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Rev7 degradable gum makers to raise £25m for growth plans

By Oliver Nieburg+

05-Jul-2012
Last updated the 05-Jul-2012 at 16:54 GMT

Rev7 degradable chewing gum maker Revolymer plans to trade its entire share capital on the London stock exchange to raise £25m for its five year growth strategy.

The company has a synthetic polymer chewing gum base that degrades faster than conventional bases, and could go some way to solving gum littering on streets.

The company plans to launch its Rev7 gum brand in selected European markets and produce a nicotine gum to take on Nicorette in North America

The company said it is not looking to compete with gum manufacturers and is simply testing consumer demand before establishing partnerships with leading confectioners to bring products with its patented polymer technology to market.

UK launch and formulation change

Speaking to ConfectioneryNews.com today Revolymer CEO Roger Pettman told us more about how the money would be spent.

Revolymer plans a UK roll-out its own gum brand Rev7, which contains the synthetic polymer, after the gum base recently obtained EU novel foods approval. It plans to build upon its successful launch in the US.

In the UK, Revolymer plans to position itself in the sugar-free gum segment, using sorbitol and xylitol as sweeteners. As in the US, the gum will come in two flavours: peppermint and spearmint.

UK formulation and pack change

“There’s been a slight twist in the flavour [in comparison to US formulation],” said Petmann.

Bigger US pack sizes

“The UK likes a slightly stronger menthol burst,” he said.

The UK product will also come in a smaller pack size than its US counterpart as Pettman said that British consumers preferred pocket-sized packs.

Manufacturing will be outsourced to an unnamed business outside the UK, but within Europe, said Pettman.

Testing market for key partnerships

The company also plans to roll-out Rev7 in Ireland and Germany in a bid to test demand for degradable gum before partnering with a significant market player.

Mars owned Wrigley and Kraft/Cadbury make up the lion’s share of the global gum market. Both are yet to bring a degradable gum to market.

“Direct competition, in terms of removability and degradability, to the Rev7 gum is limited,” said the company in its full admission document seen by this site.

The Chicza Rainforest Gum Initiative has an ‘Organic Rainforest Gum’ that is made from natural chicle, which dissolves within four to six weeks on pavements. It is only available in the UK and entered Waitrose stores in 2009.

Researchers from University College Cork, Ireland, recently patented a process for a non-sticky, biodegradable gum that uses cereal proteins, while a Dutch consortium including TNO are researching ways to make a similar gum. (See HERE and HERE )

Rev7 is already in around 450 retailers in the US and Pettman said the company was seeing reorders.

Canada private label Nicotine launch

Revolymer also plans to compete in the $500m private label market, by launching a nicotine gum that it claims has improved texture, flavour and chew compared to competitor gums

“Increasing the Rev7 loading into the gum base increases both the rate at which nicotine is released from the gum and the amount released,” said the company.

It plans to launch the nicotine gum in Canada and compete with Johnson & Johnson’s Nicorette gum, which account for around 45% of the global market.

The company also has plans to use its polymers in other fast moving consumer goods, such as detergents, and is working on non-halogenated polymers for rigid and flexible food packaging.

Revolymer will place 25,000,000 placing shares with institutional investors at a price of 100 pence each.

The business will be worth £53m after admission of the shares.

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