P&G and Wrigley to Chew On Orthodontic Gum Market

07 August 2001

Procter & Gamble and the William W Wrigley Junior Company today unveil an alliance intended to develop a new range of Crest chewing gums.

The marketing rationale is that consumers want to clean their teeth as they chomp. Less gestaltistically, the duo also hope it will stimulate Wrigley’s flagging gum sales.

The concept of extending the Crest oral care portfolio is attractive to P&G, not least because it is anxious to regain ground lost to Colgate Palmolive since 1998 when it was relegated to second place in America’s toothpaste market. In like vein, Wrigley is eager to add health and nutritional benefits to its gum, beyond the increasingly stale proposition of fresh breath.

In essence the deal is a straight licensing agreement. Neither party would talk numbers, although two loquacious insiders claim the partnership could be worth more than $100 million yearly.

Using P&G’s oral health care technology, Wrigley will manufacture and distribute the gum – except for drugstore outlets where its partner wields greater sales muscle. The first products are expected hit the retail markets next year.

In what must rank as the year’s most cryptic marketing aphorism (even for P&G), vp for global oral care Michael Kehoe opined: “We know consumers are interested in being unchained from the sink.”

News source: New York Times