Over the past few COVID months, nearly every marketing/branding/sales webinar or conference I have been on has centred around one common thread, purpose.

In a time where people are shopping less regularly, people are working off pre-determined lists, their mission, to grab and go as quickly as possible, while minimising the risk of catching COVID. Non-essential products have seen a decline in sales. There is no surprise then, that in general, impulsive products have somewhat stuttered lately, one buyer mentioned them ‘falling off a cliff’.

We have always known our products have a clear purpose, and that purpose is why BLOCKHEAD exists. It began when I was at university, with an ambition of being able to create a product that would help improve sporting and mental performance fast, something people could use for multiple purposes, from preparing for a rugby game to helping hit deadlines, hence our first product - Energy Gum.

That initial intention of making products that can help people, quickly, is still the fundamental purpose of our business. Whether providing an enjoyable energy boost, a moment of calm or maintaining vitamin levels, we design convenient and accessible products to help people find their focus, fast. We use chewing gum and mints as a delivery mechanism because they are brilliant for delivering potent ingredients quickly and efficiently in an enjoyable way. We were very happy to be able to supply the NHS with free Energy Gum at the beginning of the pandemic which proved really popular with health workers who worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic.

During the lockdown, we’ve seen an increase in our Vitamin Gum sales of over 300%, which illustrates the desire for people to choose a product with an added benefit. The fact that chewing gum has seen little innovation in this area has worked in our favour, and while it is great to be challenging a category, this is secondary to our mission.

While impulsive products struggle, as people become more aware of their spend, our sales have remained strong in stores that remain open, because they offer something more than other traditional impulsive products can.

As consumers, seeing the retail landscape shift to become more purpose lead and conscious, the future is exciting. It’s also exciting as a company, BLOCKHEAD is committed more than ever to our core purpose of providing an enjoyable way to help people to find their focus, quickly and helping people adapt to the new normal.

It’s up to all of us to make a difference now the ‘New Normal’ has begun, so we are working hard to reduce our environmental impact too. With new product development underway to make our product more sustainable, we have already changed our secondary packaging to be recyclable and plastic-free. And we are navigating the minefield of reducing both plastic, carbon emissions and recyclability as we develop our product packaging to maintain functionality while further reducing our impact.