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The success story of WRIGLEY´S Extra® and its international sister brands started with an observation in the early 90’s: The majority of adults stopped using chewing gum in public when they started work because they perceived it to be socially unacceptable. Therefore innovative qualitative techniques were used to unearth adults’ motives as well as barriers to chew gum. The benefit of reducing the incidence of tooth decay showed promising market potential, namely within the target group of people above 20 years of age.

The launch of WRIGLEY´S Extra® in Germany as a forerunner to subsequent international launches was well qualified through qualitative and quantitative research tools. On the qualitative side, projective market research techniques provided in depth insights into the emotional and factual needs as well as barriers of relevant target groups. These insights ensured that all marketing-mix elements, such as on pack communication, advertising and below the line activities, had initial and sustainable impact.

On the quantitative side, market segmentation proved that a larger target group was interested in the dental care benefits of chewing gum. Subsequently market simulation techniques checked various launch scenarios for economic viability, which indicated substantial market potential. These assessments proved to be true also in the long run: In 2008 Wrigley’s Extra enjoyed a share of 34 percent in the total German gum category and a share of more than 90 percent within the dental care chewing gum segment. Sales of Wrigley’s Extra® to consumer exceed 100 Million Euro, making it to one of the biggest brands in sugar confectionery in Germany. 

WRIGLEY has also successfully exploited the dental healthcare proposition of chewing gum in numerous countries around the globe. For historic reasons and because consumers learn cumulatively, different brands have been used. In France Freedent® dominates the dental care chewing gum segment with a share of roughly 70 percent in 2008 and enjoys a share of roughly 25% in the gum category. - The same is true for Orbit® in the UK. - The brand Orbit is also associated with a unique success story in Eastern Europe. Orbit is the leading Chewing Gum brand from Prague to Vladivostok and from Murmansk to the Caspian Sea with market shares in the chewing gum segment around or even above 60 percent in 2008. This innovation started in Germany and became a great international success.

Methods used: Qualitative projective techniques, market segmentation, market simulation

Publications: Mayer de Groot, R.; et. al.: The Wrigley´s Extra success story: How to defend successfully a 90% segment share, planung & analyse market research, international issue 2005, pp. 6 – actualised 2011