As a researcher, I must remain unbiased, but this is my blog and I’m a chocoholic. I was dismayed to read in the Wall Street Journal today that “As Chocolate Sags, Cadbury Gambles on a Piece of Gum.” Sales of gum, especially sugarless gum, is growing at twice the rate of chocolate sales so Cadbury Schweppes has spent two years and millions of dollars to develop a new gum product named Trident Splash.
The uniqueness of Trident Splash comes from the combination of a liquid center and two separately flavored hard outside layers. The proprietary technology to manufacture this new gum format was part of the candy and gum assets acquired from Pfizer in 2002. At the time, industry observers questioned the move since the gum market differed significantly from Cadbury Schweppes’ candy markets.
No one is laughing now. Trident Splash has excited retailers including giant Wal-Mart who plans to place the product in high visibility end of aisle displays. “Cadbury’s goal is to create what its marketers call a gum with ‘mouth-entertainment,’ or one so indulgent that weight-conscious consumers would choose it instead of reaching for a chocolate bar or a bag of chips.” From a competitive viewpoint, Cadbury accepts that Trident Splash will cannibalize the sales of its chocolate products, but will more than make up for that in gaining market share from competitors. And these competitors are not just gum makers—they are all snack foods manufacturers. So PepsiCo and Hershey beware!
On second thought, go ahead and buy Trident Splash. You’ll leave more chocolate for me to eat.