The trend of ‘sugar-free’ consumables has effected a huge portion of the entire F&B sector, right from carbonated beverages to confectioneries. Tracing the diversion of the modern population towards sugar-free food and beverages due to uncontrolled occurrence of diabetes and sugar-related diseases, the global chewing gum market as well is undergoing a paradigm shift towards developing a ‘sugar-free’ front. Moreover, the sugar-free alternatives of chewing gum are also being acknowledged as a preventive measure for dental ailments by several elite dental associations and organizations globally. Some of the biggest labels in the market, such as The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company and Peppersmith are always in pursuit to develop as well as enhance their production and business of sugar-free gums. For instance, Peppersmith, a UK-based confectionery company, has dedicated itself in manufacturing xylitol based chewing gum. As xylitol is a sweetener found naturally in trees and plants, it is opposite of sugar and kills up to 90% of oral bacteria, helping to reduce plaque. As a consequence, Peppersmith is acclaimed by dentists and approved by the Oral Health Foundation, under its Accreditation program since 2013. Similarly, in 2016, a long-standing strategic partnership was announced between the Russian Dental Association and Wrigley Company, the most dominant label in sugar-free chewing gum market. This strategic development is bound to uplift the position of Wrigley from a mere chewing gum manufacturer towards establishing itself an enterprise in the Russian as well as the global oral care market.

Another pivotal trend upgrading the chewing gum market is ‘nicotine gum’ that is a form of therapeutic nicotine intended to support ex-smokers progressively decrease the quantity of nicotine they are habituated to intake from cigarettes. Several brand names under which the gum used to aid smoking cessation is marketed includes Nicorette, Habitrol, Nicotrol, and Nicotinell. In the functional gum category for medicinal application, nicotine gum is witnessing stiff competition from the latest entrant in the form of ‘medicinal cannabis chewing gum.’ AXIM Biotechnologies, U.S, has developed a chewing gum for the medicinal purpose that includes a non-psychoactive component of cannabis and psychoactive cannabinoid. The company has launched a medicinal chewing gum that constitutes 1,000 milligrams of CBD for patients suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). Similarly, for therapeutic application, Enorama Pharma AB, a Swedish pharmaceutical company, is manufacturing medicinal chewing gums with cannabinoids with their registered ChewMed®-technology. The Swedish enterprise is also at par in terms of quality for their Panorama Pharma nicotine gum with market leaders such as Nicorette. The company has an advantage over competitors since its production partner (outsourced) Aziant, India has a manufacturing plant approved by European and American authorities that includes FDA and EMA, along with WHO. Hence, the evolution from confectionery candy to medical cannabis has led towards the expansion of chewing gum market size that was evaluated to be $15.58 billion in 2018. Moreover, with market players strategically directing their production towards establishing themselves in the flourishing oral care marketplace, opportunities in the global chewing gum market are estimated to be progressing at a global CAGR of 4.28% during the forecast period of 2019-2025. Moreover, tracing the enticement associated with ‘marijuana’ that is progressively receiving certification and approval for application globally, its integration with functional gums is definite of attracting huge traffic towards the chewing gum market.

Consumer preference is driving innovations such as ‘sugar-free chewing gum’ and ‘plastic-free chewing gum’:

The primary ingredient in chewing gum that is the gum base has always been a matter of concern for consumers, manufacturers, as well as the environment, owing to its non-biodegradable constituents such as synthetic polymers (plastic) and food-grade polymers. Tracing the global evolution towards detesting plastic, in 2018 Iceland Foods Ltd., a British supermarket chain launched ‘Simply gum,’ a plastic-free chewing gum manufactured from all-natural constituents. Prior to the launch in the U.K, Iceland conducted a survey (2000 people) that revealed 60% of people using chewing gum prefer a product which isn’t made from synthetic ingredients and 85% of the surveyed citizens had no clue regarding plastic constituent of chewing gums. Apart from human health hazards, ‘simply gum’ is also leveraging the adverse ecological effects of non-biodegradable polymer-based chewing gums. For instance, approximately 95% of streets in Britain are stained with trodden-in gum, and the outlays by local councils for cleaning is $74m each year. As the councils in the U.K are seeking financial assistance and insisting chewing gum market players take more accountability, Iceland Foods Ltd. with this innovation is all set to carve out a niche for itself in the U.K chewing gum market.

The global chewing gum market size is majorly segmented into sugared chewing gums and sugar-free chewing gums. After an acute analysis, the sugar-free chewing gums is estimated to be the fastest-growing type progressing with a CAGR of 5.1%going through 2025. Several organizations such as Oral Health Foundation have approved sugar-free gums as a dental care product as well. For instance, the American Dental Association (ADA) states that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes post-meal can assist in preventing tooth decay. Apart from health, the sugar-free chewing gums also have a noticeable economic impact on the global expenditure for tooth decay treatments. Wrigley Oral Health Care Program indicates that chewing more sugar-free gum could save $4.1 billion dollars per year in the cost of treating tooth decay worldwide. As tooth decay and oral diseases are considered by WHO as the 4th most expensive health conditions to be treated, inexpensive, and extensively available sugar-free gums as the novel oral care product is gaining substantial impetus. The drift of chewing gums from confectionery to dental healthcare (5% of total health expenditure and 20% of out-of-pocket health expenditure in most high-income countries) is evident, and it is the most disruptive factor for the global chewing gum market demand.

Global Chewing Market Companies:

Some of the key players operating in the global chewing gum market are Mondeléz International Inc, Ferndale Confectionery Pty Ltd., Kraft Foods Inc., Mars Incorporated, Haribo GmbH & Co. Kg, Perfetti Van Melle, The Hershey Company, The Wm. Wrigley Jr. The company and ZED Candy. Since, some of the biggest labels such as Mondeléz International Inc., Mars Incorporated, and The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company in the global chewing gum market are situated in the United States; North America stood out as the most lucrative marketplace with 31.16% share in global demand for the year 2018. Along with intense indigenous production, U.S is also the top importer of sugared chewing gum, as indicated by The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC). A well-organized retail sector, along with increasing millennial population and disposable income are other factors assisting the North American market growth.

Global Chewing Market Developments:

· As innovation is paramount to survive in this competitive landscape, companies are emphasizing on R&D to corner the market, creating a space for innovators to market their technology to chewing gum manufacturers. For instance, in 2017, Wacker Biosolutions, a German biotech company, launched its Candy2gum (a hybrid of candy and gum, the chewy candy and turns into chewing gum) technology that includes a 3D printing process. Integration of 3D printing technology will assist in enhancing the texture and mouthfeel of confectionery, along with delivering opportunities for innovating around a wider range of flavors.

· Detecting the rising opportunities in the global sugar-free chewing gum market, in 2018 Health Made Easy Group acquired Peppersmith, the UK’s market leader in sugar-free, xylitol mints, and gums. As the HME Group is building towards creating a stronger presence in health and well-being consumer goods, Peppersmith with its innovative and clean image stands out a good catch for the Group.

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