Oral care gum startup Confadent to launch in US
The company’s CEO Keith Burge, who previously worked in the medical device industry, said his team had been developing the gum product for nearly two years, coming up with 15 different prototypes before the finalization, he told ConfectioneryNews.
“There’s a number of benefits to chewing gum from the perspective of how quickly they can be assimilated into the system,” Burge said. “Chewing gum is being used more and more as a functional product, and sugar-free gum is especially good for oral care.”
He added that gum is an ideal delivery system for oral health products because it increases salivation of the mouth and helps clean between the teeth.
“We take [the gum category] to a whole new level with our formulation, and incorporate a number of ingredients from mouthwash and toothpaste into our products,” Burge said.
What distinguishes Confadent from regular sugar-free gum is that it contains sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda, to reduce the buildup of plaque, according to the company.
Additionally, Confadent said its products also include cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), a quaternary, safe-to-consume compound that it claims reduces plaque and kills bacteria.
“The FDA has published a monograph specifically for oral care products, and Confadent’s ingredients are on their list as well,” Burge said. “[The FDA] also set the [standard] of what the volume [of those ingredients] has to be to be able to make those claims we are making here in terms of plaque reduction and helping prevention of gingivitis. So we work within that specified range of volume in our products.”
Burge said even though Confadent primarily targets people on the go, it does not replace the proper oral care protocols – tooth brushing and flossing.
The future of gum?
Confadent uses the slogan “future of gum” on its website, as the company believes its peppermint-flavored functional product could disrupt the regular gum market, which is struggling to bring traditional consumers back.
Mintel analysts previously urged gum manufacturers in developed markets to battle sluggish sales with texture reformulation and functional ingredients.
Bazooka Candy recently brought its juicy drop gum to the US market, featuring an additional flavor booster; Project 7 has also adopted B Vitamins so as to market its products as an energizer.
Burge said Confadent is twice as expensive as regular gum and is not intended to dominate the mainstream market.
“We play in the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C) fields,” he said. “Our products are sold online through our website and Amazon. We’re also looking to move into niche retail, which is our B2B play.”
“We’re talking to some levels of the military here for the deployment of troops, and some of the disaster relief companies helping those who are unfortunately pushed out of their houses. They can use our products when conventional oral health care tools, like mouthwash, are unavailable.”
Confadent is currently planning to increase brand awareness by participating in several TV shows. It also hopes to collaborate with the restaurant and travel industries, offering newly developed flavors in the future.