The Wrigley Company is gearing up to launch its counter-attack against Cadbury-owned chewing gum brand Trident with the launch of two fruit-flavoured gums under its Extra brand. The launch comes as Wrigley axes its revolutionary Extra Thin Ice breath strips after five years.
It is understood the two limited edition Extra flavours, strawberry and watermelon, will target lapsed Extra consumers who have moved to Trident, which also comes in fruit flavours. Wrigley is expected to put huge support behind the variants.
Trident has already taken a 15% market share – just three months after it launched. Wrigley has historically had a 98% share of the market, with its Extra brand dominating the market.
Industry sources say the fruit gum launch is a U-turn for the company, which had previously felt that fruit flavoured gums do not work in the UK. One insider says: “It is because a new brand has come in and done well in five minutes. It has scared them.”
The chewing gum and confectionery giant ploughed £5m into the launch of the Extra Thin Ice strips, its first non-gum launch in the UK, in 2002. The micro-thin inch long strips were peppermint flavoured and dissolved immediately on the tongue to freshen breath.
Industry insiders say that the company did not invest enough money in the product post-launch despite strong sales at the launch itself. One source says: “Wrigley has never done anything with it. Consumers need education as they found the concept of putting bits of dissolvable ‘plastic’ on their tongue off-putting.”
Wrigley is also axing its Airwaves Active.