Kraft Takes on Wrigley's 5 With Trident Vitality Gum

Line Touted as 'Delicious Piece of Well-Being'

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CHICAGO ( --The gum that pioneered oral health for chewers now wants to give them a dose of vitamin C.

Trident, owned by Kraft Foods' Cadbury unit, is rolling out a new gum lineup called Trident Vitality that includes a flavor called Vigorate, described as a "burst of citrus and strawberry" with one piece containing "10% of the daily value of vitamin C." The gum line, which will be introduced early next year with a significant national ad campaign, also includes Rejuve, a blend of mint and white tea, as well as Awaken, a peppermint flavor with a "dash of ginseng."

With its vague, hip-sounding names and sleek packaging, the gum appears to seek the same emotional connections marketed by competitor Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co, owned by Mars Inc., whose 5 brand is sold in black-colored packs with varieties such as React, Zing and Flare. Introduced three years ago, 5 shot up the sales charts, commanding a 13.1% sugarless gum market share as of Oct. 3, putting it within striking distance of the main Trident brand, which is the No. 2 brand with a 13.14% share, according to SymphonyIRI.

But as opposed to Wrigley, Kraft is incorporating health into its marketing, saying the gum adds a "little piece of delicious well-being." Also, the pellet-size gum, which comes in a box that "clicks" when opened or closed, is aimed at a slightly older demographic than 5, with the targeted audience being people in their 20s and 30s who are into wellness.

"One thing we found is that as people age, the gum flavors may be less relevant with their lifestyle," said Kraft spokesman Basil Maglaris. "This is an opportunity that we saw [to be] relevant with consumers in the 25 to 34 age range."

Vitality will be promoted in TV and print ads, by WPP's JWT, New York, which is Trident's roster agency. Kraft gave the digital work to Noise, an indie shop with offices in New York and San Francisco.*

Using gum to deliver vitamins has "been explored before but to my knowledge has not achieved any notable commercial success," Bill Patterson, an analyst with market researcher Mintel, said in an email. To date consumers have not been "ready to make the jump, and there has been concern from the manufacturers' perspective regarding moving from 'simple functional' -- [like] oral health benefits/fresh breath -- to more 'complex functional,' such as [vitamin/mineral] medication delivery."

Trident, which still touts the gum as being "recommended by four out of five dentists," pioneered oral health in the 1960s when it began clinical testing that it says proved people who chewed the gum experienced fewer cavities.

But don't look for Kraft to make quite the same push on vitamin C. The message will focus "more on the experience associated with the gum," said Mr. Maglaris, emphasizing that only one variety has the vitamin.

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misidentified the digital agency working on Trident Vitality as Noise with offices in Wisconsin and Florida. The agency that got the work is Noise with offices in New York and San Francisco, which is not affiliated with the other Noise.

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