Ford Gum says its Big League Chew products continue to perform well despite the difficulty the gum category has experienced since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company says consumers' love for the nostalgic brand is a driving force behind Big League Chew’s 11.2 percent increase in all channels and 8.1 percent increase in the c-store channel, according to IRI data for the 26 weeks ending Jan. 3, 2021.

Big League Chew brand persevered as the No. 3 bubble gum brand in c-stores and No. 5 in all channels. Outta Here Original is the No. 4 bubble gum item in c-stores, while Ground Ball Grape is the No. 7 bubble gum in c-stores.

Big League Chew faced a variety of challenges as retail stores were forced to close, professional baseball restricted fans, and people were hesitant to leave their homes. While the bubble gum and sugar gum categories are down in all channels and c-stores, Big League Chew is one of the few gum brands to show growth in both areas.

“This pandemic was an opportunity to show how resilient Ford Gum can be during challenging times and it’s no surprise that Big League Chew bubble gum continues to sell at increasing levels, particularly in the c-store category,” said Steve Greene, senior v.p., sales and marketing at Ford Gum. “We hit a home-run in 2020 with the release of our Slammin’ Strawberry and Seasonal Hot Chocolate flavor, which kept consumers curious, engaged and wanting more.”

Ford Gum increased marketing efforts for the Big League Chew brand throughout the year. The brand bolstered its social media efforts and influencer relationships, engaged fans through a contest with the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and utilized partnerships to further its growth with organizations like Prep Baseball Report.

“Through a trying time, our consumers have shown that bubble gum fun can happen anywhere and at any time, not just on the ball field,” said Rob Nelson, inventor of Big League Chew.