The gum and mints sector continues to evolve and emphasize new flavors that promote health benefits.

The gum and mints sector continues to evolve and emphasize new flavors that promote health benefits.

By Crystal Lindell

Associate Editor

Take your ‘gum’ once a day. Save some room for ‘gum.’ And, don’t forget to get a car with ‘gum’ holders.

The latest trends in the gum and mint sectors emphasize better-for-you treats, such as gum with B12; and fruity flavors, some of which even are marketed as a dessert replacements. But, if the gum and mints themselves aren’t enough to get your attention, then maybe all the new packaging, such as containers that fit in your cup holders, will grab your eye.

Overall, mints and gum seem to remain stuck in consumer’s hearts. Euromonitor International predicts world gum sales will increase to $30.1 billion by 2015, from the $24.2 billion sold in 2010; while world mint sales will increase to $7.4 billion by 2015, up from 2010’s $6.3 billion.

And, in the United States, gum sales are predicted to jump to $5.6 billion by 2015 from the $4.6 billion sold in 2010; while mints are expected to increase to $932.8 million by the same year, up from 2010’s $839.1 million.

Better mouth

Gone are the days though when gum was made just for blowing bubbles. Now, consumers expect it to do so much more - whiten teeth, provide vitamins, and give you energy.

For example, certain varieties of sugar-free Orbit gum now are made with Micro-Bursts, which the company says delivers a “hydrating sensation” in your mouth. And, the new Orbit White gum “delivers a whitening benefit with a great taste and “just brushed clean feeling.” Wrigley says it helps remove stains and whitens teeth when consumers chew two pieces after meals or drinking wine, soda or other teeth-staining products.

“In 2011, the demand for... “better-for-you” and functional options, as well as solution-oriented items will keep the gum and candy categories fresh and exciting,” says Jennifer Jackson-Luth, spokeswoman for Wrigley.

It’s not just Wrigley that’s tapping into that trend though. Those who love Kraft’s Stride now can chew on some vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 along with its “ridiculously long-lasting flavor.” The new Stride Spark comes in two flavors - kinetic Mint and Kinetic Fruity - and both have 25% of the daily value of both B vitamins, which are known for helping the body release energy.

“Consumers are looking to add oomph into their day-to-day activities wherever they can,” says Gary Osifchin, Stride’s marketing director. “We’ve developed Stride SPARK in direct response to this demand, giving them an easy way to not only help meet their daily requirement of nutrients, but also provide a great-tasting gum with long-lasting flavor.”

Meanwhile, the Trident Vitality line, introduced earlier this year, has a Vigorate flavor that tastes like strawberry and citrus and features 10% of your daily value of vitamin C; a Rejuve flavor that blends mint and white tea; and an Awaken flavor, which features peppermint and ginseng.

Fruity flavors

Some of the best innovations in the market though are meant to convince consumers that what they’re chewing is anything but healthy.

The most obvious example of this is Wrigley’s Extra Dessert Delights, introduced in 2010. The first flavors included: mint chocolate chip, strawberry shortcake and key lime pie. This year, apple pie and orange creme pop also were added to the line up.

At only 5 calorie per stick, Wrigley hopes they will serve as a realistic alternative to the real desserts they’re inspired by.

Fruity flavors in general seem to be making headway in the market. Tic Tac is launching a strawberry-filled flavor, while Wrigley also plans Juicy Fruit Juicy Green, a green-apple raspberry flavor, and Juicy Fruit Sweet Red, a strawberry and cherry flavor combination.

“Consumers’ pallets are constantly evolving based on culinary trends,” says Jackson-Luth. “In terms of flavor trends, fruit flavors have been a key contributor to gum and candy growth and Wrigley continues to introduce new flavors and innovations to leverage this trend and delight consumers.”

Wrigley-owned Juicy Fruit also launched Juicy Secret in December 2010, a sugar-free flavor that has 50% fewer calories than regular gum, while Juicy Riddle, another sugar-free flavor, is slated to debut in 2011.


Companies aren’t relying on healthy benefits and new flavors alone though. Innovative packaging options are making it even easier to grab some gum or mints on the go.

Wrigley’s Big-E-Pak is a 60-pellet container with a re-closeable opening shaped to sit perfectly in a cup holder. And, in May the company introduced mint-in-a-bottle packaging, which features 85 Lifesavers Mints in a similar container. The 2.7-oz. containers also are designed to fit in a car cup holder, but also look at home on a desk or table top, the company says.

Wrigley Life Savers’ also rolled out some new packaging for ‘Wint O Green’ mints in 2010. The flavor now comes in signature rolls.

With so many innovations in flavoring and packaging, there’s no doubt gum and mints will continue to be a fresh product for anyone looking to blow a bubble, take some vitamins or skip dessert.