It follows an earlier distribution deal with Whole Foods Market.
New York-based Simply Gum's six natural ingredients are natural chicle, organic raw cane sugar, organic vegetable clycerin, organic soy lecithin, organic rice flour and natural flavors, according to the company’s website.
Adeena Cohen, head of the marketing at Simply Gum, told ConfectioneryNews the company has seen tremendous growth.
“We’ve tripled over the past year and have lots of exciting opportunity ahead.” However, she refused to disclose the market share and sales performance of the company.
Simply Gum’s new line of products is made with all natural ingredients without artificial flavors, according to Cohen.
“While conventional gum brands use plastic in their gum base, we don’t use any plastic, nor do we use any aspartame, BHT or the dozens of other synthetics that are found in conventional gum,” Cohen said.
Alternative gum without artificial sweeteners: a healthier option
Cohen said Simply Gum’s new offerings match with consumer health trends.
“Reports show that over 50% of Millennials are concerned about the artificial sweeteners in gum and mints, and that number is only rising,” Cohen said. “Consumers overall are looking for healthier options. We’re proud to offer an alternative that fits their needs.”
According to a Mintel 2015 report on ingredients in gum, mints and breath fresheners, of more than half of the Millennials who say they are concern about sugar and artificial ingredients, only 27% of them say they want natural ingredients, while 20% say they want natural sweeteners.
“This suggest that purchasers could be confused about the ingredients in these products… with 66% saying it is hard to know the difference between sweetener types because so many exist,” the Mintel report says.
The new products don’t have a specific target audience group, Cohen added.
“Our gum is perfect for anyone looking to lead a healthy, all natural lifestyle. This year, we'll be focusing heavily on driving trial.”
Consumers’ feedback is significant
Asked what business strategy Simply Gum implements to compete with major gum companies, such as Wrigley, Cohen said continuously receiving their consumers’ feedback is crucial.
“While there are big players in the market, we believe in our product and will just keep working to deliver what consumers are looking for,” she said. “… We’ll continue to take our consumers’ input seriously. We believe this will continue to set us apart.”
Domestic market: much potential for gum innovation
Simply Gum products are only sold in the US at the moment, Cohen said. “Yet, there’s so much potential for us in the US market still,” as gum industry is witnessing innovation around sour flavours and various sized packaging.
However, Cohen said the company is looking at innovation in a new way.
The new products are now available in six flavours, including mint, cinnamon, fennel licorice, maple, ginger, and coffee, according to the company’s website, and they are distributed across the country, including Vitamin Shoppe stores.
A Mintel report also suggests innovation is the key for driving sales for gum products.
“Offering gum with dental benefits, an appetite suppressant, or ingredients that boost mood or energize could help differentiate a product from the competition,” the report says.
“We're looking to completely disrupt the category and bring a totally new product to the market that matches consumer needs,” Cohen said.