Wrigley is a famous American chewing gum company headquartered in the Global Innovation Centre (GIC) in Goose Island, Chicago, Illinois (Wrigley, 2016). The company was founded by William Wrigley Jr. in 1891 and operates as the global largest manufacturer and distributor of chewing gum. Wrigley is also a known leader in the manufacture of confections with a broad range of product provisions including mints, lollipops, and hard & chewy candies. The companys world-famous brands include Orbit, Double-mint, Extra, 5 chewing gums. Famous brands of confectionaries include Starburst, Skittles, Altoids, and Life Savers (Wrigley, 2016). Other key players in the market include Kraft Foods, Ferndale Confectionery Pty Ltd, ZED Candy, and The Hershey Company among others. The above players have shaped and influenced Wrigley products with the company adopting strategic ways to reinforce itself in the market.
Currently, Wrigley runs as a branch of Mars, Inc. and markets its products in over 180 nations with sustainable operations in more than 50 countries (Claxton, Taylor, & Kay, 2016). Wrigley has also 21 production facilities in 14 different nations including, U.S., Taiwan, China, Japan, Australia, Poland, Czech, France, UK, Spain, Mexico, India, Russia, and Kenya. The management of the company is introducing a new flavor into its current 5Gum variety, with the youth living in the UK being the main target segment. The new product will be advertised and sold under the name 5Evolution and will involve the introduction of a sour-to-sweet citrus pear flavor (Wrigley, 2016). The gum appeals to the evolving consumer demands due to its ability to change its flavor as it is chewed. At the same time, the consumption and penetration of the product are expected to grow and increase worldwide as the product is gradually becoming popular among both kids and young adults. Over the past couple of years, young people and kids have become the driving force behind chewing gums, especially in the European and American countries. Over the past decade, the market growth of the product has been 7%, especially in the forecast duration. The driving force behind the market forces of the product has been due to the sugar-free aspect of the product that has seen the interest grow among young adults. The continued impulse buying trend of young people has seen an improved growth of the marker with the product standing at over 50 percent of the confectionery class, especially after tobacco and cigarette.
5Evolution as a Critical Innovation
According to Wrigley (2016), 5Evolution gum series comes as an improvement of the initial 5Gum series and provides unique characteristics. Nevertheless, the 5Evolutions comes with the most recommendable amounts of calories which take a vital part in the protection in addition to the preservation of ones oral well-being and overall wellbeing. Provision of the 5Evolution series will cater for the needs of the young population. Similar to other 5 series chewing gums, the new product will be marketed and sold in 12 individual packs of sugar-free chewing gum (Wrigley, 2016). It will also entail a mixture of peppermint, winter-mint, and spearmint each containing 4 packs of chewing gum.
5Evolution will be a great product for sharing with friends and co-workers among the youths. The table below provides a summary of the new products nutritional facts.
Benefits Associated with 5Evolution
Comparative studies show that 5Evolution like any other sugar-free gum presents numerous benefits to its customers. First, the product will help in the prevention of gums in the target population which is basically the youth (Smith, 2012). According to Claxton, Taylor, and Kay (2016), chewing sugar-free gum approximately 20 minutes after every meal increases the flow of saliva. This saliva plays an important part in the promotion of oral well-being by neutralizing or washing away acids that occur as a result of bacterial breaking down of food in plaque. This practice strengthens the teeth and prevents tooth decay, which further reduces the risk of developing tooth cavities.
Second, the 5Evolution gum will appeal to its consumers by helping to reduce tooth sensitivity caused by continuous whitening treatments (Smith, 2012). Similarly, this benefit will result from the ability of the saliva secreted through chewing to enhance the strength of the teeth. Third, the new product can help in strengthening the enamel of its users due to its xylitol content, which washes away the acids left behind after taking a meal or a drink. Xylitol is a simple sweetener found in sugar-free gum with the capacity to reduce acids associated with food and keep the enamel strong (Smith, 2012). Fourth, 5Evolution will also supply the teeth with important minerals including sodium which acts as a shield against the erosion of the enamel.
Fifth, the product will help in digestion due to its ability to stimulate the stomach acids to act on food containing proteins introduced in the body alongside reducing acid reflux (Smith, 2012). Sixth, youths who will rely on 5Evolution will also save the costs spent by different patients on treating dental problems and attending dental period check-ups. Lastly, comparative studies demonstrate that chewing sugar-free gums such as 5Evolution has a positive effect on boosting one's logic and memory. Most of the contemporary oral health researchers are increasingly showing a direct relationship between chewing sugar-free gums with an increase in student alertness, improvement in one's mood and improved heart rate.
