CHICAGO, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- American chewing gum manufacturers will introduce new products to capture larger shares of a $24 billion worldwide market, industry-watchers said.
One new product will contain vitamin C, and another can change flavor as it's chewed, The Chicago Tribune reported.
Newcomers include Kraft Foods' Stride Shift, which changes flavor, and Trident Vitality, which will contain vitamin C when it is released next year; Wrigley's Extra Dessert Delights offers flavors such as chocolate mint chip, and key lime pie.
"Gum is the new delivery system for benefits, whether it's breath freshening or teeth cleaning, relaxation or just excitement because of new, unusual or interesting flavors," said Lynn Dornblaser, an official with the global consumer, product and market research firm Mintel International.
Gum sales have grown 37 percent since 2001, but sugar-free gum sales increases in the United States have slowed in the past 18 months, said Symphony IRI Group, a Chicago-based market research firm.
Candy manufacturers said the recession, which reduced foot traffic at grocery and convenience stores, and at gas stations, is to blame for slower gum sales. Shoppers are less likely to spend up to $1.49 for a package of brand-name gum, the report said.