EconomyFinancialFresh breath: Mondelēz seeks to boost chewing gum consumption...

Fresh breath: Mondelēz seeks to boost chewing gum consumption again

Mondelēz Mexico seeks to once again boost the consumption of chewing gum, a category that was strongly affected by the covid-19 pandemic, when face-to-face encounters were reduced and, consequently, the need for fresh breath.

Santiago Aguilera, director of Communication and Corporate Affairs for Mondelēz Mexico and Latin America, explained that, in the midst of confinement, people stopped going to supermarkets for fear of contagion. In addition, people wanted to spend as little time as possible in contact with others.

“Many of the moments of gum consumption occurred before going to work, in the offices or at parties. But with the arrival of the pandemic, these interactions stopped happening. Therefore, sales were affected,” Aguilera said in Interview for Expansion .

But analytics firm Mordor Intelligence projects that the global chewing gum market will register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.39% between 2022 and 2027. And Mondelēz is looking to capitalize on this positive trend.

Chiclets, the pioneer brand

For Mondelēz, the Mexican market is one of the five most important in sales within the confectionery category. The company sells seven out of 10 chewing gums in Mexico.

Chiclets , the brand that triggered the development of the chewing gum category nationwide, has positioned itself in the minds of Mexicans, and has even become an iconic product in the country.

“Chewing gum has always been an essential part of Mexican life. Chiclets opened the door for us in Mexico and was the basis for achieving the success we currently have,” said Isabel Arceo, Marketing Manager of Chewing Gums for Mondelēz. Mexico.

But after 95 years, the brand recognizes that it is necessary to evolve and adapt the offer to the new consumption dynamics, which has translated into “strategic investments”, not only in manufacturing plants, but also in innovation, which is ” a key engine for growth,” Aguilera said.

Faced with this situation, Mondelēz rethought its sales strategy and formed an alliance with Mercado Libre and Amazon for the distribution of its products.

Last October, the company also opened its Tech Center in Tlalnepantla, State of Mexico, where several of the chewing gum formulations that the company markets under various brands are developed, both in Latin America and in much of Europe and North America.

Mondelēz has 12 Tech Centers around the world and the one in Mexico, which today has 5,000 square meters and 170 workers, required an investment of 14.2 million dollars.

Sugar-free and nicotine gum become popular

Some of the trends that Mordor Intelligence detects that are driving the recovery of the category are nicotine gum and zero sugar.

Nicotine gum saw increased demand among global consumers during the pandemic, amid growing consumer awareness that tobacco use could exacerbate disease. Many people quit smoking and this fueled the demand for nicotine gum.

On the other hand, although sugar-free chewing gum is still a nascent category in most countries, it is growing at a much faster rate due to growing concerns about dental caries due to sugar content.

So far, Mondelēz has not given details about the projects in new chewing gum formulations that it is carrying out.

Mexico has positioned itself as the first place in per capita consumption of chewing gum globally according to Euromonitor.

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