Trends & Insights

BREAKING THROUGH - HOW ICE BREAKERS IS ADDING SPARKLE TO YOUR SWAGGER

Nathan Johnson
The Hershey Company

What does “breaking through” mean? For Ice Breakers, it not only means giving consumers the boost they need to confidently crush it every day, but to also challenge the notion of “first.” As an innovation leader in the gum and mints category, we took ICE CUBES gum to the next level in creating a first-of-its-kind product for the brand.

 

Ice Breakers ICE CUBES gum is leading the gum category in growth, more than doubling the growth of the next largest growing brand over the last five years¹. The ICE CUBES bottle packs are also number one in total sales and sales velocity, making the brand a leader in the gum category². To continue category leadership, we worked with our exceptional cross-functional partners to create a product that would give our consumers the extra swagger, flair and perhaps “sparkle” they were looking for.  

 

So, what did we do? We added glitter. Yes, GLITTER!

 

But hold on. It’s not that easy to just “add glitter” to our iconic cubed gum. First, we had to figure out a few things:

 

  • How could we make sure this trend would resonate with our consumers?
  • How do we make a glitter gum that not only sparkles and shines, but is actually enjoyed?
  • Last, but certainly not least, what flavor would perfectly pair with this first-of-its-kind Ice Breakers product?

 

Why glitter?

If you haven’t heard, 2018 has been declared “the year of glitter,” and people are going crazy for that extra bit of sparkle and pizazz in their favorite items. From glitter cakes and pizza, to glitter beer and lattes, sparkle is popping up all over the place. Given the Ice Breakers brand’s overall campaign and connection to unicorns, it seemed like a match made in heaven – just think back to the way the Unicorn Frappuccino captivated the nation.

 

Bringing the shine to life

We began brainstorming with our partners in R&D in mid-2017, and our first question was, “is this even possible?” We needed to ensure our gum was glittery but maintained a great taste and provided an exciting experience for consumers.

 

After much experimentation, we chose to use fine edible glitter that provides just the right amount of sparkle as it catches the light and gives our ICE CUBES a shimmery coating. 

 

With the tenacity and problem-solving expertise of our R&D and Operations teams, we successfully developed an approved process for producing and packing new Ice Breakers Glitter Gum.

 

The taste of summer

Finally, we needed a flavor; a flavor that paired perfectly with glitter and linked to when our new Ice Breakers Glitter Gum would be released nationwide – Summer!  We landed on the of flavor of a quintessential summertime treat – Cherry Snow Cone.  Just like the sparkle and shine of glitter, the image of a delicious snow cone under the rays of the sun glisten with every bite, transporting you back to an iconic summer afternoon.

 

As we gear up for launch, I couldn’t be more proud of the full team who embodied the unicorn spirit of confidence to break through and bring Ice Breakers Glitter Gum to life. This first-of-its-kind innovation from the brand captures an on-point trend perfectly executed by the trailblazer of the gum category.

 

Ice Breakers ICE CUBES Glitter Gum Summer Snow Cone will begin glistening shelves nationwide for a limited time only, so be sure to grab some sparkle and shine in a bottle before it’s too late!

 

 

  • Source: IRI; MULO+C 52 W/E 12/31/17 vs 52 W/E 1/6/13
  • Source: IRI; MULO+C 52 W/E 3/25/18