In 2021, both chewing and bubble gum value sales returned to positive current value growth, following decline in 2020, as COVID-19 restrictions began to ease and consumers starting to return to their pre-pandemic daily routines. Being primarily aimed at children, bubble gum in particular benefited from children getting out of the house more often and registered a stronger current value growth than chewing gum.
As Irish consumers are increasingly health-conscious, a growing number opt for sugar-free options across confectionery, including gum. The category’s success is driven by dentists’ recommendations, according to which patients should chew sugar-free gum after a meal and in between toothbrushing to neutralise plaque acids and protect their teeth.
Irish gum remains dominated by Wrigley Ireland Ltd, and its two well-known brands Extra and Airwaves in 2021. After decline in the brands’ current value sales in 2020, the company will record current value sales growth in 2021 due to lockdown restrictions being eased and increasing consumer movement, with many commuting to work or in the second half of the year or otherwise travelling in the country.
In the forecast period, gum is anticipated to fully recover in current value terms to pre-pandemic levels by 2023, when social distancing measures are no longer expected and consumers will have fully returned to their daily routines of commuting to the office or travelling in their free time. The easing of restrictions will create space for impulse purchases, benefiting products such as gum that have relatively low unit prices.
Chewing gum packaged in bottle formats continues to appeal to customers in Ireland and is expected to remain popular over the forecast period. Not only these packs be bought less frequently, as they contain more individual pieces than a standard pack of chewing gum, but also have a more favourable unit price.
Gum players are expected to shift towards an even more health-orientated focus in the forecast period, with sugar-free gum not only gaining further share but accounting for almost all sales by 2026. This shift offers an opportunity and will support the emergence of niche functional and fortified brands, which will most likely target younger consumers via digital channels.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Gum industry in Ireland with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Gum research and analysis database.
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