The dramatic shift in chewing gum’s popularity with consumers has dipped further with recent revelations that many of the traditional brands contain plastics.
Category sales were already in decline before the news was leaked that most gum is made from synthetic polymers and plasticisers.
Pre-tax profits at Wrigley UK fell by a third last year to £34.4M ($43.7m) in the 52 weeks to December 30 2017, with sales at the confectionery and gum company falling by 2.7% to £249m ($320m) for the year, according to The Grocer.
The UK’s food and drink bible reported that the chewing gum category as a whole lost 3.8% of its value sales, falling to £261m ($335m) last year.
Mars Wrigley Confectionery Ltd took full control of the The Wrigley Company in February 2018, after announcing plans in 2016 to merge the two companies.
The Grocer also reported that UK discount food store Iceland has become the first retailer to introduce a plastic-free gum, called Simply Gum, made from chicle, a tree sap that is extracted from the sapodilla tree, as an alternative to the primary ingredient of most chewing gum.