Wrigley's To Introduce New "Slim Pack" Gum Packaging With Two Fewer Sticks, Same Price

Sometime soon Wrigley’s will start promoting its new Slim Pack packaging in select markets, and nationwide by 2009. It’s slimmer! It’s easier to carry! And it’s got 15 sticks instead of 17—for the same price! A Wrigley’s vice president told Brandweek that consumers wouldn’t care that they’re getting less product: “To them the value goes up because they’re getting a better tasting product in a better package.” Ha ha consumers sure are stupid, aren’t they, VP of Wrigley’s?

Okay, so it’s not like more expensive gum causes cancer or anything, but we thought you’d like to know why Wrigley’s is bragging about their new packaging in the near future. From Brandweek:

When asked if the package shrink would turn consumers off to the product, Paul Chibe, Wrigley’s vp North American consumer market-gum, said consumers wouldn’t care if they were getting 15 sticks of gum instead of 17 sticks. “To them the value goes up because they’re getting a better tasting product in a better package. Price is not the way the consumer is looking at this,” he said.
 
Brian Morgan, senior research analyst at Euromonitor, Chicago, concurred: “[Package shrink] is the strategy that has been used in many categories to accomplish a price increase without consumers really noticing or to smooth over the negative reaction.”
 
Morgan added that, in the gum category more so than in other categories, consumers would likely respond positively to slimmer packaging: “Packaging innovations like that do make a difference, independent of what that does to the price.”
 
Though the new packaging is, in effect, a price increase, Wrigley is hailing it as a packaging breakthrough. “Consumers like the fact that [the envelope] is slim, sleek; it feels very contemporary,” said Chibe.

Hmm… maybe consumers are kind of stupid.
 
“Chew on This: Less Gum, Same Price” [Brand Week]

Comments

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  1. ds143 says:

    smaller packaging? same price? where can I buy one????!?!????!?!?

  2. legwork says:

    I actually like it when companies take this strategy with non-essential products. It cut my ice-cream consumption damn close to zero.

  3. Lin-Z [linguist on duty] says:

    I wouldn’t really call putting less gum in a package an “innovation.” But hey, I’m also not running a corporation so, what do i know?

  4. Wayfaerer says:

    I can rest easy now that someone has addressed the gum packaging crisis. Thanks Wrigley’s!

  5. ratnerstar says:

    If Wrigley’s was charging more for the same amount of gum, we’d all (very correctly) chalk it up to inflation and go on with our lives. How is this any different?

    I mean, yeah, it sucks and all, but railing against well-understood macroeconomic forces seems futile.

  6. Well, considering what they did with the Cubs back in the days when Wrigley owned the team, and the fans kept coming to the ballpark year after year, I’d say they’re onto something.

  7. dripdrop says:

    I’m not trying to be snarky or anything, but I didn’t think people chewed Wrigley’s anymore. There are so many better gums to chew nowadays.

  8. frankadelic says:

    One of the things that continually bugs me about working in customer service is trying to tell people bad things and make them seem good. I’d be more likely to continue buying Wrigley gum if they just said that they’re removing two sticks of gum from each pack but keeping the price the same because it’s costing more for them to produce their gum or whatever.

  9. NoWin says:

    I wonder how ol’ man Wrigley would have dealt with cost/production issues like this. People like him, Barnum, Hughes, and Hearst were of different mindsets, to be sure.

  10. Parting says:

    If it’s REALLY better tasting, then people won’t mind. However, if it tastes the same…

  11. petrarch1608 says:

    maybe they’re doing this to help pay for the wrigley field name

  12. ptkdude says:

    @Lin-Z: I took a different route to work today. Does that count as “innovation”?

  13. brendanm14 says:

    the packaging will be the same as their “5” gum. Therefore they should be saving money?

    Pringles a couple of years ago did the same thing, changed cans, less chips, same price.

  14. backbroken says:

    If fewer is better, then by definition, 0 is the best of all. Woo Hoo! I’m really enjoying not buying Wrigley’s now!!

  15. BugMeNot2 says:

    But are they taking this seriously?

  16. Juggernaut says:

    We’re tired of you now rename the damn field already!!

  17. youbastid says:

    Hmm, are the 5-stick packs still 25 cents or are those days long gone? If so, you could just buy three of those for .75 and still win (over the $1.09 for the big pack). Course, you’ll incur the wrath of the area teenagers: “Hey old man, we don’t need your oppressively large packs of gum!”

  18. SudsMN says:

    How does the new packaging make it taste better?

  19. Black Bellamy says:

    Did anyone pick up on the claim that it’s now “a better tasting product”?

    How is it better tasting, Mr. Chibe? It tastes better because now there is less of it?

