Wrigley has downgraded its ailing Ice White brand after just three years on the UK market.
The product name will appear only in small type, above the Orbit brand, after Ice White sales plummeted by 21.6 per cent by value last year. The drop in demand follows Colgate-Palmolive’s entry into the chewing gum market in September.
The tooth-whitening chewing gum is being folded into the Orbit brand, value sales of which fell by 8.1 per cent last year, according to Information Resources (IR).
Wrigley marketing director Gharry Eccles says the company’s decision to consolidate the two brands was provoked by “consumers, not competition”.
The decision is likely to be interpreted as a defensive move to strengthen its position against Colgate Dental Gum.
Eccles claims that the IR statistics – compiled over the 52 weeks to October 2001 – are misleading, as AC Nielsen figures between July and December 2001 showed an 11 per cent sales growth by volume for the Orbit brand.
Last week, Orbit gained a competitive advantage over Colgate after the British Dental Association (BDA) awarded its accreditation to the product. Wrigley will now be able to use the BDA’s logo on its packaging.
Wrigley has appointed Ian Gallois to the newly created position of media director for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India. Gallois joins from Schwarzkopf & Henkel, where he was international media director. He has also worked at Grey, Carat and Publicis.