The global gum category grew 0.1% in the first quarter of 2015, according to Nielsen data, while Mondelēz reported last week that its gum & candy category rose 5.8% over the same period.
Tale of two cities
“For the first time in a while, I'm pleased to see strong gum growth,” said Mondelēz chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld in the company’s earnings call last week.
In fiscal 2014, revenues in Mondelēz’s gum & candy business declined 2.9% even though the global category was up 0.4% in gum and 2.9% in candy over the year. Now Mondelēz is growing above the global market as Rosenfeld reports “gum just continues to be on fire” in China.
She said: “Like chocolate, our gum results are a tale of two cities. Developed markets continue to be down mid-single digits, with share losses in France, Japan, and the US. But in emerging markets, gum was up mid-teens, led by strong revenue and share performance in Brazil and China."
Gum on fire in China
“We’ve got our Stride brand that has done exceptionally well. We’re now going to be launching Trident in China," said the CEO.
Mondelēz launched Stride in China in September 2012 and said last week the brand, along with Oreo, helped it grow China revenues high single digits in Q1 2015.
According to Euromonitor, Wrigley led the Chinese gum market in 2013 with a 49% share, but lost some ground to Mondelēz.
Historical US gum decline
[Source: NCA & IRI Worldwide Multi-Outlet plus convenience stores-Total US]
Mondelēz also recently launched what it described as the first slab gum in bottle packaging for the US market with Trident Unwrapped.
“It's off to a good start and so you'll see that one will play an important role,” said Rosenfeld.
The US gum category has declined every year since 2011, according to the NCA & IRI Worldwide Multi-Outlet plus convenience stores sales data. But dollar sales in the latest 12 weeks for gum in the US were up 2.6% and Hershey recently told this site it expected a turnaround in the gum category.