Initially, we launched this design project when we realized we had a significant growth opportunity in the global mints market. A surprisingly large portion of overall gum and mint sales were from mints with 2/3 of those sales at an opening price point of under $1. We confirmed that due to our under penetration in the market, a new offering in this area would provide organic, incremental growth.
The mint market has been evolving in the recent years with new brands, new pack and product forms and new premium offerings. We have seen a resurgence of mint use and even conversion of non-users into the category. It was important for us to take our share of the market growth and produce a quick-to-market solution to do so.
To gain a deep understanding of user needs, we employed a number of research methodologies. Starting with past research, we set a baseline of consumer behavior in the mint category. We continued by probing today’s consumers to learn more about changes in user needs. Through interviews and in-home ethnographic observation, we ensured that our consumer profile was up-to-date and solidified the needs we had to solve for with our new design. It was essential that pack be portable and thin with the ability to discreetly deliver mints.
From a manufacturing standpoint, we pushed the limits to overcome past barriers that contained our design scope. Working closely with a broad cross-functional team, we determined what changes were not viable and where we could innovate. Using the information gathered from our packaging, product development, engineering, supply chain, operations, finance, safety and legal teams, we agreed on design guardrails and overall necessities to deliver a successful offering from both a consumer and business standpoint.
Through our iterative design process, we explored a number of different materials for the pack. Initially, we tested metal but ended up moving forward with a plastic pack. We mixed different resins and other materials to find an optimum blend all the while ensuring that our final design fit into the existing recyclable bottle stream.
In coordination with our product design team, we created a new pressed mint for our pack. Because the pack structure is brand agnostic, the branded mint allows us to further differentiate brand experiences while using the same pack. The pack and product were used to determine an efficient fill method taking full advantage of manufacturing efficiencies.
In 2016, the new pack was launched in China and India under the Doublemint® brand. In those regions, the Doublemint® brand is trusted and respected and was an appropriate vehicle to deliver our new offering. This year, we plan to launch under the Eclipse® brand in additional regions. Initial sales have been very positive proving that our design is successfully delivering on our initial goal of gaining incremental sales while delivering a strong Wrigley brand experience.