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Wrigley's Orbit: A Brief History

Question:

Discuss about the Marketing Design and Product Development.

Innovation can be defined as a continuous process, which is implemented in organizational practices to increase the product line and to inspire customer’s perception either in an existing or a new market (Anderson, Poto?nik and Zhou 2014). Market performance is measured through various parameters such as varying nature of market shares, profitability venture, increasing or decreasing the number of customer base and a fluctuating behavior of sales & revenues (Ketkar et al. 2012). Innovation is strongly related to market performance. It really impacts the behavior of market performance; however, the impact could be both positive and negative. When innovation brings a new product or a new service it may or may not be successful. Moreover, the market performance may produce a positive or a negative result as well (Lin, Tan and Geng 2013). The study is aimed at understanding market trends that produce innovation in the market. The purpose is being served by giving the example of Wrigley's Orbit in UK.

They have started as a small business with just a small office in London. After 100 years they have now become the biggest sellers of gum in UK. A whopping figure of more than 725 million packs is being sold each year (Wrigley.com 2017). They are aimed at delivering a pleasant experience with what they need in the form of a gum. To offer tasty gum to masses has always remained as one of their core objectives. In Britain, above 22 million people use to chew gum on a regular basis for different reasons like keeping the breath fresh and a feeling of clean teeth (Wrigley.com 2017).

The objective served with the launch of Wrigley’s Orbit in 1899 in UK was to capture the perception of customers those who have their habit to use chew gum to either keep their breath fresh or to feel clean teeth.

Wrigley’s Orbit was launched in UK in 1899. They at that time had followed a traditional approach towards the chew gum. They had then introduced it to support the trend, which was to get a long-stick experience with the gum. They had later changed it to match several other trends such as sugar free. They had kept the same trend following till they started innovating with the products and had followed the same way as had been incorporated by the United States in 2001 (Wrigley.com 2017). Following are the description of trends that have kept on encouraging Wrigley in respective years:

Innovative Strategies Driving Wrigley's Success

Wrigley had introduced Orbit in 1899 in the United Kingdom. At that time, they had followed the long-sticky trend, which means customers will be able to get long-lasting taste of flavor. People at that time were using gum mostly to satisfy their habits (Wrigley.com 2017).

Wrigley had sensed the rising trend for a healthy chew gum and had introduced sugar free Orbit in 1977 for the first time ever in history. The move was to get appreciation from the British Dental Health Foundation. Wrigley had received the desired success as sugar free Orbit was recommended from the British Dental Health Foundation (Wrigley.com 2017). The foundation had at that time identified various benefits of sugar free Orbit. Following are the few benefits (Wrigley.com 2017):

  • Helps to neutralize plaque acids
  • Help to balance the amount of plaque pH
  • Provides protection against tooth enamel that cause early damage of tooth
  • Maintains the mineralization level in tooth
  • Supports the rebuilding of tooth enamel

Bowel movements were one of the biggest benefits that Wrigley’s Orbit had provided. It is indeed helpful for a post-surgery time. Patients are not allowed to drink or eat anything for few days once they have undergone the surgery. The case becomes much critical when it is related with the bowel surgery. Customers may be needed to stretch a little further with their habit to stay away from any kind of food and drink after a bowel surgery. Wrigley’s Orbit was launched to support such cases as it is also advisable to stay with the chew gum only (Wrigley.com 2017).

Wrigley had launched Orbit White in 2002 to compete against the Trident White gum of Cadbury Adams. The product was launched sensing the trend for white teeth. The trend to keep teeth clean had picked up speed then. Orbit White was launched to take the benefits of the trend and continue impressing the customers in UK (Wrigley.com 2017).

Different ingredients have been used in different years. They had used mints and flavors in 1899 with their entry in UK (Wrigley.com 2017). They had supported a long-lasting quality, which will keep taste and flavors to last longer. Moreover, the chewing gum will last longer. The strategy had worked and they continued on piling up products after products following the different trends in respective years. They after a long time had adopted a different strategy in 1977 to make Orbit sugar free. They had used even less than 1% of Sugar Alcohol to manufacture sugar-free Orbit (Wrigley.com 2017). This was appreciated also as they were able to get certificates from British Dental Health Foundation. Key ingredients in Orbit White is Sodium Bicarbonate and Titanium Dioxide. Titanium Dioxide helps to remove the stain by bringing an increased abrasiveness in gum. Sodium Bicarbonate acts as a mild abrasive and is helpful in bettering the overall abrasiveness in gum (Shah and Mehta 2014).