    Perhaps the Consumerist can investigate.

  20. Black Bellamy says:

    goddamnit slow typing sudsmn scooped me on the taste angle

  21. cerbie says:

    Better tasting? Huh? This is Wrigley’s, who recently put fake sweetener into their gums that didn’t used to have them. Nope, not better.

    They are awfully proud of themselves for doing what everyone else has already done. The 13oz coffee can, FI…

  22. formatc says:

    I buy Glee Gum. Real sugar, real flavor, real gum.

  23. formatc says:

    @formatc: At some point I’ll remember to include the http and/or check my links. Glee Gum

  24. MBZ321 says:

    Well either the price is gonna go up or the amount of gum will decrease…either way we all pay in the end. The price of other Wrigley’s gum has also gone up…a 10-pack (10 packs with 5 each) used to be 1.69 or so, but has gone up almost 20 cents within the past few months. Good thing for gum coupons and ebay.

  25. savvy9999 says:

    Last time I bought a pack of Wrigley’s it was sold only in 5-packs… for 10¢.

    I don’t chew gum, haven’t for years, so someone enlighten me… when did it go to 17 per pack? And how much does a pack cost, over a dollar?

    Good grief, has nothing succumbed to the bigger=better notion? Houses, SUVs, boobs, packs of gum, portions at restaurants… it is/was unsustainable. We are over the crest, and now in the slide of a sensible pullback. Cars are getting smaller (and more efficient), cereal boxes are getting smaller, gum is getting smaller.

    One would wish that prices would also decrease, but there’s probably a law against that.

  26. nffcnnr says:

    Trendy.

  27. PlanetExpressdelivery says:

    I fully understand that cost-cutting measures are needed. However, don’t give use the song and dance routine showing how we are better off paying more for less.

  28. Soldier_CLE says that Hideo Kojima has to make MGS till the day he dies! says:

    I’m another guy who is REALLY suprised that anyone still chews Wrigley’s Gum, let alone gum in general.

    I mean, mints are commonplace around where I’m at, and the occasional tic tac comes in handy… But Wrigley’s Gum?

    I haven’t even thought of chewing it for years, but with news like this, I have no problem keeping Wrigley’s Gum as an afterthought.

  29. warf0x0r says:

    @Soldier_CLE: It’s the only gum that doesn’t have sorbitol in it that I can find.

  30. econobiker says:

    The coffee companies have been doing this for 20 years- 16oz morphed into 13oz. I remember it during the late 1980’s because I had to stock shelves when they converted over and it was a pain as the cans didn’t match…

  31. jook says:

    …because, really, normal gum packages are SO big to begin with…

  32. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    @Steaming Pile:
    Wrigley’s gum never had anything to do with the Cubs ownership.
    William Wrigley Jr. who started the gum company bought the Cubs & Weeghman Park with the money he made from the gum. He renamed the place after himself, the gum company was already named after him, he was a true egomaniac. His son, Phil Wrigley inherited the Cubs. His heirs sold the team & field to the Tribune Co. for $21 million in the 80s.
    Now that scumbag Sam Zell wants to screw us Illinois taxpayers by selling Wrigley field to the state & the Cubs to buddies of his.

  33. SOhp101 says:

    @dripdrop: Wrigley makes Orbit and that’s definitely one of the more popular new gum brands out there. I think they also make the “5” gum too.

    @youbastid: They’re 30 cents now per pack… happened a few years ago.

  34. youbastid says:

    @SOhp101: That’s still good, if the 15 pack goes for 1.09, and 3 five packs go for .90.

  35. sleepydumbdude says:

    I used to get those cheap budding meat packs for sandwiches at work. Now they are called lean packs or something and have maybe half the amount of meat for the same price. Don’t bother with it now because I might get the deli meat for a few cents more.

  36. God forbid someone carries a regular pack of gum that’s 1 inch thick and 3 inches long in their pocket/purse/bookbag without chaffing or what ever inconvenience a regular pack of gum causes. Instead they’ll have a pack that’s not even 1/4 of an inch thinner and just AS long as the original pack but for the same price. I guess buying something that’s thinner for an outrageous price is what’s in nowadays. Your move mac users.

  37. multiplyfunction says:

    “The Slim Pack is a response to space management woes of retailers that have seen their shelves gummed up with new products and brand extensions. Chibe said the Slim Pack potentially could improve retail display profitability per linear inch by 33%.”

    This Slim Pack seems to be the perfect solution to end my retail woes, just 2 questions:

    1. What causes these new products and brand extensions to just suddenly appear, like weeds? (precious display space don’t come cheap!)

    2. How does one prevent this from happening in the future? (it’s all about squeezing every last cent out of each linear inch)