The company launched its XyliFresh branded gum Mint & More in the Netherlands late last month and may roll out the product in other European countries in the near future. The product uses the sugar-free sweetener xylitol as a substitute to sugar.
Susan Janssen, senior brand manager for Leaf’s XyliFresh brand in Holland said: “Soft gum is growing in the Dutch market and there is not yet any dental gum within the soft gum segment.”
Other major gum producers have chewing-gums that contain some xylitol. Kraft Foods for example uses xylitol in its Trident gum brand, but Janssen said that XyliFresh Mint & More was the first dental soft gum with 100% xylitol to be launched in Europe.
Dental health benefits
She said refreshing soft gums that appear to offer health benefits are part of a growing consumer trend in the Netherlands.
Leaf International is marketing its Mint & More gum as being beneficial for dental health.
Janssen said: “100% xylitol reduces the amount of tooth plaque in your mouth and as a result XyliFresh reduces cavities. “
In 2008, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) held its Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) where it found that xylitol-based sugar-free chewing gum could neutralise dental plaque and reduce tooth demineralisation.
This came off the back of an earlier response from EFSA on claims from Leaf International that xylitol-based gum gave dental benefits. Here it found that Leaf was within its rights to make such claims.
Janssen added that Leaf’s offering was a convenience product that could be taken after a meal to fit in with busy lifestyles.
Asked how much competition Leaf could expect from rivals, name said: “XyliFresh is a very innovative dental chewing gum brand and is at the moment the first and only soft gum with 100% xylitol in Europe. Other big, global chewing gum brands haven't introduced softgums with 100% xylitol in other countries yet.”
“The other Leaf countries are interested in the Mint & More product and are investigating possibilities to introduce the gum in their countries,” she said.
The gum will be made available in two flavours: mint and aloe vera and mint and lemongrass.