The Wm Wrigley Jr company has patented a new gum-making process allowing for the manufacture of multi-coloured, multi-flavoured chewing gum.
The patented process involves moulding one mass of gum into a flat slab and embedding another, smaller layer before dividing the mixture into segments and adding patterns such as stripes and undulating waves.
Innovation is traditionally strong in the chewing gum sector with more companies targeting novelty niches through exotic flavour concepts and gimmicks such as varying colours and shapes.
Although best with another variety of gum, there is potential for other confectionery products such as marshmallow, nougat or chocolate to be used as the second layer and be threaded throughout the gum - as long as the ingredient is compatible initially.
As well as highlighting the unusual appearance of the gum produced, Wrigley claim it provides a unique taste as the flavours mix when chewed.
The finished product can take the form of either a simple strip or a longer tape of bubble gum as well as being cut into pizza-style discs.
Sugarfree and functional gums are also suitable for the process which would allow Wrigley to simultaneously target both the health and novelty gum markets.
According to market researchers Leatherhead International, the global gum market is expected to increase by 17 per cent to almost $17bn (€13.5bn) in the next four years.
And Wrigley is the market leader in the sector with a more than 35 per cent share of the worldwide sector - 8 per cent greater than nearest rival Cadbury.
Last year in Europe, Wrigley launched several new products to gain a greater foothold in the novelty flavoured gum niche.
In the UK, the Juicyfruit brand saw new flavour combinations such as Blulemberry (blueberry and lemon) and Raspermelon (raspberry and melon).