Maslow Hierarchy of Needs and Wrigley's Orbit

 Wrigley is using innovative strategies to produce different products of Orbit to suit the different trends. The launch of the first Orbit has had happened in 1899. At that time, the product was aimed at providing long-lasting flavor to support long-sticky trend (Karami Nogourani et al. 2012). They had smartly adjusted to the changing trend close to 1977 and had introduced the sugar-free Orbit to provide health benefits. The move was also supported by the British Dental Health Foundation, which is not less than a feat (Wrigley.com 2017). Additionally, it had also supported the bowel movements. The sugar-free Orbit is useful to those who have undergone surgeries. They are for few days advised not to take any kind of food and drink. Restrictions are much higher with the bowel surgery as patients with the surgery are advised to be protective for a comparatively longer period of time (Wrigley.com 2017). The introduction of Orbit White in 2002 was to support the rising trend for keeping teeth clean (Wrigley.com 2017).  

Types of products

Year

Key Ingredients           

Long-Sticky Gum

1899

·       Sorbitol

·       Aspartame

·       More added ingredients

Sugar-Free Orbit Gum

1977

·       Sorbitol

·       Maltitol

·       Artificial & Natural Flavors

·       Aspartame

·       Titanium Dioxide

·       Sodium Bicarbonate

·       Carnauba Wax

Orbit White Gum

2002

·       Titanium Dioxide

·       Sodium Bicarbonate

·       They were used as added ingredients

Table 1: Orbit Products & its Key Ingredients

(Source: Shah and Mehta 2014)

Wrigley's Orbit has been quite a successful year after year ever since 1899. They have kept on innovating with products to present an appropriate product in terms of respective consumer trends. They started their operation in UK with long-lasting gum to support the long-sticky trend in UK. They produced Orbit Sugar-Free to in 1977 to support those who are conscious of health and are forced to rely on gum post surgery. The product got approval from the British Dental Health Foundation. In 2002, it came up with Orbit White to suit the trend of keeping the teeth clean (Wrigley.com 2017).

The innovativeness that has helped Wrigley to influence the customers can well be understood with the help of few models. Wrigley’s Orbit has now been merged with Wrigley’s Extra in 2015 and is now known as Extra in UK. The merger had again proved the innovativeness in Wrigley (Lee et al. 2017). According to Maslow Hierarchy of Needs theory, Wrigley takes the extra step to influence customers. They in line to the model take attempts to satisfy the physiological needs of customers. People in UK are more concerned with health benefits (Foot et al. 2014). The change from Orbit to Extra was influencing as it can help to enhance the confidence and reduce the anxiety & pressure. This fulfills the safety needs (Lee et al. 2017). This is also effective in social needs. It helps to remove badly breathe, which is necessary while communicating with others. This fulfills the love/belonging needs (Lee et al. 2017). Wrigley's Orbit currently known as Extra has its customers mostly in the high-income group. This represents the self-esteem needs as it highlights the status quo of an individual that enables for purchasing the product (Lee et al. 2017). Self-actualization is also met as Wrigley’s Extra gives refreshing breath and a feeling of increased confidence (Lee et al. 2017). 

Product Anatomy of Wrigley's Orbit

Product anatomy is important while planning a new product (Van Oorschot et al. 2013). Wrigley has always been careful with the product anatomy. They have introduced different types of Orbit to suit the different trends. The core product of Wrigley's Orbit (Extra) is its Sugar-Free. The product did not only match the rising trend for healthy products but it had also supplied some benefits. Few of its benefits include strengthens teeth, cleans food debris, stains and prevents tooth decay. Its generic products come in different flavors like peppermint, lemon-lime, strawberry, watermelon, bubble mint and others. Such products stimulate saliva, which helps to keep breath refreshed. Wrigley’s Orbit (Extra) is available in different types of packaging, which is its augmented product. The packaging is available in 14 pieces, the multipack of 28 & 42 pieces, 10 pieces single pack, and a bottle of 46 pieces (Lee et al. 2017).

