According to Nielsen, the chewing gum market in Pakistan is estimated to be worth nearly Rs 283 million (as of 2015). The market leader is Hilal (which, according to Euromonitor accounts for 27% of the market share, although industry experts estimate it to be nearly 50%), with brands such as Ding Dong and Fresh up (these are bubble gums and centre-filled gums respectively, two sub-categories within the chewing gum category). The remainder of the market share is taken up by other Pakistani companies such as Mayfair and Giggly’s and a handful of international brands, including Lotte, Wrigley’s, Mentos and Spout.
A new entrant into this relatively small market, which also competes with snacks and confectionaries, is Trident, a sugar-free ‘adult’ chewing gum manufactured by Mondeléz Pakistan (the company also manufactures and distributes brands such as Cadbury’s Dairy Milk and Tang). Trident was launched in the US in 1964, and is now considered a leader in several markets. It is available in more than 70 countries around the world, and known by various names, including Beldent in Argentina, First in Turkey, Hollywood in France, Dirol in Russia and Stomirol in many European and African countries.
Trident was launched in mid-September in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. According to Usman Muneer, Managing Director, Mondeléz Pakistan, the brand aims to “tap into the adult chewing gum market,” (another sub-category within the chewing gum category). He adds that the company aims to develop the habit of “chewing gum for pleasure among adults and young people over 15” and in the process, develop this sub-category.
According to Muneer, unlike most other local brands (such as Hilal, Mayfair and Giggly’s) which target children, Mondeléz has positioned Trident as a tasty and healthy gum for adults that “refreshes both the palate and the mind”. This is the message that has been communicated through an ATL campaign by JWT Pakistan.
Based on Mondeléz’s internal findings, in most markets, 70 to 80% of chewing gum sales take place at a cash counter. “In short, you see gum, you buy gum.”
The TVC was aired on most mainstream channels and in Muneer’s opinion effectively communicates the message that Trident “refreshes the mind”. In his view the treatment is “unconventional” an approach that was necessary to counter the clutter that is always prevalent today. “A regular song and dance ad would not have sufficed.”
While there has been an emphasis on ATL, BTL activities have been very much part of the overall media mix, in the form of in-store promotions, sampling drives at offices and Local Modern Trade (LMT) stores in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. Mondeléz have also placed branded stands at the cash counters of supermarkets and LMT stores and the reason for this says Muneer is that based on Mondeléz’s internal findings, in most markets, 70 to 80% of chewing gum sales take place at a cash counter. “In short, you see gum, you buy gum,” he says.
To make sure that the product was consistently available at cash counters across the three cities, Mondeléz’s existing distribution systems (for Cadburys and Tang) were put into play and proved to be effective; especially when it came to fulfilling repeat orders. Muneer views this as an encouragement that the product has been well received. However, he admits that it may be more of a challenge to establish and increase penetration of Trident in smaller cities and towns across Pakistan as chewing gum is not a common product there.
Trident is available in four flavours; two mint variants – spearmint and peppermint – and the rest are fruit-based: strawberry and watermelon. A five-piece packet retails at Rs 25, although a ‘trial pack’ containing one piece (priced at five rupees) has also been made available in order to increase market penetration. While Trident is more expensive than local chewing gums such as Hilal’s Ding Dong and Fresh Up which are priced at two rupees per piece, Muneer is unconcerned.
“We are operating in a different sub-category – adult chewing gum; local companies sell bubble gums and centre-filled gums, so price competition is irrelevant to us.”
Also worth noting here is that Trident is less expensive compared to international brands such as Wrigley’s, Mentos and Extra which are usually priced between Rs 75 to 100 per pack.
In terms of the international brands, Muneer believes Trident may have an edge as the packaging carries “the highest Halal certification seal” from Egypt and Turkey, where it is manufactured.
Looking forward, Muneer says “Trident is here to stay. We have just scratched the surface of the Pakistani market; the chewing gum market has huge unrealised potential.”