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Rev7 branded degradable gum exits US as maker seeks licensees

By Oliver Nieburg+

04-Jan-2013
Last updated the 09-Jan-2013 at 10:44 GMT

Rev7 brand moves out of US in 2013
Rev7 brand moves out of US in 2013

Rev7 makers Revolymer has decided to stop selling branded gum in the US to avoid conflicting with its efforts to license the degradable gum base used in the product to other firms.

The decision, taken in December, means Rev7 branded gum, which has been in the US since 2011, will no longer be sold in the market from the start of this year.

The company will continue to sell the brand in Europe and recently launched the product in Ireland to help it test the market ahead of future licensing opportunities.

Licensing the primary focus

Revolymer said in a recent trading update: “The direct sale of Rev7 branded confectionery gum has been intended to demonstrate consumer interest ahead of licensing to additional third parties.

“The board believes, however, that it is also important to control and balance appropriately the cost of such activities in the context of the whole business, taking into consideration that the primary focus remains on licensing.”

It said that US branded sales were no longer within the company’s long-term interests and trading would stop at the start of 2013.

Ending US sales will cost the firm £360,000 ($565,000).

Low US sales

Revolymer recorded a gross loss of £242,000 ($392,000) largely due to poor US gum sales at a time when it said demand was difficult to gauge.

Last year, even large players such as Trident gum maker Mondelez International reported falling gum sales in developed markets such as the US.

Revolymer became a public company last year after it raised £25m ($40.6m) on the London Stock Exchange.

Its board wants to attract licensees for its Rev7 synthetic polymer gum base that degrades over two to three months in drains and in less than two years on pavements.

Gum titans looking for solutions

Wrigley’s R&D department is looking to develop its own solution, but says it is open to working with third parties.

However, it told this site last year: “At this time, we have not yet identified any external technology solution that would produce a chewing gum that is both easy to remove and acceptable to consumers.” 

Mondelez is known to be looking for collaborators and is inviting potential solutions.

Other degradable gums

Irish researchers last year developed a biodegradable gum that uses cereal proteins, while a Dutch consortium, including TNO, are researching ways to make a similar gum. (See HERE  and HERE  )

The Chicza Rainforest Gum Initiative also has an ‘Organic Rainforest Gum’ that is made from natural chicle, which dissolves within four to six weeks on pavements.

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