The gum base industry boasts several suppliers - Cafosa, Gum Base Co. and Eurobase Intl. - all of which supply the most necessary of ingredients for the successful production of chewing gum.
Gum bases not only provide textural properties for chewing gum, but they help deliver flavor. As new products have evolved to feature layered and liquid-filled centers with longer-lasting flavors and chews, the aforementioned companies were first at bat with these innovations.
Current trends in the category mimic what’s happening with other food products, according to Montse Cirera, marketing & business development director for international gum base supplier Cafosa (www.cafosa.com). Founded in Barcelona in 1979, the supplier has been part of the Wrigley group since 2004 and now Mars, Inc., following the latter’s 2008 acquisition of Wrigley. Its offerings include bubble and chewing gum bases, acid- and non-acid compatible gum bases, and non-sticking gum bases in formats ranging from chunks to sticks to hollow balls.
“Nowadays, food products must offer an added value to be distinguished by a competitive advantage,” Cirera says. For gum, that means ‘functional gum’ and ‘experience gum,’” she adds.
The industry certainly is seeing an increase in the introduction of chewing gum products containing healthful or better-for-you attributes such as vitamins and cavity-fighting ingredients.
“On the other hand, in the last 3-4 years, there is a clear trend of introducing filled gum oriented to adults, but with some features changed,” Cirera continues. “The flavors, the packaging and the sensorial profile are adapted to the adult market.” In just two years’ time (2008-2009), she notes, more than 200 products were launched in the filled gum category.
As a leading provider of innovative, high-performance gum bases for manufacturers the world over, Cafosa addresses said trends in several ways.
“Cafosa gum bases are playing a very important role in the new types of gum, as they are more ‘technologically’ dependant,” Cirera says. “In the case of the filled gums and the ‘experience gums,’ in our latest gum base developments, the ingredients used are selected to affect the final performance of the gum during the production and during all the life of the product at the shelf. The physical properties of these new gum bases (elongation and elasticity) help with good productivity of the gum on a filled gum line, while on the ‘experience gum,’ the ingredients help to control the release of the aromatic substances.”
Meanwhile, options such as medicated chewing gum are the future, Cirera says. To that end, Cafosa innovates for both the functional and pharmaceutical markets. For example, it offers “Health in Gum, which is an excipient - a directly compressible powder gum (CPG) containing a mix of ingredients, to which our customer can add active principles easily and compress it using standard compacting equipment,” Cirera notes.
“This is, with no doubt, an innovation in drug delivery systems and in the gum market,” she asserts. Other gum base providers are performing well in these areas, too. Take Gum Base, Co., a division of Perfetti van Melle, which offers gum bases and compressed powder gum in a wide range of flavors and formats. According to www.gumbase.com, “In addition to being pleasant, chewing gum can also be useful, because it is an excellent vehicle for releasing functional ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, herbal extracts, antioxidants, caffeine, etc. As well as being used simply for pleasure, CPG-type chewing gum is increasingly being used as a drug delivery system by the food and nutraceutical industries.”
Then there’s Eurobase Intl., which offers “tailor-made” gum bases for every possible application, and whose Quick Reaction Development Lab “will handle any technical inquiries with supersonic speed and efficiency, enabling our customers to react quickly to changing market trends,” according to www.eurobase.be Eurobase’s offerings run the gamut and serve traditional chewing gum, bubble gum and functional gum manufacturers, as well as those who seek dental/cosmetic care and neutraceutical products.
As consumer interest in innovative new products continues, gum base suppliers are at the ready, supplying manufacturers with the ingredients they need to score at retail.