Dentyne is delivering a new weapon in the fight against bad breath to Walmart stores this weekend.
On Saturday, shoppers at the nation's largest big-box retailer will be treated to samples of sugarless Dentyne Pure, which claims to "neutralize" -- not just cover up -- bad breath.
Unlike other breath-freshening gums, new Dentyne Pure contains a proprietary mix of ingredients that actually "purifies" bad breath, or so Dentyne says. (The Cadbury brand is now a part of Kraft Foods, following the latter's acquisition of the confectionery giant earlier this year.)
The gum, which sells for $1.29 per pack, began showing up on shelves in March, and Dentyne is launching the sampling initiative, along with digital executions, this month. Television ads, via McCann Erickson, went up on Facebook last month and as part of the brand's "Practice safe breath" campaign.
One 15-second spot opens with the statistic: "The average person will spend 20,000 minutes kissing. Now there's a gum for the other 40 million minutes," the voiceover says, while showing footage of gum chewers in office, gym and
The launch is part of the brand's strategy to tap into the chewing gum category's No. 1 need -- delivering on fresh breath -- while attempting to jump-start a mature and slow-growing category. Sales of sugarless gum grew 7 percent from 2007-09; last year, the category tallied $1 billion in U.S. sales across the food, drug and mass channels, excluding Walmart, per market research firm Mintel.
Gary Osifchin, marketing director for both Dentyne and Stride gums, equates the new product to the differences between perfume and an air freshener. New Dentyne Pure "purifies and neutralizes [bad odors] caused by food. It actually takes away bad breath odors instead of covering them up," he said.
One can also argue that other Dentyne brands and some rivals do the same. But Osifchin said NeutraFresh -- as the gum's secret ingredient blend is called -- is a "first to market" technology that other brands don't have. (In 2008, Wrigley, however, marketed a form of Eclipse containing magnolia bark extract. Though the use of the latter drew concern from some critics, who questioned whether it was safe, Wrigley maintains magnolia bark extract "helps kill the germs that cause bad breath.")
Nor is the target consumer the same as other Dentyne products. Dentyne Ice, for instance, is all about the level of "intensity" consumers desire when chewing gum for fresh breath. Whereas that product is aimed at gum chewers requiring a burst of freshness in "high-risk" situations, such as when zoning in for one's first kiss, Dentyne Pure helps provide an extra dose of "confidence" in a wide range of social situations.
Dentyne commissioned a study that found 20-something office workers are "struggling to keep up their confidence." Forty-seven percent of respondents said bad breath takes a toll on their self-confidence.
The top office taboo, per Dentyne's survey, is to tell one's boss about his/her bad breath. Eighty-four percent said they'd "sooner tell a boss about an error they made in a big meeting than inform them about their undesirable breath."
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