The pellet gum technology, developed over the last three years, is already being used by a top three gum player.
Designs in the core
"The beauty of the translucency is that you can then work with different colors in the gum center. You will still see all these design elements in the center when the gum is coated,” Thomas Schmidt, marketing manager for Beneo, told ConfectioneryNews at the ISM trade fair in Cologne, where Beneo launched the technology.
"So far it didn’t matter the color and design you would add to the center of your pellet because nobody would ever see that center. Now the inside matters,” he said.
Schmidt claimed the technology created NPD potential that could help reignite Western Europe's stagnant chewing gum market.
Value sales in Western Europe’s chewing gum market fell to €3.7bn ($4bn) in 2015 – having registered a negative compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.3% since 2010, according to Euromonitor International.
Gum coatings were only previously possible in a single color, typically white, said Schmidt.
The marketing manager said a translucent coating was only feasible with isomalt due to its molecular structure.
According to Beneo, the isomalt coating runs on regular processing equipment. It says manufacturers can use familiar sweetening methods, but are able to ditch whitening agent titanium dioxide.
Schmidt said the isomalt coating had a finer crunch than others based on sweeteners such as xylitol, maltitol or sorbitol.
"That hard standard crunch that is favored by a lot of developers is not necessarily what the customer out there wants,” he said, claiming many prefer a softer crunch.