Wrigley Company makes move into mint market

The Wrigley Company is taking its first step outside the chewing gum market with the launch of Xtra Mints in September. The move is part of Wrigley’s strategy to diversify from it core products to become a confectionery company.

The sugar-free range will be available in two flavours, spearmint and peppermint, and will retail at 42p for 20 mints. The oval-shaped mints have a special coating to freshen breath by releasing the mint flavour. The range will be packaged in cardboard boxes with flip-top lids and will continue the Xtra branding.

The launch of Xtra Mints will be supported by a £12m through-the-line campaign. The spend is additional to the £34m Wrigley has spent marketing its entire portfolio, which also includes the X-Cite and Orbit brands, this year. The campaign will be created by Bray Leino.

Gharry Eccles, Wrigley managing director for UK and Ireland, says that it decided to

extend the Xtra brand into mints because of its reputation as a breath-freshening product. He adds that Wrigley believes Xtra Mints will rejuvenate the category, which has lacked investment or innovation in recent years.

The Xtra range was launched in 1992, and according to AC Nielsen figures it is now worth £131m, having grown by 13 per cent during the past 12 months.

The launch is expected to unsettle Cadbury Trebor Bassett, which launched Trebor 24/7 at the end of last year (MW November 28, 2002). It is understood the brand has suffered distribution problems (MW July 10).

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