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August 14, 2005

Business News: Wrigley has 60% of chewing gum market in China

From Asia Times Online:

A billion jaws chewing
By Todd Crowell
August 13, 2005

The Guangdong Fanyu Candy Co, the once-prosperous maker of Yiqing chewing gum and Dada bubble gum, folded its operations in 2002. Why? Because the company could not compete with the famous gum that comes in the little green package. Since 2000, the Wm Wrigley Jr Co, the world's largest maker and marketer of chewing gum, has quietly become the dominant player in the Chinese market.

It may be that no other American product, save perhaps Coca-Cola, is as widely available and ubiquitous in China as Doublemint gum. The company has extended its reach into almost every corner of the country. In fact, Wrigley has probably the widest distribution and sales network of any food manufacturing and consumer packaging company in China, with a staggering one million sales outlets - 30,000 in Shanghai alone. Wrigley's share of China's chewing gum market is an astounding 60%. Although the company has competitors - primarily South Korea's Lotte and Italian company Perfetti Van Melle - no other gum company, foreign or domestic, comes close to Wrigley's market share or sales volume.

Since 1999, China has become Wrigley's second-largest market, behind only the United States. If ever there was an American company that has actually cashed in on the mythic slogan, "if every one of China's billion people bought just one ... ", it is Wrigley's. As a matter of fact, they buy more than one: Chinese, on average, buy 10 sticks of gum a year. That's far behind the American average of 160 or Taiwan's 70-80. But with China's population five times that of the US, there is plenty of room for growth.

LINK to rest of article

Posted by Becky at August 14, 2005 4:34 PM Posted to International