. The brand also benefits from the halo effect of a £34m marketing budget across all Wrigley's portfolio.