These three factors are critical in enhancing the academic performance of students (Wrigley, 2016). On the contrary, excessive use of 5Evoution can have side effects similar to those associated with other sugarless gums. First, this product can lead to the development of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, which is characterized by the attachment of the jaw to the skull. TMJ disorders are characterized by increased pain the jaw increased a headache and can limit the locking of joint. Youths should stick to moderate gum chewing to avoid developing this disorder. Second, excessive chewing of this gum can result in tooth deformities. Lastly, the new product contains some sugar substitutes including aspartame and Xylitol whose excessive consumption may result in dizziness and mood swings (Smith, 2012). Geographical segmentation of the product is majorly within the European market, Latin America, ROW, North America, and APAC regions. Additionally, the product accounts for over 27% of Europes market share with a consumption of 120grms per person.
Analysing the U.K Chewing Gum Industry
According to Antoniades and Blery (2010), chewing gum is the global fastest-growing confectionary industry. The global consumption of chewing gum in 2007 stood at 10 billion as the UK chewing gum sales rose to 400 million in the UK. The UK market for gum confectionaries includes any flavored chewed but not swallowed gum, the sugar-free gum, sugared, and the medicated gum characterized by oral health or breath-freshening benefits. According to Antoniades and Blery (2010), many consumers tend to purchase a given type of gum in regard to their choices and preferences. Therefore, gum manufactures such as Wrigley must engage in continuous innovation to realize the needs and desires of their customers.
Market Performance of the Product
According to Claxton, Taylor, and Kay (2016), Cadbury and Wrigley are the famous and largest gum manufactures in the UK. However, Wrigley continues to dominate the UK market since its inception in 1891. The company claims 84% segment of the United Kingdom chewing gum marketplace with a 36% share of the global market. The UK chewing gum market accounted for 94% of all the sales as the remaining 6% was occupied by the bubble gum segment. The 5 gum series market performance was slightly lower when compared to the overall performance of Orbit and Trident, which topped in the market. However, the most interesting feature with the 5 gum series especially the new 5Evolution product lies in its ability to attract the young population (Antoniades & Blery, 2010).
Theoretical Analysis of the Consumer Trends Associated with 5Evolution Chewing Gum Series
Different theories can be used in the effective analysis of different consumer trends driving the launch of 5Evolution chewing gum. These theories include Maslows hierarchy of needs concept, the Kano Model the diffusion of innovation model, product anatomy, and the balanced scorecard.
Maslow Hierarchy of Needs theory
The 5Evolution chewing gum attempts to meet the physiological needs of consumers in regard to this theory. The new product is capable of meeting physiological needs which include refreshment and oral health (Wrigley, 2016).. 5Evolution also satisfies the social needs of people by reducing pressure and anxiety while boosting their levels of confidence. Refreshing one's breath and provision of a sweet smell is critical to a person attending a social gathering. This refreshing breath is also helping people to come by the love and belonging requirements. Persons with high earnings purchase the 5Evolution gum as a way of meeting their esteem needs (Claxton, Taylor, & Kay, 2016). The self-actualization needs can be achieved by 5Evolution due to its ability to provide a new touch to the lifestyle of youths.
Diffusion of Innovation Model
According to Smith and Song (2004), the diffusion process of a product requires the participation of five key individuals. The innovators who develop and test the effectiveness of a given product; early adopters who welcome the new idea due to its associated benefits, the average person, the late majority who welcomes the idea after critical testing and laggards who may not adopt the idea. The percentage of customers using 5Evolution is expected to grow exponentially as people get to satisfy their need for oral health. Consumers prefer healthy products which are tested and proven (Smith & Song, 2004). 5Evolution has been proven by the American Dentist Association and can meet the needs of people.
According to this model, new products must satisfy the basic, performance, and excitement needs of consumers (Wang & Ji, 2010). 5Evolutiom meets the needs of both the pleasure and fun needs alongside the healthy desires of people. The hygienic essentials of this product entail the promotion of oral well-being, avoidance of teeth carries, as well as plaque reduction. On the other hand, the fun and the pleasure features of the product help in the satisfaction of the delight needs. However, most of these delight needs will gradually evolve into basic needs with continuous innovations (Wang & Ji, 2010).
According to Blythe (2017), the anatomy of a given product is essential in the analysis of its associated benefits. Product anatomy is carried out to align the evolving consumer needs with products being sold by a given brand. The main product associated with Wriggle's 5Evolution is the oral well-being and its sugarless features. First, Wrigleys 5Evolution helps in cleaning food debris, strengthens teeth, prevents tooth decay, removes stains from teeth, neutralizes plaque acids, and prevents dental caries. The generic product of 5Evolution lies in its availability in a broad range of flavors including peppermint and spearmint. The expected product associated with 5Evolution brand lies in its ability to stimulate the production of saliva and the ability to refresh one's breath (Blythe, 2017). Wrigley's 5Evolution augmented product lies in its availability in diverse kinds of packing including 6, 12, and 18 pieces.
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