It's not the first impact of social distancing that comes to mind, but it does make sense: Sales of breath mints and gum are down, reports Reuters. Hershey, which makes Ice Breakers mints, says sales in this category have been "significantly impacted by social distancing protocols." CEO Michele Gross Buck has estimated the drop in demand to be somewhere between 40% and 50%. And Mondelez International, known for brands such as Trident, also is warning of "material declines."
Another factor that's hurting sales of such products is reduced foot traffic in stores, resulting in fewer impulse purchases by shoppers waiting in line. Adweek notes that Hershey is trying to fight the trend in a new ad for Ice Breakers that seeks to take advantage of these strange times. The ad encourages people to pop a mint before putting on a face mask. "Because mask breath? It's real." (Read more Hershey stories.)