Wrigley has kept on using innovative strategies in respective years. The year when they entered Britain with Orbit was aimed at providing the long-lasting effect on customers. This was a suitable product in relation to the trend in 1899. They kept on innovating with their product line. This has been a core feature of Wrigley. The innovation has encouraged the company to introduce a Sugar-Free Orbit in 1977 (Wrigley.com 2017). They were smarter again to read the trend. The trend was shifting much towards products that can provide high values to health. The approval from the British Dental Health Foundation as a product to provide relief to patients posts their surgeries or in particular the bowel surgery was a significant feat. They were innovative again as they had come up with Orbit White in 2002. The feat was to compete against the Trident White gum. The product carried with it the benefit to provide a feeling of clean and white teeth (Wrigley.com 2017).

Wrigley has continued to incept innovative ideas to bring a new product, which is the most appropriate with the existing trend. They changed Orbit to Extra in 2015 with a purpose to serve much more health benefits. They step was in support of the increased awareness towards health consciousness (Lee et al. 2017). Balanced scorecard will be helpful to understand the impact of Extra in UK. They have taken help of the learning & growth perspective to increase its customer base. Extra was offered with improved packaging and taste. Hence, it has helped to increase the market shares significantly. Customers are satisfied with its sugar-free attribute and the oral care positioning (Lee et al. 2017).

Conclusion

The business process perspective is met with extensive market research that has been done for the product. Real sugar has been used while keeping no artificial colors added to it. This strategy has helped to increase the sales from 8.6% to 9.3% (Claxton, Taylor and Kay 2016). It just shows how capable is the procurement and distribution capability of Wrigley's Orbit (Extra). It also serves the customer perspective of the balanced scorecard. It is suitable for all age group. It can be chewed after food to keep the breath refreshed. It is available in different packets size and tastes. It targets oral care of elderly people and the children (Claxton, Taylor and Kay 2016). The financial perspective of the balanced scorecard is served with its huge sales. The company is expected to reach close to an approximate 89% market shares. The growth is almost around one-third of the overall market shares (Claxton, Taylor and Kay 2016). The sales figures are dominating with approximately 71% (Claxton, Taylor and Kay 2016). 

Conclusion:

To conclude, Wrigley’s Orbit (Extra) has been successful ever since its inception in 1899 in UK. The product has come up with different names to serve a different purpose; however, it was well received every time by the UK customers. The use of innovative strategies has enabled them to match the different trends in respective years.

References:

Anderson, N., Poto?nik, K. and Zhou, J., 2014. Innovation and creativity in organizations: A state-of-the-science review, prospective commentary, and guiding framework. Journal of Management, 40(5), pp.1297-1333.

Claxton, L., Taylor, M. and Kay, E., 2016. Oral health promotion: the economic benefits to the NHS of increased use of sugarfree gum in the UK. British dental journal, 220(3), pp.121-147.

Foot, C., Gilburt, H., Dunn, P., Jabbal, J., Seale, B., Goodrich, J., Buck, D. and Taylor, J., 2014. People in control of their own health and care. King’s Fund.

Karami Nogourani, M., Janghorbani, M., Kowsari Isfahan, R. and Hosseini Beheshti, M., 2012. Effects of chewing different flavored gums on salivary flow rate and pH. International journal of dentistry, 2012.

Ketkar, S., Kock, N., Parente, R. and Verville, J., 2012. The impact of individualism on buyer–supplier relationship norms, trust and market performance: An analysis of data from Brazil and the USA. International Business Review, 21(5), pp.782-793.

Lee, A.Y., Lee, A.Y., Merkley, G., Merkley, G., Bailey, B. and Bailey, B., 2017. Wrigley's Eclipse Gum: Managing Brand Adolescence. Kellogg School of Management Cases, pp.1-13.

Lin, R.J., Tan, K.H. and Geng, Y., 2013. Market demand, green product innovation, and firm performance: evidence from Vietnam motorcycle industry. Journal of Cleaner Production, 40, pp.101-107.

Shah, K.R. and Mehta, T.A., 2014. Medicated chewing gum-A mobile oral drug delivery system. Int. J. Pharm Tech Res, 6(1), pp.35-48.

Van Oorschot, K.E., Akkermans, H., Sengupta, K. and Van Wassenhove, L.N., 2013. Anatomy of a decision trap in complex new product development projects. Academy of Management Journal, 56(1), pp.285-307.

Wrigley.com 2017. [online] Wrigley.com. Available at: https://www.wrigley.com/uk/documents/Wrigley_100_Years_-_interactive.pdf [Accessed 31 Dec. 2017].

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