Only 62% of gum purchases are planned, so it is crucial you make the category as impulsive as possible.Toby Hill looks at three ways you can grow your gum sales.

Stock the right range

There are several key trends that you need to keep in mind when fine-tuning your mints and gums range.

Bottle formats are continuing to grow in popularity, so you should make sure you are giving these products enough space. Alison Owen, Wrigley refresh portfolio director, says: “The trend towards shoppers snacking at work and on the go is key to this performance.”

Wrigley has launched £2 price-marked packs for its 46-pellet Peppermint and Spearmint gum bottles to help retailers offer better value.

Another trend is oral care, which has become more of a priority for health-conscious shoppers in recent years.

Mark Roberts, Perfetti Van Melle trade marketing manager, says: “Sugar-free lines account for 16.6% of mints and have grown by 3.5% during the past year.” Brands such as Smint and Mentos enable retailers to meet the demand for sugar-free mints and 97% of Wrigley’s gum sales aresugar-free.

You should use your EPoS data to work out what your bestselling products are and remove slower lines. Adeil Hussain, owner of One Stop Motherwell in North Lanarkshire, says: “An optimal range is a smaller selection of bestsellers.

Incorporating too many lines just splits sales, and increases time and money spent on stock management.”

Make displays stand out

Creating an impactful display is the best way that you can make sure your mints & gums are noticed by your shoppers.

“Gum is an impulse line, so you have to have it on the counter,” says Carl Pickering, owner of Top Shop News in Hesketh Bank, Lancashire.

Susan Nash, trade communications manager at Mondelez International, says the key to success in selling mints is visibility. “Use manufacturers’ PoS to ensure products stand out. They should be neatly merchandised to help the shopper select what they are looking for,” she adds.

Gum displays are very space efficient – a typical Wrigley counter display can hold 608 packs. But there are still some important decisions that need to be made about what to fill them with.

“Retailers need to prioritise space,” says Perfetti Van Melle’s Mark Roberts. “It’s crucial to offer a choice of sugar-based and sugar-free mints and gum. It’s a crowded market, so highlight new products with PoS.”

If retailers can get all this right, however, then the rewards can be high. Pickering says: “I don’t price-mark gum and make excellent margins. People don’t even look at the price – they just grab it from the fixture and go.”

Add secondary sitings

Once you have your counter display working well, you should aim to further drive sales with secondary sitings.

“We recommend that mints, where space allows, are sited in at least two locations: on the main confectionery fixture and in the area around the counter,” says Mondelez’s Susan Nash.

Leicestershire retailer Kamal Sisodia says mints should be clearly merchandised on the confectionery fixture so it is easy to shop. “I start with the extra-strong mints on the edge of the fixture, going through to menthol sweets and finally softer mints, so it gradually blends into the rest of the confectionery,” he says.

Retailers should consider siting gum on the dental fixture, where consumers can pick up sugar-free gum to help with their oral care routine.

“We’re drinking more coffee than ever before, and there is definitely a role here for mints and gums, because people will always want fresh breath,” says Perfetti Van Melle’s Mark Roberts. If you have a coffee machine, you should introduce a gum display next to it, too.

Read about how retailers improved their gum sales in 6 weeks