Kenyan consumers are becoming more sophisticated and are constantly seeking new tastes from the confectionery they buy. This is forcing gum manufacturers to innovate in terms of flavour, in turn leading to stronger competition within the category.
Many of Kenya’s mid- and high-income consumers are now well aware of the rising health concerns associated with sugarised gum thanks to access to information online about the dangers of a high sugar intake, with this being largely blamed for the rising incidence globally of obesity and diabetes. As a result, more Kenyans are opting for sugar free variants of chewing gum.
In 2019, gum manufacturers continued to focus on various unconventional advertising methods to target young urban dwellers, with these including the use of promotional staff on major streets and in-store product sampling. It has become more important for gum manufacturers to change the perception of chewing gum, with even those in the relatively conservative corporate world now viewing gum chewing as a means of relaxation.
Wrigley Co (East Africa) continued to overwhelmingly dominate gum in 2019, with the category’s remaining sales accounted for by Mondelez International, Lotte Confectionery and local player Kenafric Industries. Wrigley’s position can be attributed to the strength of brands such as PK Gum, Doublemint, Wrigley’s (under which it offers the Extra, Cool Air, Airwaves and Juicy Fruit lines) and Orbit, which all benefit from heavy marketing support and widespread distribution through both modern and traditional grocery retailers, while also being available at affordable prices.
Multinationals such as Wrigley and Mondelez have recognised the fact that Kenyans are becoming increasingly health conscious thanks to the influence of the global health and wellness trend and the part played by the internet in disseminating information. This is leading to them increasing their focus on sugar free gum under their respective Orbit and Dentyne brands.
Although still accounting for only a minor share of retail value sales, Kenafric Industries continued to gain ground in 2019. The company benefits from offering competitively priced gum.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.